Beauty


Some women you can’t tear your eyes away from. Behind many of them: the charismatic hairstylist Adir Abergel. “I try to bring out the essence of every individual, which I can do because of our relationship,” he says. “Jen Garner’s been my client for almost 20 years now. Kristen Stewart, I’ve been doing since Panic Room. Jessica Biel, since 7th Heaven. What I do for Rooney [Mara] I wouldn’t do for Jen. What I do for Jen I wouldn’t do for Kristen.”

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Abergel

Courtsey of the subject

The Israeli-born Abergel, who is also creative director of Virtue hair care, styles with the soul of an artist. A classically trained ballet dancer who once sang backup for Michael Jackson, Abergel apprenticed for iconic stylist Arthur Johns (where he worked with Olivia Newton-John and Zsa Zsa Gabor) before striking out on his own. He has an eye for sculptural detail, as shown by his collection of hair accessories—Adir x Lelet NY—inspired by molten metal, an image decidedly not typically linked to coiffure. “I think about all this as a creative director more than as a hairdresser,” he says, “because I consider the entire image as a collective.”

What are your current obsessions?

I’m into the integrity of shiny, gorgeous hair. For years, I was doing texture on Kristen and Sienna Miller, and it was deconstructed and undone and kind of grungy. But through this awards season, with Jessica and Saoirse [Ronan], I was thinking more about reflection and health. You need to begin with a layer of prep, same as with skin—it’s the shampoos, conditioners, and treatments. I never use conditioner all the way to the roots, just midshaft to ends, and I leave it in for three to four minutes. Then you still get lift at the roots.

Do you have an accessories philosophy?

I always want to play with accessories in a way that feels unexpected, even if it’s just in placement. Anytime I’m traveling, I buy different-color threads and elastics from fabric stores. If you’re doing a braid, just take a ribbon and weave it in, then throw it into a little chignon. You’re playing with a duality of textures, so the hair has dimension. My last step is taking a cutout square from a sponge, like one you do your dishes with, and putting a bit of oil on it to smooth over the head to catch any flyaways. It delivers the perfect amount of product.


The Essentials

Meet Adir Abergel

Courtesy​

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“Hair is like architecture,” Abergel says. “If you don’t create the right foundation, everything else collapses.” For structure, Abergel spritzes Kusco-Murphy Setting Lotion, on roots before a blow-dry. To get a punky wet look, he slathers on Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Balm-to-Oil Pre-Shampoo Masque. “I’m repurposing it for that kind of slickness.” The stylist adds a dash of Womens Balance essential oil aromatherapy blend by Neal’s Yard Remedies to every product he uses, especially pre–red carpet. “I drop it in, and then everything just smells magic and helps everyone feel chill.” His secret weapon? The strengthening Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask. “I ask all my girls to wash with Virtue. It really works—the science is there.”

1. Kusco-Murphy Setting Lotion, $46; amazon.com SHOP NOW

2. Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Balm-to-Oil Pre-Shampoo Masque, $43; amazon.com SHOP NOW

3. Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask, $28; hsn.com SHOP NOW

This article originally appears in the April 2018 issue of ELLE.

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