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Hair by Sam McKnight has landed in Ireland to transform your hair
Image / Style / Beauty

Hair by Sam McKnight has landed in Ireland to transform your hair


by Melanie Morris
02nd Jun 2023

Sam McKnight, the man behind hundreds of magazine covers, iconic runway looks and every famous cut from Princess Diana to Kate Moss has brought his bestselling range to Ireland.

He’s worked with the greatest names in the industry, because he is one of the greatest names in the industry, he’s done so many Vogue covers he’s lost count (it’s definitely more than 200), but hairdressing legend Sam McKnight remembers his first hair product for completely different reasons. “I grew up in a small Scottish mining town in Ayrshire, and my job every morning was to light the fire at home before I went to school. I realised my mother’s hairspray worked really well as a flammable agent when I sprayed it onto the logs”.

Things for McKnight have moved on a lot since then, some of it he modestly puts down to being in the right place at the right time; “I was in New York for the phenomenon of the supermodel (the late 1980s). Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista… they were all teenage girls and they ended up putting me on the map.” But watching McKnight transform a model through five looks in about 10 minutes at Brown Thomas, Dundrum this week, it’s very clear that his talent outshines any series of lucky breaks, and his friendly, open, unphased manner makes Sam McKnight a man you’d gravitate towards. He’s in Dublin to launch his Hair by Sam McKnight range, beloved by anyone who needs a quick, reliable transformation that can also be brushed out for a restyle of two, or even three-day hair.

“I believe every woman has at least four or five different hairstyles, don’t be confined by one look for the rest of your life. Even a change of parting can be transformational and the great thing about hair is that it’s so easy to change on a temporary basis.” And transformation is exactly what McKnight is all about. He’s worked with everyone, from Princess Diana (whom he transformed when he cut her hair to tousled and short, and was her personal hairdresser – travelling from war zones to red carpets – for seven years before her untimely death), to Lady Gaga, Kate Moss and Karl Lagerfeld, McKnight did all the Chanel and Fendi shows, as well as Balmain, Burberry and Vivienne Westwood (“When Naomi fell in those platforms, I was the only one not looking at her heels, I was terrified the wig might fall off!”). His talent is so extraordinary Sam McKnight is the only hair stylist who’s had a whole exhibition dedicated to his work, in 2016, in London’s Somerset House.

But back to the ‘one model, five looks’ demo that’s happening in front of our eyes. “We did a shoot on location with Kate, and everything arrived except my, and Val Garland’s, hair and make-up kits. I had to mix something in a bottle from seawater and sunscreen. Kate has what I call ‘English Rose’ hair, it’s fine, there’s lots of it, but it needs help. To get Kate’s artfully undone look, I need lightweight products, and that’s why I created the Cool Girl range of four styling products. They are super-light and totally brush-outable. The Texture Mist has completely changed my way of working – cutting down time from 30 minutes to 30 seconds.”

Sam McKnight’s invisible, Lazy Girl Dry Shampoo is a staple (and comes in a travel size too). Sam’s tip is to spray onto a brush and then apply to the hairline and beyond, brushing out the product once it has absorbed the oils and build-up, and finish with a blast of a cold hairdryer. His tip for frizzy hair in heat is especially smart – blow-dry as usual, set with his Modern Hairspray Multi-Task Styling Mist (which also acts as a heat protectant), and then blow-dry again to seal in the style. Modern Hairspray is what Sam uses to get Bella Hadid’s ultra-snatched, slicked-back style, and he refers to it as “twenty hairgrips in a can”.

The Hair by Sam McKnight product range is a full edit of heroes, but Happy Endings Nourishing Balm must also get a special mention, great for anything from the straight ends of beachy waves to men’s hairstyling.

And what does Sam McKnight think is next in terms of hair trends? “A big return to glam, which is great as it suits everyone. Think volume, polish, finish… the big hair of the 1990s, that iconic Versace campaign. Invest in a good hot brush or a set of Velcro rollers – but leave them in for an hour, ten minutes isn’t going to do it!”

Hair by Sam McKnight is available now, from Brown Thomas.

Photography via Hair by Sam McKnight. We may earn a commission if you buy something from any affiliate links on our site.

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