With more than 15 years of experience and a rapidly growing social media following, Dublin-born Andrew Fitzsimons is an internationally sought-after stylist who brings his passion, professionalism and innovative talent to his work within fashion, beauty, commercial and celebrity. His work has been featured in top publications including Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Numero and L’official. His celebrity roster features the likes of Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Joan Smalls, Ashley Graham, Karlie Kloss, Bella Hadid, Susan Sarandon, Janet Mock, Kendall Jenner and Georgia May Jagger.
As Alterna Haircare’s new brand ambassador, Fitzsimons shares tips, tricks and how-tos on how he uses Alterna’s award-winning products on his celebrity clients.
How would you describe your signature look?
I don’t think I have one signature look. I really love to collaborate with my clients or with the team on a shoot to come up with the right look for the occasion. Whether it’s a red carpet look or a specific sequence of styles for a video shoot, I love the creative process and working together to bring creative visions to life.
When did you first hear about Alterna Haircare?
There have been Alterna products in my kit for years, the Caviar collection is especially popular in the celebrity beauty industry.
What is your favorite product?
You’re asking a hair stylist to pick just one product?! I need them all! Personally, I love dry shampoo (my hair at any given time is about 80% dry shampoo), so I’m really loving the new Caviar Sheer Dry Shampoo at the moment.
What shampoo and conditioner do you use?
I love the Caviar Repair Shampoo and Conditioner – anyone who regularly heat styles or processes their hair should be using these! Plus, they smell great.
Can you let us in on a hair secret that you feel we should know?
I don't know how secret this is but hair is VERY fragile and can break quite easily. I see so many people brush or comb their hair so violently and towel dry their hair so vigorously that they are causing so much damage it makes me want to run over to them screaming "NOOOOOOO!" Be gentle with your hair! Treat it with love!
What would be your ultimate hairstyling goal?
To make my client feel as strong and powerful as she already is!
What product do you never travel without?
Can I say “all of them”? You never know what you’re going to need!
You travel around a lot, but your hair always looks healthy and shiny. How do you make sure your hair does not suffer from the dry air in the airplane?
I use really good products—thanks, Alterna!—to keep my hair looking healthy. If I want an extra boost of shine, I just apply a little bit of the Caviar Omega Nourishing Oil to my hair to give it a nice luster.
What inspires you?
Getting to be around strong and powerful women every day is such an inspiration for me for sure!
Who was your mentor?
I always definitely always looked up to the greats like Serge Normant, Julian d'Ys and Orlando Pita for sure but I never really had a mentor as such... I guess I tried to be my own mentor and delve into the industry as much as I could and learn as much as possible.
What advice would you give to a young hairstylist wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Trust your instincts, you have them for a reason! Don’t be afraid to take risks.
What are some of the favorite styles you’ve ever created?
I love all of the looks I created for Ashley Graham for ANTM, we really got to be creative for that and do some really cool looks! I also really love the short, wet look bob I created for Joan Smalls for the CFDA awards last year, it looked so dope!
What trends do you predict for 2017 in general?
Now that we’ve gone through the lob crazy of everyone chopping their hair off, I’d love to see the opposite: super long, glam hair.
What is the biggest summer trend for 2017?
I think we’ll see a lot of what we’ve been seeing: casual textures, braids galore.
Is there an 'age-limit' for long hair?
Absolutely not! If long hair makes you feel fierce, you should rock it! There’s no age limit on fierce.
How do you keep track of all the trends?
Social media has made it super easy for anyone who wants to keep up with the trends – my Instagram feed is a constant wealth of knowledge.
If there was one message you would like your hair creations to say for you, what would it be?
Well with any luck people will look at the hairstyles that I create and feel inspired to try them out for themselves..!
In a recent interview for Glamour Magazine UK you mentioned that you really love shorter cuts - especially the lob. What products do you use to style a lob?
I love a good textured lob, so a texture spray or dry shampoo is perfect to prove that piece-y, model-off-duty look that’s so popular.
What’s the ultimate remedy for a bad hair and mood day?
Ultimate remedy for a bad hair day: a little bit of Caviar CC Cream slicked back into a snatched pony tail.
Ultimate remedy for a bad mood: a glass of champagne!
Luxury is an experience, people say. How do you identify that Alterna products are luxurious? How do your clients experience luxury when using Alterna products?
Does it get more luxurious than Caviar? Everything about Alterna communicates luxury, from the high end packaging to the good-for-you formulas. My clients love the products and how good their hair feels when I use Alterna on them, and everyone loves the smell!
What’s the difference between styling a celebrity’s hair versus a regular client’s hair?
There’s no difference between styling a celebrity’s hair versus styling anyone else’s hair – you should treat every client like they’re a celebrity and every celebrity like they’re a real person (because they ARE!). At the end of the day, it’s a privilege as a stylist to make my clients feel good, so that is my priority regardless of “celebrity” status.