How to get Gemma Chan’s hair

Gemma Chan at the Captain Marvel London premiere

Gemma Chan always looks flawless on the red carpet, whether she’s wearing her brunette hair in tousled waves or a sleek updo.

Want to know how she gets her gorgeous locks? Well, her hairstylist Katie Allan, founder of MAYFIVE Hair, has shared the five reasons why the British star’s tresses always look sensational.

Babylights and balayage

“We do a full head of babylight foils from the root with a colour that is only two shades lighter than Gemma's natural base,” Katie says. “This means we are utilising her natural colour, ensuring the grow out is soft.

“Less is more - we keep the balayage on the ends minimal.”


Katie, who has been an ambassador for L’Oreal, swears by the company’s SmartBond, a bonding agent that is added into the colour during Gemma’s salon appointments to keep the hair at its optimum condition during and after the colouring process.

It’s all in the slicing

Katie uses a slicing technique as she cuts the Crazy Rich Asians star’s hair to remove the weight seamlessly. This method allows the stylist to keep the baseline heavy and create texture internally for shape.

Tongs and texture spray

“Want to rock that effortless, chic wave to? Easy!” the hair expert continues. “Tong the hair with a large barrel tong - a tong which is the same width from end to tip. Take vertical sections throughout the hair and create what I like to call ‘long sausages.’”

Once you’ve tonged your hair and allowed it to cool down, shake the curls out using Davines’ This is a Dry Texturizer spray or OUAI haircare’s Texturizing Hair Spray to achieve the ultimate lived-in wave.


If you’ve spent a lot on colouring and cutting your hair to achieve the perfect look, it goes without saying that you should care for your locks once you are back home. Katie recommends using products free from parabens and sulphates and trying a toning shampoo and conditioner if needed.

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