REAL EXPERT TALKS: SESSION STYLIST ADAM GARLAND
THE BRITISH STYLIST TALKS MINDFULNESS, PURE BEAUTY, “NO FILTER” ATTITUDE AND AUTHENTIC HAIR
In a literal sense, Adam Garland is not very far from home at all. Having grown up in a small seaside town on the Somerset coast, today he lives and works in London, a mere two-hour train ride away. Figuratively speaking, the session stylist is a long way from home indeed. He grew up not really knowing much about the hairdressing, beauty or fashion industries. However, there must have been something in the air in Weston-super-Mare, as young Adam got his first job in a salon in his hometown at 14. Not only does he still have a passion for hairstyling at 35, but his sister is a hairdresser too. According to Adam, he loves his job “too much sometimes”, but 20-odd years of beautifying hair have yielded an impressive portfolio. His editorial work has been featured in the pages of Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel and Vogue – to name but a few. Models and celebrities styled by the British session stylist have walked catwalks and red carpets around the globe. In our interview, he explains why he has joined the Authentic Beauty Movement, what inspires him and why the Authentic Beauty Concept Memento is important to him personally.
How do you find pure beauty in your work?
I always want to make a woman feel and look beautiful, that’s the most important thing. I also like to work with what we’ve got and not overcomplicate things. On set, that means having the confidence to say, “We don’t need to change much. That woman looks fantastic. Let’s just add a little bit here and a little bit here, but let’s not destroy the beauty she arrived with.”
How do you relate to the Authentic Beauty Movement?
The great thing about the idea of a movement is that it's not just about products. To be part of Authentic Beauty Concept is to be part of the movement, too. It’s very empowering for people who want more of a dialogue. Personally, I really like the mindfulness aspect. It’s something that I practice daily, through meditation and positive thinking. I think it’s important, in a world that is focused on the exterior, to become conscious of emotional wellbeing – to think less about the outside and more about the inside. That is truly authentic to me.
What makes the Authentic Beauty Concept Memento so special?
The Memento, as we call our in-salon treatment, goes beyond a hair wash and styling, it’s an experience in itself. The client gets an eye mask and is offered soothing sounds or noise-cancelling earplugs, which is a fantastic way to start the salon experience. What’s even better is how we incorporate that mentality at the end of the experience, too. People can start to get involved at this stage and that can develop into an involvement with the community. It’s going to be really exciting to see where this can go over the next few years.
How would you describe Authentic Beauty Concept hair feel?
It’s been fantastic to work with the products. They allow me to create that undone look which is very much my aesthetic. I’ve worked on building up layers with the products. The hair maintains a fantastic condition, but it’s workable. As a stylist, I need to be able to change things really quickly on the go, so I am really happy with how these products react.
How can people recognise your work as a stylist?
People I work with, my mentors and people that have guided me in my career, have repeatedly told me that I have a touch. That might translate to some baby hair across the face, a ponytail with a little bit of movement, or maybe how I apply a product. I find it really humbling and am very honoured that people notice it. I approach each client individually, I connect with a person and I like to ask questions. Making a person feel comfortable allows me to have as much creative freedom and control as I need and that’s really important.