Behind the Lens with Celebrity Hair Stylist Ted Gibson: A tFS Exclusive Interview

Ever wonder what it¹s like behind the scenes at a cover shoot for a national magazine?  We sat down with celebrity hair stylist Ted Gibson, whose client list includes Anne Hathaway and Angelina Jolie, and got his view on what it was like to work with Black Swan star Mila Kunis for February¹s Cosmopolitan cover, including his pro tips on how to get her cover look!

The Fashion Spot:  When you were booked to do hair for the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine with Mila Kunis, what was your first step in the pre-production process for the shoot?

Ted Gibson:  I usually receive a call from Cosmo¹s fashion stylist. We talk concepts and what pieces she will be bringing. I was after a classic Cosmo cover, with a twist. A little wind machine, a few hair extensions with Ted Gibson product, and I was armed and ready for a brilliant day of beautiful hair!

tFS:  Once the idea for Mila¹s look was established, what steps did you take to prepare your kit for the shoot?

TG:  I carry a big Victorinox rolling suitcase that I have ready at any given moment for jobs, fashion shoots, fashion week, celebrity covers, Oscars, Golden Globes, or the SAG Awards. I carry a ton of styling tools, products and accessories so my case is MAJOR HEAVY. Here¹s a sneak peek inside my kit: 

tFS:  Upon arrival to the shoot location, what was the first thing you did?

TG:  I ate breakfast!

Ted Gibson with Angelina JolieTed Gibson with Angelina Jolie, from

tFS:  Ted, you are always the jokester!  Who did you touch base with upon arrival and what details were discussed for the shoot day?

TG: I met with photographer Cliff Watts, who shoots all of Cosmo¹s covers including January¹s cover with Ashley Greene, which I worked on, and we went over the shoot plans before Mila arrived.

tFS:  As a celebrity hair stylist, I am sure you have a way to organize your workspace so you can work quickly and efficiently. How do you arrange your workspace?

TG:  I believe in helping the next generation of hairdressers; I always have an assistant with me who helps make my life easier in, what can be, an intense job. The assistant prepares white towels, products displayed, turns on electric tools, hair extensions ready – as soon as Mila arrives and gets settled, we are ready to go.

TFS:  Mila¹s cover shot is absolutely stunning, will you let us in on your styling secrets?

TG:  Start with wet hair, use Ted Gibson Build It Blowdrying Spray at the scalp and Fix It Gel on middle and ends. Prep hair with a Ted Gibson Hairsheet, blow dry with a medium sized round brush; I love Spornette round brushes, made with a combination of boar and nylon. Clip in matching color hair extensions for length. If you want a more permanent extension, Ted Gibson salons in NY and DC offer many different kinds of extension services.

Next, spray Ted Gibson Beautiful Hold Hairspray before curling with a large barrel iron, this gives softness and not curl to hair. Back comb for sexy volume.

For Mila’s cover shot, we added a wind machine on set.

tFS:  What tools and products did you use to maintain her look throughout the shoot?

TG: Beautiful Hold by Ted Gibson, a tail comb for creating a cushion at the scalp for volume, and a wind machine.

Ted Gibson with Anne HathawaytFS:  You are certainly a man on the move, what¹s next for Ted Gibson?

TG:  I have a new salon opening in Ft. Lauderdale, our third location!  I just shot the cover of Teen Vogue with Ashley Green, and InStyle with Tina Fey. I will be working with Glamour magazine next week with Janelle Monae and an Italian Marie Claire beauty story with photographer Bruce Weber.

Ted Gibson with Anne Hathaway from

tFS:  Were there any stand­out moments from the shoot you would like to share?

TG:  Mila is an amazing and funny chick – I loved working with her! She talked about how great Black Swan was to shoot and the love scene – wow!