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Trend spotlight: How to achieve ‘Photo Finish Hair’

Trend spotlight: How to achieve ‘Photo Finish Hair’

With the curtains now closed on the Oscars and Paris and Milan Fashion Week, we turned to the experts to get their tips on achieving this season’s hottest hair trend.

Celebrity hairstylist Sam McKnight dubbed this year’s overarching hair trend, ‘Photo Finish Hair’. Showcasing shine, the style is a step away from the wet-look and slick back buns that have previously dominated runways.

“The look is really about that photoflash finish I see all the time at shoots and backstage at shows,” he explains. “The way light reflects on hair and you get that glossy, mirror-like shine. It’s a Cool Girl ponytail but with a luxe finish.”


To achieve the look, McKnight recommends keeping the hair super light and clean. “Freshly cleansed and rinsed thoroughly so you don’t have any conditioner residue. Use lightweight styling products that will boost shine and smooth strands. Frizzy or fluffy hair will not reflect the light and give you that glass-like shine. I always finish with an oil. It’s THE product that really makes a difference and is my secret for runway worth gloss.”

Try: Hair by Sam McKnight Light Cleanse Hair & Scalp Shampoo, Hair by Sam McKnight Lazy Girl Cleansing Hair Cloth

Michael Mendel, ghd NZ senior educator agrees, believing the key to achieving that effortless shine is all in the foundation. “Having a good routine and keeping your hair healthy is the key to an effortless style.”

Tips for creating photo finish hair at home

Protection: Protecting your hair is a must.

Try: ghd Bodyguard Spray, Save The Do Heat Protection Spray

Styling: “Using the right styling tool can enhance your hair to give it the glitz, glamour and sparkle of magazine hair,” he adds. “The new ghd Chronos is the holy grail of hair styling, 3x faster HD motion-responsive styler, for one stroke high-definition results that last 24 hours. The ultra-gloss floating plates make for an easy glide with up to 85% more shine.” Pro tip: for professional-looking results at home, section your hair with clips and work with small to medium sections. 

Finishing: Run a small amount of oils through the hair for the ultimate shine. 

See below ‘Photo Finish Hair’ brought to life by Sam McKnight at BALMAIN SS24.