Andre J. Davis, one of Olivia's favorite hair professionals, shares his career journey, the secrets behind her most iconic and newest looks, plus how to keep your tresses well cared for at home this summer. Beauty — Jun 24
When it comes to keeping her strands in tip-top shape or trying out a fresh new cut, hair designer Andre J. Davis, has been Olivia's go-to stylist for more than a decade. This deep-felt loyalty to the creative behind some her best-tressed looks is for a great reason—Davis is one of the most passionate and respected stylists in the fashion and music industries alike. After losing his mother to bone cancer, Davis was driven to become a stylist to help women find solutions for hair loss and breakage with a mission to "restore glory to their crowns." After honing his skills at Bumble & Bumble and working with private clientele, today, he specializes in extensions, wigs, cutting, and styling for all hair types at Julien Farel, along with artistic editorial work. And as we're all experiencing an unpredictable time where salons are just beginning to reopen safely, we recently caught up with Davis to see what's keeping him inspired, his haircare secrets, and his predictions for the trendiest cuts.
How did you first break into the industry as a hairstylist?
After studying at the Vidal Sassoon Academy in London, my break into fashion and entertainment began after introductions to major models like Beverly Peele, Karen Alexander, and Cynthia Bailey (who really helped connect me with executives in the music industries). I was blessed to style the hair of Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Holiday, Taylor Dayne, Christina Aguilera, and many more. I met Olivia while working on a '70s themed look book shoot, and from that time on, we had a connection. She's a perfectionist like myself, and she's always open to my vision and trusting a change to her hair.
What inspires you as a creative?
What inspires me can be anything from watching women on the street owning their look to seeing great possibilities of styling someone who could use my help. Also, [frequenting] museums, movies, plays, and I love watching documentaries on artists. Their creative processes—I am inspired by that [and] it fascinates me.
What do you think some of the top haircut trends will be once everyone has reemerged from staying at home?
I think coming out of this quarantine, you will see people embracing longer styles, long layers, or no layers at all. In terms of low maintenance styling, we might see chopped, textured cuts hitting at or just below the shoulders. I think people will have learned that by not doing too much to their hair during the day, conditioning it well, and drinking lots of water has helped its health overall!
In terms of Olivia's hair, do you have favorite styles that you've created?
One of my favorite cuts I did for Olivia—maybe even number one—would be the original "lob" in 2008. It was very different from her past looks at the time, and I cut the shortest pieces midway to the neck and put kept long layers at the back for framing. This hair gave way to a lot of styling advantages, and [when it eventually] grew out past her shoulders, it was very cool yet classic. This week we reunited, and I just trimmed Olivia's hair as in the last 5-6 months it's grown one length. I blew it dry without using a brush, so we'd have lots of volume, brushed it all out afterward, and then waved it using a medium, single barrel curling iron. To finish, I pull my fingers through each wave for a more uncontrived, sexy summer look!
Any go-to products for salon-quality styling at home?
For styling, I love Alterna Haircare's Caviar line, which has beneficial, clean ingredients. Their volume mousse is great for fine hair, and I also love their spray mist volumizer, shampoo, and conditioner. I recommend the HSI Professional Argan Oil Thermal Protector for guarding against hot tools, and for care and scalp treatment, use the Julien Farel restore line.
Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging® Multiplying Volume Styling Mist, $30, sephora.com
HSI Professional Argan Oil Heat Protector, $15, amazon.com
Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging® Multiplying Volume Styling Mousse, $30, ulta.com
Julien Farel Haircare Hydrate Restore Cream, $39, dermstore.com