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Bella Interview: Kristin Ess, Part III

Let's finish Friday with the last installment of my interview with celebrity hairstylist Kristin Ess. I really enjoyed talking with her because she not only knows her hair stuff, she also has the kind of attitude that would make her fun to work with. In the first part of our interview, we talked about how she began working in a salon at the age of 16. Yesterday, she shared some hair trends, and today she talks about where you should scrimp and where you should spend on hair products.

What kinds of hair products are worth splurging on, and which can you get at a drugstore?
It depends on the hair. If you have long hair and highlights and you need moisture, spend the money on shampoo. It's different for everyone. As far as hairsprays go, there are definitely hairsprays that are more of an aid in styling than others. If I'm in a pinch in another city or country, and I have to run to the store in the middle of the night because I lost my bag or something, I can buy any hairspray at the grocery store. I know which ones on the market are doable. Rather than using Pantene, I'd rather use Aqua Net because I know it's going to hold for a photo shoot. It's horrendous and it's disgusting, but it works.

You should definitely splurge on a blow dryer. It makes all of the difference. If there's one thing I tell my clients, I always tell them to get a good blow dryer. But you don't need to splurge on a curling iron. My favorite curling iron is Hot Tools. It's the most amazing curling iron ever. They're so cheap and so amazing.

For the rest of the interview,


Ah, good to know. I feel justified in my loving my T3 dryer.
That's the thing! It's very important because it takes care of your hair, for one. It's the difference between whether you're spending a half hour or an hour blow-drying your hair. And also, having a nozzle — some of the cheaper dryers don't come with a nozzle. One of the most important things for smoothing out hair that you're blow drying is to have a nozzle.

Why is that?
Because if you don't have a nozzle on it, basically the air comes out like a cyclone. It stirs up the air more than directs it. So if you have a nozzle, you almost don't need to use a brush; the nozzle takes all of the air and pushes it in one direction to smooth the cuticle 75 percent more.

Kristin Ess is a stylist at Warren-Tricomi in West Hollywood.

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