Celeb Hairstylist Gregory Russell Breaks Down Anya Taylor-Joy’s SNL Hair


If Anya Taylor-Joy’s star-turning role as Elizabeth Harmon in The Queen’s Gambit or her recent red carpet appearances (hello Golden Globes!) hasn’t already secured her status as a hair icon, then her Saturday Night Live hosting gig certainly did.

The 25-year-old actress made her SNL hosting debut last night for the season 46 finale, in front of the show’s first full (and fully vaccinated) audience since the coronavirus pandemic. Such a big night called for a major hair moment which Taylor-Joy delivered on all fronts thanks to her hairstylist Gregory Russell.

The Promo Look

When it came to the actress’s promo look, Russell shared, in a press release,  that he pulled inspiration from her ‘60s wardrobe to create “a classic voluminous 1960’s style.”

To create the retro half-up, half-down ‘do, Russell first prepped her hair with Pureology On The Rise Mousse before blowing out her strands with Olivia Garden Ceramic + Ion Hair Dryer and Olivia Garden 1 ¼” EcoHair Bamboo Thermal Round Brush. After setting each section with a clip to cool, he sprayed the hair with Pureology Soft Finish Hairspray. Once the hair cooled, Russell removed the clips and sprayed each section with more Soft Finish hairspray, allowing time to set, before brushing each section through with Olivia Garden EcoHair Combo Paddle Brush — which he repeated until all the hair was down.

Next, he sectioned off the first 2” from the hairline out and clipped it away. Russell then brushed the crown section with Olivia Garden Style-Up Combo Teasing Brush for volume, smoothing and tying the hair into a half-up style using a hair tie, before following up with more Soft Finish hairspray. After clipping and parting the hairline section, he used Olivia Garden Ceramic + Ion Flat Iron on the ends and front pieces of hair and then finished with Pureology Lock It Down Strong Hold Hairspray for lasting hold.

The Show Look

When it came to Taylor-Joy’s on-stage look, Russell shared, in a press release, that, “Because Anya had so many different looks, I wanted the hair to be sleek and timeless. I created a sleek, clean look that was versatile yet strong.”

To bring his vision to life, Russell began by prepping the actress’ hair with Pureology Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-In and a small pearl-sized amount of Smooth Perfection Serum to her lengths. He then blew out her hair with Olivia Garden Ceramic + Ion Hair Dryer and Olivia Garden 2” EcoHair Bamboo Thermal Round Brush to shiny and smooth locks.

Afterwards,  Russell took 1” sections and used the Olivia Garden Ceramic + Ion Flat Iron to straighten the lengths to perfection. He then applied a small pearl of Pureology Shine Bright Serum to his hands, emulsifying it before applying to the lengths. Russell started with the very ends and ended around her face frame. Finally, he used Pureology Lock It Down Hairspray to set the hair.

To see more of Russell’s incredible work, be sure to follow @gregoryrussellhair on Instagram.

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Camille Nzengung

Camille Nzengung is a Features Editor at The Tease, where she covers all things hair. You can find her writing about the best hair products, the coolest hair trends, and all the exciting new hair launches. Send her a pitch: cnzengung@thetease.com.

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