Get The Strictly Look With Luca Jones

Published 11th Nov 2022
Get The Strictly Look With Luca Jones

Every week we bring you insider hair tips and tricks to get the Strictly Come Dancing look, courtesy of hairstylist Luca Jones.

Stepping Out in Style

This week was back to traditional Strictly without an overall theme. Will and Nancy's quickstep was set in a classic 1950’s diner, therefore we opted for a 'poodle' style in keeping with the softness and classic shape of the era. The clue is in the name - quick - so as always security was key. The last thing we want the audience to see is a wobbly hairstyle bouncing around the dance floor. Here's how it all came together:

Step 1: It always helps when Nancy's hair is dirty because it means I don't need any products to get the hair smooth, if however it was clean I would have used a spray wax for shine and clean any fly-aways.

Step 2: Next, I sectioned the fringe area with an elastic and pinned away for later (we want an asymmetrical hairstyle so fringe slightly to the right and back dressed to the left). Then securing the majority of the back and sides to the left then the second elastic to the right gives you a good foundation to pin the shape.

Step 3: Curl each ponytail using a small tong, making sure to clamp the end of each curl for a classic curl (using a wand or leaving the ends will create a modern curl which would work for this style but would not give the classic look).

Step 4: Separate each curl to create a fluffy full texture. Nancy has a lot of hair so I did not need to add any pieces but I did create padding for the back by back-coming synthetic hair and small elastics.

Step 5: Place padding under the elastics at the back and secure into bands as an anchor. Back-comb the roots using a wide tooth comb and texture spray, then secure the curls to padding and bands for security and shape using hairspray.

Step 6: Separate the curls in the fringe using the same principles as in step 5, but without the padding. Twist the curls around the band to conceal and create lift, then shape with hairspray - once happy secure.

Step 7: We used a neck tie that had been made using the same fabric as the dress and added a head scarf that was secured with pins.

A Spooky Cha-Cha-Cha

The Strictly Halloween special is always one of the iconic weeks where hair, make-up and costume take centre stage with everyone playing a character. This week Nancy & Will were playing mummy - so think lots of bandages and big, dusty hair. We wanted to bring the same details of the costumer into the hair, so we used lots of bandages. Read Luca's step by step for creating the 'mummified' hair:
  • Step 1: Prep two curly wigs by separating curls and back combing to distress. I used different colour hairsprays in areas to add texture then white hairspray to make them matte and create a dusty look.
  • Step 2: As I will be sewing two wigs, I braided all the hair into a swirl to give something to anchor the hair to.
  • Step 3: I cut some curls to pull through the top to give softness and add definition to the bandages. Next, I laddered a wig cap to control placement and it also gave me a good base to pin bandages. I started using a crochet hook, but found a tail come worked better as it doesn’t get stuck in the hair.
  • Step 4: Then I folded the first wig and sewed from ear to ear and repeat directly above temple to temple. This gives extreme contrast and width.
  • Step 5: Add the bandages in a criss-cross leaving out the hair that's pulled through. I then trimmed into a fringe, then of course more back combing!

Waltzing into Next Week

Last week saw Strictly Come Dancing celebrate 100 years of the BBC with some interesting song choices including everything from the Blue Peter theme tune to Victoria Wood's Barry and Freda. Will & Nancy were dancing a Viennese waltz to the theme from Line of Duty so of course they were dressed in police uniforms that gave us flashbacks of 90s TV classic, The Bill. The waltz is normally a soft classic dance but not this number, so we didn't want to ruin the fantasy and opted for a simple side pleat to mimic a classic ballroom hairstyle whilst keeping it true to the character. This week we had to change the hair after the band call so I've provided a real picture of how it all came together...

