Mimi talks to Beatrice De Alba

BATD ON Jul 03, 2009 AT 1:53 pm

Beatrice de Alba

Beatrice de Alba

Ever wondered how Isla Fisher tames her tresses? Or what Salma does to maintain her glossy locks? Just ask Beatrice De Alba. She has worked with a whole host of Hollywood A listers on films (she recently styled Isla on Confessions of a Shopaholic) and has even won an Oscar for her styling. We caught up with Beatrice to talk hair, celebrities and summer must-haves.

How did you get started in the industry?
Years ago I was working in a salon and I didn’t like it much so I did retail. Then I met a girl who did stunts and had a mother at home who was also a stunt person but who had had an accident and shattered both ankles. She asked me to come to the house and do her hair for her. They were so sweet and kept saying I was really talented and should work in films. They handed me a copy of the drama log, which is the unluckiest place to find work. It’s all deferred pay and unpaid work. I did a music video and met a hair and make-up person. She took a liking to me because I was kind of on top of everything and just ran around doing things without being asked. From there she took me on to other films with her and I did non-union work for 6 years and eventually got in the union. There is no easy way, people always ask me and it’s basically hard work and a lot of tenacity.

Talk us through a working day in your life
We’re the first ones in on set other than the drivers and we start to get prepped for the day. The actresses start to come in, I normally work with one person all day and it’s about getting them ready. We will go ahead and organise what is going on for the day, although sometimes I prep the night before. I check out the script and find out what scenes are being shot that day and what looks are necessary. I check through my notes and pictures to make sure everything matches correctly. I also make notes to see what changes have to take place and then go to set with the actor and make sure they are maintained and the hair looks the same throughout. We do touch ups in the trailer if it’s possible or we do it on set.

Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet

Who would be your dream client? 
I work with several of my dream clients. I’d love to work with Kate Winslet, I think she’s a brilliant actress. I love standing back through the day and thinking wow I’m actually getting paid to be here, I get mesmerised by acting. I also recently worked with her husband Sam Mendes on his new film ‘Away we go.’

What do you rely on in your hair kit? 
I think a good blowdryer. I use the Bespoke T3. It is expensive but I’ve got to tell you it really makes a difference. It’s got that tourmaline in there so it dries faster, there’s less frizziness and it really locks up style. If the dryer is quite hot, keep it moving as you will burn your hair and damage it. The more powerful the dryer, the more cautious you need to be with it.

Career highlight to date
When I won my Bafta and my Oscar. I keep them both on my mantle.

Click here to read part 2…

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