Polish born Magda Issmer has come a long way to found her London Salon, Studio Mag. As a young girl, Magda loved to experiment with her own look, putting together daring styles that made her stand out from the crowd. Hairdressing was a natural choice and she studied for 3 years in her native Poland before moving to Greece at 18 to work as a stylist and, later, as a hairdressing teacher. After 12 years Magda decided it was time for a new challenge and moved to London where she opened her first salon, Studio Mag in 2010.
So, Magda, what inspired you to open your own salon?
Ever since I started working in hairdressing I have dreamed about having my own salon. One of the greatest pleasures for me as a hairdresser is to make the person who comes to my salon feel very comfortable. When my client really trusts me and I can make them 100% happy, that's a great feeling and I really love the idea of changing a client's look to make them feel amazing and confident about themselves. Ultimately, my biggest inspiration is seeing people loving their hair again—helping that to happen every day has always been one of my biggest goals
What do you think are the biggest hair trends at the moment?
For women it seems to be either all about the very long, very natural looking balayage or sunkissed look—or the extreme opposite. Lots of women are now looking for a shoulder length, very straight heavy bob or a short pixie cut with dark roots and very blond ends. Pastel tips are also huge at the moment.
For men it seems to be all about the iconic haircuts from different decades—from the James Dean quiff and a "Madmen" sleek style to a long grunge look à la Kurt Cobain or an even longer loose Bohemian top knot.
Are there any celeb hairstyles you're loving at the moment?
For women, one of my personal favourites is a very heavy bowl cut which was very iconic in the 60s and seems to be showing up in East London and on the catwalks again. Lots of my clients ask for a mid-length soft bob with soft fringe like Alexa Chung. A shorter version like Lily Allen's is also big.
For the gents, very short clippered sides with a longer brushed back look is a great style—smart for work and ready to play with for a night out. David Beckham is still the big name that crops up when men show me pictures, but lately long haired celebrities like Jared Leto, who wears a messy, long hairstyle with slightly lightened ends, are becoming more popular.
What common mistakes do you find people make when trying to keep their hair looking good and healthy?
The most common mistake by far is to over-do it. People seem to use too much conditioner, masks and oils on their hair, but your locks need a rest! The best thing is to not wash it too often, every 2-3 days is enough. Use rich masks sparingly—only once a week—and, if you are using oil, use a very small amount and oil on the ends. Take it easy when you are styling too—don't use too much heat or use heat every day.
What are your favourite hair styling products at the moment and why?
For women L'Oreal has a great volume spray to use before you dry your hair. It gives amazing volume without making your hair dry or sticky. Another must-have is Marokesh oil. Use it on dry hair before (and even, if needed, a little after) your hair wash. It protects your ends from drying out and doesn't get heavy or greasy.
For men, Superdust from L'Oreal is a favourite of mine. It gives an amazing , very matte texture like a wax but doesn't make hairstyles greasy or sticky.
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