  • Step 1: Luckily Nancy's hair was dirty so I did not need to add too much product to smooth and prep , then I curled the ends to help tuck neatly into the pleat.
  • Step 2: Sweep the left side back to the right side and secure with a row of cross grips where you want the pleat to sit. Separate the fringe area to add afterwards and roll tightly into a pleat and secure to cross grips.
  • Step 3: Backcomb the roots and smooth into the back, creating a soft pin curl to finish off the pleat. As I mentioned earlier the Viennese waltz is a classic ballroom dance which is normally soft and pretty but not this one, there were so many head whips the style didn’t last the band call so I had to reassess the situation.
  • Step 4: I started again but with security being my main focus. Nancy has the most incredible thick asian hair and today for some reason the pins were firing out of the hairstyle so I had to get creative. I needed a stronger foundation so firstly I tried banding but it made the style too bulky, then I made a scalp braid in the area I want the pleat to sit then repeated step 2, securing grips to the braid. Strangely these pins were still slipping so I sewed the cross grips to the braid knowing it could not come loose again.
  • Step 6: I used backcombing and texture dust on the inside of the braid before rolling into a pleat for more grip - this time I didn’t hold back! Then I put grips down the centre of the pleat into the braid, geisha (bun pins) through the side of the pleat into the cross pins and bend backs (bend 1 or both ends of a pin back to anchor so they cannot slip out) then I stitched through everything.
  • Step 7: Then I repeated step 3, adding more security whilst keeping the style sleek and making sure no pins were showing. Believe it or not in the dress run I saw some movement so more bend backs were added vertically through the pleat to help control the outer layers for the pleat in place. Finally, lots of hairspray and hair drying for added strength and shine meant the hair could withstand anything and was perfect by the live show!

Stunning Salsa Style

Anyone who watches the show will know Nancy has the most amazing thick, straight asian hair that we cut last year and donated to the Little Princess Trust charity. For the salsa we wanted to create big sexy curls and because Karen now has shorter hair we used a wig to give volume and length that will hold and blend better, also saving heat damage to the hair. Here's how Luca achieved the look:

  • Step 1: Prepare the wig by curling with a small conical wand to create tight natural curls that allow for a little drop throughout the day, have patience as you need to take small sections so it will take some time.
  • Step 2: Section off the parting and hairline to tong later.
  • Step 3: Scalp braid (I prefer a dutch for this job which gives more room to hook your needle through) and work from the sides backwards to create a circle around the hairline. Split the back section into two, braid one side going down to the other ear and the second across the top of the other so you have anchor plaits around the edges of your hair line and sections to attach the wig to. Next sew the ends of the braids between to give a flat surface looking a bit like a cinnamon swirl and sew through all the braids to secure. This part can be seen in the reel below:

  • Step 4: Curl the parting and hairline using the same wand, making sure to curl the hairline away from the face to lift the style, with curl resistant hair like Nancy's I hairspray each section beforehand to ensure the curl holds. Remember, unlike salon hairdressing, when styling on shows it does not matter how the hair feels, it needs to last and look perfect so don’t hold back on styling products and hairspray.
  • Step 5: As we are using a full wig as a half wig, for the extra volume I folded down the hairline of the wig to replicate the shape of my braids and sew a few stitches. Place the wig and a few anchor pins while you get the shape right, then using a curved needle I sew around the edges and a few places in the centre. This way I'll know it is secure enough to anchor the braids so Nancy can do cartwheels the wig will not come off on live TV! Once you are happy with the stitching take out the anchor pins.
  • Step 6: Section by section split the curls into fine pieces and backcomb with a wide tooth comb starting at the roots then mid lengths, applying dry texture spray and repeating through the hair making sure to blend the natural hair with the wig. Remember - I prepped the curls of the wig before sewing to save Nancy’s time in the chair. To keep the hair out of the face I banded the top section into small ponytails which also created lift at the crown and it wouldn’t be Strictly without adding a little sparkle.
  • Step 7: Throughout the day the curls can group together so just before the show went live I repeated step 6 to separate curls and create the fluffy texture for movement, unfortunately Will was concerned so we had to cage the top section stopping the hair whipping him in the face. Caging curls is a good way of controlling the top layer while keeping the texture and appearance. I attached small bands gathering a few curls around the hair for control while spinning.

