I always thought that the superstar hairstylists and makeup artists backstage at fashion week found journalists mildly annoying. We're invading what little space they have, ramming our phones and recorders in their faces while drilling them with dozens of questions, and stealing their bobby pins from their stations. (Or maybe that's just me.) But it turns out that Guido Palau, editorial hairstylist, actually misses us. "There's been none of you guys backstage, which has been different," Palau tells me during a September 2020 Zoom, shortly after keying the Dior show. "It's not normal to me."
Alas, adjusting to the "new normal" is the great unifier of us all — even for notables like Palau. "I always remember when women used to say that they couldn't wait to take their bras off when they got home," he jokes. "So now I think men can probably understand the same feeling when they take their masks off at the end of the day!"
PPE aside, Palau remains more inspired than ever. Even though show schedules are shortened and backstage interactions are limited, he says that the trend cycle is ambling on, as above-the-mask creativity is at an all time high.
"When I think of young people today and what we're going through in this world, I feel people are being quite progressive in the way they look. They are doing their hair in the way they want it to be. That's why we're seeing extreme hair styles on the street. Colors and cuts and twists and all these things. Really, what you're seeing is on the runway is a reflection of what's in real life. I don't think I'm doing anything more extreme than what you see on the street."
To create those looks, Palau's kit is surprisingly minimal. "I'm not someone that needs a thousand products," he admits. "I like to have just things around me that work. Do you know what I mean? It's all about knowing your tools, and knowing your products to know what you can achieve."
Ahead, Palau reveals his favorite styling tools and his personal must-haves that remain by his side every season.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Hairstylist Guido Palau's Favorite Products: Aveda Chakra 2
"I drench myself with this in the morning. I put it on all my clothes, I put it in my hair. I put it everywhere. When I walk in the room, people go, 'I knew it was you. I could smell you.' It's a really nice essential oil and everyone who smells it, loves it. It was one of those scents I didn't want to give away, but so many people asked me about it that I just tell them."
Hairstylist Guido Palau's Favorite Products: Lord Jones CBD Gumdrops
"If I can't sleep or something, I have boxes of these. I bring a few with me. I don't know if you're allowed to bring them into the UK, but they're so beautifully packaged."
Hairstylist Guido Palau's Favorite Products: Cire Trudon Odalisque Petite Candle
"It's a small candle that makes my hotel rooms smell so good."
Hairstylist Guido Palau's Favorite Products: Braun Classic Travel Alarm Clock
"I'm always worried I'm not going to wake up and they're not going to give me a wakeup call at the hotel. So this is really important."
Hairstylist Guido Palau's Favorite Products: Birkenstock Slide Sandals
"They're nice and comfy!"
Hairstylist Guido Palau's Favorite Products: Painted "Hippie" Stone
"My boyfriend bought this for me when I saw it on the Cape in Boston. So I love looking at the stone just because it just reminds me of a really nice time that we had."
Hairstylist Guido Palau's Favorite Products: GHD Helios Hair Dryer
"A hairdryer is essential to me being a hairdresser. And being backstage, I need a great one. I've worked with GHD for a few seasons, [and I've grown to] love this dryer."
Hairstylist Guido Palau's Favorite Products: Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Creme
"I love this for when I'm going to do a blow dry. But also I love it in coarser hair or really curly hair that needs moisture. I leave the hair damp and then just rub the cream in, then let it air dry. I creates really beautiful definition."
Hairstylist Guido Palau's Favorite Products: L'Oréal Elnett Satin Strong Hold Hairspray
"When can you not have Elnett?"