Dionne Smith shows us how to voluminise our Afros

Does my 'fro look big in this? Hell yeah... when it comes to this trend, size really does matter! Dionne Smith shows us how it's done.

Hair & Beauty

Voluminous hair has steadily gained momentum as a trend over the past few seasons and now we’re seeing the full effects. Versace’s pre-fall 2019 runway was set alight with bouffant ponytails, and in our July issue, we published KeraCare’s exclusive Verastyle campaign that gave a nod to large freestyle afros.

Dionne Smith hair

‘This year no one has held back,’ says hairstylist Dionne Smith. ‘Ciara walking onto the Met Gala’s pink carpet wearing a humungous cloud of hair, and Yara Shahidi’s big hair cover shoot for Harper Bazaar, shows the level of confidence women have when it comes to sporting their own natural afro.’

Dionne Smith hair

If you’ve got short hair, use an afro pik or backcombing brush to gain height at the roots. If your hair is medium to long, there’s a risk of it falling flat due to the length. Have your hair cut into a shape that makes your coils pop, set hair on rollers or diffuse-dry for longerlasting ‘frotastic results.

Dionne Smith hair

Quick-fire round with Dionne Smith

Celebrity hairdresser and kick-ass visionary for editorial shoots

What’s the best thing about being a celebrity hairdresser?

For me it’s meeting all the talented people and coming across different personalities. Sometimes I’m quite surprised at how humble and down to earth they are away from the cameras.

And the worst thing?

You can feel a bit intimidated meeting and working with people who you’ve grown up watching on TV.

Looking after natural hair takes time and effort. What tricks do you use on set to speed up the style time?

For me the hardest part is the detangling, washing, conditioning and blow-drying. Once you get past that, the styling can be very quick and easy. When it’s a job on-set, they generally come pre-set and I can create a natural hairstyle in under 30 minutes. Something intricate can be created quickly because natural hair is easy to style when you know what you’re doing.

Describe yourself in five words?

Determined, ambitious, hardworking, creative and humble.

How do you stay motivated?

I would say my family motivates me. All of my siblings are doing well and are gogetters. It’s been instilled in us from a young age to work hard for what you want.

Big hair do care

The tools to recreate this look

THE HERO Chopstick Styler, £24.99 - Creates tight coils that can be teased to the maximum
Manta hair brush
MANTA Hair Brush, £25 - Separates and softens thick and curly hair
Tangle Teezer backcombing hair brush
TANGLE TEEZER Back-combing Hairbrush, £10 - Ideal for gentle root lift on all hair textures
GHD Diffuser
GHD Air Diffuser, £15 - Encourages natural wave and long-lasting volume

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