How to get supermodel hair

In a special shoot for Style, the renowned hairstylist Sam McKnight recreates his favourite and most famous looks, and reveals the inspiration behind them


One flick through his new coffee-table book, Hair by Sam McKnight, and you can see why the stylist is known as the king of supermodel hair. He has backcombed and blow-dried the tresses of the greats: Kate Moss, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell to name just a few.

McKnight is renowned for the rumpled, bedhead wave pictured on our cover on Nadja Bender, Danish model of the moment, but don’t be fooled by its insouciance. “It’s all in the technique,” McKnight says of the cool-girl tousled hairstyle. “I’d say it is bedhead-plus, as there’s more movement and texture than usual.”

McKnight describes the four statement looks on the cover and these pages as his all-time favourites. “They’re the default looks I always come back to. They may get the odd tweak, but they’ll never go out of fashion. Ultimately, they are my hero hairstyles.”

Hair by Sam McKnight is published on October 24 (Rizzoli £35)

Retro waves ‘My inspiration here is Charlotte Rampling’s ultra-feminine look in the 1970s,’ McKnight says. The deep side parting amps up the sultriness, especially when paired with classic matt red lips. Blouse, £745, Marc Jacobs. Pearl and gold earring, £1,475, MizukiJEM MITCHELL
Androgynous quiff ‘The way to keep an element of femininity with an androgynous style is to maintain volume at the top,’ he says. ‘Anything too flat or slick loses the softness.’ Cotton shirt, £518, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi. Gold and diamond ear cuff, £23,500, Repossi, from Dover Street MarketJEM MITCHELL

Styling: Deep Kailey. Hair: Sam Mcknight. Make-up: Neil Young at Premier using Chanel Rouge Allure Ink and Sublimage Le Teint. Nails: Ama Quashie at CLM Hair and Make-up using Dior Vernis Fall Look and Capture Totale Nurturing Hand Repair Cream. Photographer’s assistants: Gareth Horton and John Heyes. Stylist’s assistant: Emma Simmonds. Hair assistants: Declan Sheils and Jennifer Lil Buckley. Model: Nadja Bender at Premier Model Management. Casting: Emilie Astrom. Digital: Glen Travis