Musical Mullet

For movie week, Jayde and Karen's theme is from the film Flash Dance so curly mullets and leotards were a must. Jayde rocks a mullet in her day-to-day life so this was the mullet of her dreams with a bit of extra party in the back thanks to the help of wefts and a very small tong. Here's how Luca got the look:

  • Step 1: Prepping the hair is crucial to ensuring the curls hold and last for the whole show. I created the hairstyle at 10am and Jayde and Karen closed the show at 8:30pm so I dried lots of volume spray into the hair before curling for hold without stickiness.
  • Step 2: Curl all the hair and the weft on a 13mm tong then separate each curl into 4/5 pieces giving lots of fluffy curls to resemble an eighties perm. By separating the curls into fine pieces it helps give a natural curly effect plus lots of volume and curling in alternative directions helps stop the curls clumping together.
  • Step 3: Add 2 clip in wefts at the nape to add length and volume to the mullet, add lots of texture dust to the root in sections and backcomb. Using lots of different back-combing techniques to deal with the different textures, tail comb to get density at the roots for stability, brush for the mid lengths to create fluffy curls giving height and softness. A wide tooth comb should be used to protect the curls on the outer layer.
  • Step 4: Carry on adding texture dust and back-combing through the crown and top sections to create the height and balance of the curls. We added a small weft to the fringe for fullness, texture and to allow additional curls to fall nicely down Jayde's face.
  • Step 5: Smooth and nip the sides up with hairspray and grips to give a contrast to the curls and complete the look. This also helps tame any short sides or if you are working with longer hair this will create the mullet shape.

Jayde's Tango

This week Luca, stylist for Jayde Adams (and multiple cast members) on the show, talks us through Jayde's look for her tango. "This week Jayde's look was inspired by her song, Rumour Has It by Adele, so of course it had to be a nod to the iconic beehive with a Strictly tango twist. Jayde has a mullet so we had to trick the eye with clip in wefts, padding, a lot of hairspray and a ponytail for the full Strictly experience." Luca tells us that padding helped achieve the height of the beehive and create a solid shape on short layers, explaining: "Wefts help blend padding and extend the fringe to create softness around the sides blending and covering short layers on the sides." Read Luca's step-by-step guide for creating this fierce tango look:

  • Step 1: First step when creating a style like this is to get your foundations correct, so the security of my padding and shape was key for the balance (and blood pressure watching them dance on live tv!). I braided down the central section from the crown to the nape leaving out the sides and top section. This gave me a good anchor to add the padding and hair knowing it will not move however Jayde and Karen danced. I attached the padding to the braid, then added a booster pad in front for extra height and wefts to blend.
  • Step 2: For the back and sides, I banded the nape hair, attaching the ponytail piece to the braid and ponytail with a few stitches (I sew a lot of my hairstyles) to make sure it is secure. Then I created a classic pleat down the back using the previous braid for security. The side of Jayde's hair is short so plenty of back-combing and texture spray helped to create width when dressing the hair over - creating the classic look. Essentially, the key here is to use your short layers as natural padding instead of worrying about hiding them.
  • Step 3: The top section is the show stopper and what people are going to see as it's blending the front, top and sides. To get the look you want take your time and play with the hair to see where it sits best, this way you will know where to add small wefts to the sides and dress over any short side layers and blend between the fringe area and beehive. Jayde’s short hair actually helped blend and create a softer look at the root and we created a soft lifted fringe with texture dust.
  • Step 4: Dress the ponytail by curling in the same direction with tongs to create a vintage curl, then powder spray and backcomb the roots with a wide tooth comb for a fluffy texture.
  • Step 5: Now time for BLING. Once we saw Jayde's outfit we added red and black to the pleat at the back to create that much needed tango drama and to fully 'Stictly-fy' the look.

Find out more about Lucas' role on Strictly Come Dancing here. 

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