Lorraine Dublin

Spell catches up with Lorraine Dublin, a London stylist who has preened and primped the hair of many a celebrity, including the unstoppable Serena Williams

Lorraine lets us in on the pressures of working to her famous clients’ tight schedules, who and what inspires her styling, and the hair products that Serena prefers.


What's your schedule like? Are you super busy at the moment?

Yeah really busy! I was in the salon today and I’m here again tomorrow, then I’m travelling on Wednesday to do a wedding in Malta. I’ll be back Friday morning, but then I’ll probably work Friday and Saturday, and I’ll be busy on Sunday.


Do you ever get a holiday break?

I do get time for holidays - I have to! I want to go to Jamaica at the end of this month, but we’ll see.


How long have you been a celebrity hair stylist?

Does So Solid Crew count? I’ve been doing celebrity hair for a while - probably from around 2000 - and I’ve worked with Kelly Rowland, Sean Paul, Gabrielle Union, Lennox Lewis… the list goes on.


How did you get into working with celebrities?

Through recommendations. I’ve been a hairstylist for around 21 years now.


Is there more pressure when working with a famous client?

The pressure can be different with celebrities because of their tight schedules. You’ve got to do everything that you would do for a non-famous client within a shorter amount of time. Sometimes you have two hours, sometimes you have 20 minutes.


Is there a particular celebrity who you would love to work with, who you haven’t worked with yet?

I would love to work with Beyoncé and Rihanna. Rihanna changes her hair up quite a lot, so that would be fun to work on! But I am happy to work with anyone - famous or not.


Can you tell us about the products you use on Serena William's hair?

She likes Keracare Essential Oils and Oil Moisturiser, and the AsIAm Leave-In Conditioner. Leave-ins, moisturising products and oils work well on her hair. I’m going to introduce her to some Camille Rose products, too. I also style her sister Venus’ hair and she likes those products.


Where does your styling inspiration come from?

You can get a lot of inspiration from magazines, Instagram and other hairstylists. I love Vernon Francois’ work, for example. But a lot of the time Venus and Serena know exactly what they want from their hair - I just put it into play. I do however like being put on the spot and being more creative.


Do you often get to watch Serena play?

I was at Wimbledon this year and I saw Serena play at the final of The US Open in September 2018, so I’ve only seen her play twice.


Do you style Serena's hair before she goes on court, or is it just for photo shoots?

It’s mainly for shoots. She doesn’t get her hair styled every day to play tennis - that would be crazy! You just want to play and win, you don’t want to be thinking about your hair. She keeps her hair very simple for when she’s playing.


What are your tips for caring for Afro hair when you have a really active lifestyle?

Loads of moisture, deep treatments and a regular trim as your hair can get quite dry from the sweat. It’s important to find the right products that work for your hair, as not every product works for everybody and everyone has different texture. Although I might select particular products for Serena, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll work on anybody else.

Do you play tennis yourself?

I wish I could play tennis! I do like it. It’s really hard though! Even the racket is heavy! I’m better at badminton. When I was at school I really liked sports and I was going to be more of a sportsperson. I used to run the 800m and do the pentathlon.


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