Emily MacCulloch
Emily MacCulloch

Three Things I Learned from Gwen Stefani’s Hairstylist Danilo

Being a bottle blonde (or silver, or pink or purple), I’ve been envious of Gwen Stefani’s perfectly platinum locks for years (basically since ’95 and her Tragic Kingdom days).


Luckily I’ve had the chance to chat with her go-to mane man and Pantene global ambassador Danilo a few times before but a while ago I was actually so #blessed that I got to spend an entire day with him in L.A., getting his inside scoop on the best hot spots in the city and his fave haunts.


We started off by hiking through his go-to park, then onto one of his favourite juiceries, Juice Served Here, then finishing up the day with a rooftop dinner. Needless to say I used my time wisely to get all the info I could from the hair guru (I mean, is there anyone else who could impart as much wisdom as him?). Cause let’s be real: Danilo is a legend. He’s responsible for some of the most iconic hair from the last decade, including Rooney Mara’s punky cut in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Elsa’s undone braid in Frozen (yes, he even styles cartoon hair), and Lady Gaga’s Pepsi can rollers from her “Telephone” music vid—just to name a few. Here are some of the top tips I took away from my day with him.


Hard Finish Hairsprays are Out
Getting hold from your hairspray is key, but the hardness that comes along with it isn’t always a good look. Danilo gave us a primer on Pantene’s Airspray, or “millennial hairspray” as he calls it since it gives the appearance of an undone, naked look. This stuff is the real deal. It gives natural hold to your hair without that tacky, sticky finish, and it’s alcohol-free so it won’t dry out your locks. “It’s super lightweight, it has great hold, great shine and it has an anti-humidity hold so if you’re prone to frizz you can still keep your shape. And I love hairspray, I’ve tried it in every form it comes in.”

Leave-In Conditioner is Everything
Don’t have time for a wash, rinse, repeat sesh? Danilo’s got you covered. “Often when I get to set [for a shoot or a commercial], I haven’t had a chance to give hair a treatment. So I come about it in another way, I’ll use leave-in conditioner like water on the hair. It’s a way to get the hair to act like it would if I did shampoo and condition it, [then I] get it in a lightweight style and build a foundation from there. I’m a big fan of leave-ins.” He recommends just spritzing it on dry hair and styling your hair from there, simple as that. It also helps to hydrate while you’re blow-drying your hair. “A lot of people don’t realize that you can condition your hair while you’re styling.”

Swap your Regular Shampoo for a Deep Cleansing One Once in a While
As a colour-holic, this one was eye-opening. I’m a colour shampoo addict, but Danilo advises using a deep cleansing shampoo occasionally to clean up your strands, removing any build-up and residue, which I had never thought of. “It will give your hair volume but it will also brighten your blonde; your blonde will be the brightest it’s ever been. As soon as blonde starts to yellow at all I’ll use a deep cleanser and boom, it’s white and sparkly and big and bouncy. It’s the restart button, it takes all the build-up off and let’s you get back to basics.”