Many women attempt to channel Gisele when the summer months hit. But it’s not just the glowy skin that makes her beauty goals, it’s her hair too. With those tousled waves, that salty texture, and the perfect marriage of flaxen and caramel colors, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Brazilian supermodel, who is British Vogue’s June cover star, does nothing to her hair but spend ample time on various far-flung beaches.
But there’s more. Bernardo Vasconcelos, founder of BCO salon in London, is the colorist she sees for those au naturel highlights—and he also looks after some other familiar Brazilian faces including Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio and Izabel Goulart. “In Brazil, we do something unique for each client—that’s why the technique looks so natural,” he tells me. “You’re never going to see all blonde or brunette in my salon; instead, you’ll see different shades coming through the hair which creates a natural effect. It’s sunny hair—natural, sexy and effortless.”
Given that effortless-looking hair is actually born out of quite a lot of effort, seeing a colorist who specializes in this kind of color means the hard work is done for you. Instead of having to hit your colorist with a number of inspiration images, you can rely on someone like Vasconcelos to create a layered shade that truly works for you and your hair. “If it’s something that doesn’t suit your skin or hair type, I won’t do it. Your hair also needs to suit your lifestyle so I seek to understand if you’re the kind of girl who comes to the salon for a blow dry every week, or if you’re more likely to come and see me every six months,” he says. “If it’s the latter, we create color that lasts a long time while continuing to look natural.”
His technique involves painting color onto the hair freehand, and he puts great emphasis on using as little bleach and color as possible, placing it only where it’s really needed. One of the key areas—and a technique visible on Gisele—is including lighter pieces around the face, to “bring more shine to the skin.” “Everything that you put on the client’s hair that looks too harsh or too artificial isn’t flattering and makes the client look older, or like she’s trying too hard to achieve that look,” he says. “The hair will be healthier if you use fewer foils on it.”