Whenever I receive an email from a bride-to-be asking me if I can recommend a hair stylist for her wedding day, I always have just one answer: the wonderful Ondine Cowley, who offers a full suite of wedding day hair styling services all stamped with her trademark artistic British flair.
She’s styled the hair of Kate Beckinsale, Courtney Love, Kevin Spacey, Jenson Button, Royals and BAFTA award winners, and I’m delighted to be interviewing her today as part of my Wedding Smashers series.
Ondine tells us about how she worked her way up at Nicky Clarke from apprentice to Style Director, lets us in on 2014’s essential bridal hair trends and shares some valuable snippets of business advice.
So Ondine, what’s the ‘Ondine Cowley’ story? How did you get into hair styling, and what’s happened between then and now?
I’ve always known what I’ve wanted to do since the age of 11. I used to spend my weekends watching a particular hairdresser style hair near to where I lived and I was totally fascinated by the transformations.
I got a weekend job when I was 13 at Toni & Guy and one day my father said to me “Ondine, if you really want to take this seriously you need to train at the best salon”. He was right of course so once I’d completed my GCSE’s I applied for a position as an apprentice at Nicky Clarke and 14 years later I’m still there! I trained for 3 ½ years and have worked my way up to Style Director where I specialise in wedding hair.
I realised quite early on that i had a passion for ‘hair-ups’ and weddings. Nicky himself is incredible at sculpting hair as was a stylist called Jo who is no longer with us. I learnt my artistic skills from them both.