Torn between dueling gowns for the 2011 Golden Globes, Lea Michele's hair guru, Mark Townsend, had to brainstorm two very different looks to fit the competing styles.
"In the back of my mind, I always knew she would go with the pink Oscar de la Renta and I think it was the perfect choice," says Townsend, who also happens to be Dove Hair's celebrity stylist. "As soon as she put it on in the fitting, my brain went into overdrive and I started ripping out reference pages in magazines and spent hours online looking at inspiration pictures."
Michele and Townsend love to gab about all things beauty, so there was a ton of back and forth over e-mail to discuss the perfect red carpet look.
"I knew that her hair should be up with that dress, but she did not want her hair tight off her face or slicked back by any means," he says. "We wanted it to be a soft, subtle glamour. It's a hard word to use when you're talking about red carpet, but we wanted that perfectly messy texture in the hair and then pulled up with some hair around the face."
The result? A gorgeous, tousled chignon swept precariously to one side.
To begin, Townsend provided the "Glee" starlet with some product weeks before the Globes to ensure optimum hair health for the big day.
"The biggest perk of my job working with Dove is I get my hands on their new products before anyone else," he enthuses. "They have this whole line of Nourishing Oil Care -- shampoo, conditioner, treatment, a leave-in conditioner and a leave-in serum -- and I was able to try it out a while ago. I gave the shampoo, treatment and conditioner to Lea to get her hair prepped for all of awards season."
Townsend requested Michele arrive with clean, wet locks.
"Normally I always ask for dirty, second-day hair, especially when I'm doing updos, but (Dove) products don't weigh the hair down at all, so I had her come with clean hair this morning," says the hair pro. "Then I put the (Nourishing Oil Care) serum in. This is the most amazing product that won't weigh the hair down but it completely seals the hair shaft. It's made of almond and coconut oils that go right into the hair. I rough-dried it just a little bit and I could literally feel that the product had penetrated in and absorbed it."
Next up, Townsend applied Dove Body & Sculpt Mousse and blew Michele's strands out with a round brush.
"Even though I knew that I wanted messy texture, I like to control it," he directs. "I took 1-inch sections of her hair and wrapped it around a three-quarter-inch curling iron. I always put in some kind of thermal protectant spray. I love to try to keep hair healthy -- that's always my goal. And this gives hair a tiny bit of hold as well."
When Townsend started using the curling iron, he began with the pieces at the actress' hairline and wrapped the strands away from her face. Once past the ears, he alternates the direction he wraps the hair in, forward and backward, to create imperfect waves or curls to secure that messy texture they were trying to achieve.
But how does one get that perfectly messy style to hold?
"I gathered the hair from her right side in the back and I gathered it below her occipital bone, between that and her hairline at the back," Townsend explains. "I twisted her hair into a really messy chignon, leaving a lot of loose hair falling out. I secure that first shape with tons of bobby pins. I probably used 20. I create Xs with the bobby pins. There's 10 Xs underneath. That way, there's a perfect little anchor that you have, so all of those little loose bits you can go back and pin into that anchor if you want."
"I kept all of her shorter layers loose, especially on the left side of her face," he continues. "I took the longer hair back and would just pin it into those anchors loosely."
The finishing touches included a Champagne toast and a firm mist of Dove Unscented Extra-Hold Hairspray.
"Lea and I always, it's our tradition, we always have a Champagne toast before she walks out the door," he laughs. "So we took a sip of that and then I took the glass from her and I told her to take a deep breath and I sprayed all over because I want it to look like the hair might fall out, but it's not going anywhere."
Check out StyleList's picks for the best and worst dressed at the Golden Globes 2011.