Anthony Cristiano styled model Hannah Davis' hair
for the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Cristiano could feel it in Sports Illustrated model
Hannah Davisí fan-blown hair that day at Blackberry
Farm in Tennessee.
walked away feeling like, wow, weíve really done
something special," said Cristiano, hairstylist for
three of the 23 models in this yearís recently
released swimsuit issue. It was his second year working
alongside photographer Ben Watts and makeup artist
could just see we were all in sync; Ben really pushed it
photographically and we took more risks. They were much
sexier pictures than what we did last year. It was
definitely pushing the limits."
he wasnít stunned when he found out via Instagram that
a photo of Davis had been chosen for the cover. (He also
wasnít shocked that the pose provoked some
he was thrilled.
cover is selected out of something like 70,000 different
photographs," said Cristiano, whose celebrity
clients include Adriana Lima. "Itís kind of like
winning the lottery."
behind Davisí unfussy-looking locks are a few tricks
and tools that donít meet the eyes.
of the nature of the shoot, theyíre looking for a
sexy, tousled, easygoing type of style, not too
overdone," Cristiano said. "You donít want
to have a heavy hand or a hairdresserís hand, so to
speak. I use minimal products. To get it to look natural
and organic, thereís a trick to still keep a finish to
starts by applying a root amplifier at the base of hair,
then spiral-curls the hair throughout with a 1 ľ-inch
the very end to rough it up a bit, I mist in what they
would call an ocean spritz, any kind of texturizing
spray, and then break up the curls with my hands."
she goes on set, while sheís having her makeup done,
he twists her hair into a loose bun to hold the waves,
then mists with texturizing spray and leaves it alone
for a half-hour to an hour. When she goes on set, he
takes out the bun, tips her head upside-down and hits it
with more texturizing spray.
she comes up and it has a billowy, soft, somewhat frayed
texture," he said. "Those flyaway strands are
what give it its ease and sex appeal."
the biggest reveal is this: "I add hair in,"
Cristiano said. "That is the trick. Thereís not
one photo shoot that I donít add in hair."
extensions arenít necessarily for length but for
they allow the style to last throughout day," he
said. "We shoot each girl for two days and we do
the makings-of video and still photography, and theyíre
long days. There were times we were up at 4 in the
morning so we could get the 6 a.m. light and the fog
from the Smoky Mountains. And then you get that
beautiful light at dusk."
has begun selling the extensions he uses on set out of
his Chicago salon for clients who want a truly luxurious
mane. Using real hair, a wigmaker out of the Netherlands
produces them under the name Balmain. They run from $450
on up to $2,000 for a full head of hair.
tends to choose extensions a shade or two lighter than
the modelís ó or clientís ó natural hair color.
contrast is really a nice play in texture. When shooting
you have to know where the light is ó backlit from the
sun or front lit. Generally for every shot, Iím right
next to her ready to jump in and shake the hair so the
photographer can capture the right moment. Youíll see
in most of the photographs that the hair has a soft
flutter of wind, but thatís me working the fan,
blowing the hair from the side sometimes, to make it
sweep across the face."
custom-cuts the extensions to blend in with the womanís
own hair. You can stand over the wearer and not be able
to detect them, he said.
are so many trade secrets and industry insider info we
can give to our clients," he said. "And itís
a womanís secret after that ó weíll never