Backstage with Drew Noreen: Hair Styling Tips & Trends #NYFW #MBFW

This week, during New York Fashion Week I had the opportunity to chat with Not Your Mother’s lead stylist and consultant Drew Noreen backstage at the Style 360 Junk Food Vintage NFL Elements show curated by Kristin Cavallari.

I was able to ask him a few questions, and posted the interview on YouTube a few days ago – I’ve also transcribed it below, as there is a lot of background noise and somethings may be harder to hear. Be sure to read it through, or listen to the whole interview though because Drew has amazing advice for product picks and what styles you’ll want to look out for this season! Enjoy!

I noticed on your Instagram that you’re not a fan of the L’Oreal Feria Ombre hair coloring kit, what other at-home products do you think should be avoided?

There are other things, like at home smoothing treatments, […] the at home highlight with the comb. Highlights are something we do at the salon, we place highlights in certain ways to accentuate your face, accentuate certain areas of the hair. You can make them hidden and more natural, you can place them right at the base and have them be more dramatic. Based on the size we’ll give you more of a natural feel, or more of a fun and funky feel – the thicker that you go. When you have an at home kit you’re just hoping that this comb is going to give it this even highlight feel. And what actually ends up happening is that you’ll get what we call “cheetah spots”, because as you’re combing it through it’s going to apply heavier at the root where you start, and as you move towards the bottom you might get an odd distribution of product. So you’ll wind up with some spots that are a little bit darker than others. And then, of course, the smoothing treatment era is huge right now and there are some at home kits that claim to do a smoothing treatment and you know – just put it in, comb it through, blow it out and you’re good to go. But really that’s als0 a very involved technical service, there’s a lot of things that can go wrong with that – you can break your hair off if you’re not doing it the proper way. So those sort of at-home do-it-yourself are definitely a no-go.

What are your top five styling essentials right now?

For tools, I definitely love that Not Your Mother’s just came out with this really cool tool here [Beach Babe 2-in-1 Expandable Styling System, seen below] where this actually snaps off and you’ve got this one as well. This one [Waving Iron] is actually really slim, so it’ll give you a really deep wave. Where this one [Bubble Wand] is going to give you a really tight wave, because you’re going to get a tighter curl here, and a looser curl here, which is what these shapes are meant to do. So I really like that styling tool at the moment.


Braids are huge. Braids are becoming very undone. You’ll noticed that it’s a french braid, but it’s pulled apart, it’s got texture, and it’s got flyaways. I tell a lot of my brides at the salon that we’re doing updo’s now for, that you kind of want those flyaways – it gives it a very soft, natural texture. We’re kind of moving away now from those kind of really sleek done coif styles.

Dry shampoo’s are really huge right now, especially now since a lot of women are getting into blow drying. Dry shampoo’s are going to dry you out an extra day or two, without keeping the hair greasy.

A heat protectant spray, that’s also huge because a lot of women are curling their hair now and there’s that infamous youtube video with the girl that burns her hair off with her curling iron – if you haven’t seen it, watch it! And that’s a perfect example of not prepping your hair properly and using the curling iron at too high of a heat. So you’re always going to want to get an iron that has a temperature adjustment – really you don’t need to go over 280 to 300 degrees. Going over that is when you’re risking damaging your hair.

A brush! Always a good brush! You want a brush that’s mixed with plastic and boar hair. The reason why is that the boar hair is going to smooth your hair and it’s going to help detangle the hair. It’s really really ideal for people that have finer texture whereas the plastic bristles are going to help give you a little bit more grip – and if you have thicker hair, it’s going to allow you to get more and brush more deeply at the same time and, again, you’re also controlling flyaways by using the boar hair.

Is there a question that you wish your clients would ask you?

I wish my clients would ask me for more detailed instructions on how to do their hair at home because thing that you always get is that “you do my hair at the salon, and I go home and can never do it myself”. I try to educate my clients as often as possible, I think a lot of them don’t take it in the right way because they challenge themselves in their mind that it’s going to be much more difficult than they expect; when if they really went home and tried it and took the advice they would probably find that it’s really easy to achieve the looks that they get in the salon at home. It all takes practice, I mean anything that you’re trying for the first time isn’t going to be the easiest. Like when the curling wand came out people were like “I stand where and I hold it how?” and it was an unusual thing that people weren’t used to and now I’d say most women actually prefer the wand over the curling iron. So with a little bit of effort I think everybody can achieve the look that they’re looking for.

What trends do you see becoming popular for winter and for spring 2014?

For winter, I definitely still see the braids. It’s been all over the runways last year for the winter looks. And now for the spring looks we’re seeing a lot of ponytails, a lot of really soft waves. I don’t think the trend is out yet, I’d say it’s still moving forward – but it’s becoming more undone, more tousled, more textured.


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