Celebrity Stylist Mark Townsend Shares Three Easy Summer Hairstyles

Celebrity stylist Mark Townsend shares his tips for carefree, lovely summer hair

Credit: Alliance Films Inc.

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games movie

Stylist Mark Townsend channels The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen to create Jennifer Lawrences’ premier updo

Long weekends. Beach bumming. Biking. Barbecuing. Berry picking. Summer is the most carefree time of year when low maintenance hair is the only option. Here are three easy summer hairstyles to try

It’s not often I get the chance to talk hair with a celebrity hairstylist. Mark Townsend’s tress talent has earned him a following with Hollywood’s leading ladies as well as upcoming young starlets.

Mark happens to be stylist to The Hunger Games starlet Jennifer Lawrence, The Vow’s Rachel McAdams as well as other name-droppable beauties: Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Rachel Weisz, Christina Aguilera, Mary Kate, Ashley and Elizabeth Olsen.

What is the coveted Townsend look?

“Touchable, effortlessly chic, never overdone, soft, shiny and textured,” says Mark. Sitting across from the sociable and fun expert in Yaletown’s Opus Hotel, I ask what’s in for summer. Here are his top five summer styles.

Mark snaps a pic of Jennifer Lawrence’s updo for
The Hunger Games premiere. (Photo: Mark Townsend)


Mark styled Jennifer Lawrence’s hair for the premiere of The Hunger Games. Taking inspiration from the film’s Katniss braid, Mark braided two Jennifer Behr headbands and braided them into Jennifer’s hair, and then pinned the braid into a bun.

His tip on fixing braids in place?

“I always spray Dove Refresh+Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo on my bobby pins for extra hold.” He’s also a fan of side braids (like the Katniss braid, left), and braided locks with a down-do for summer. Fishtail braids, however, are out.

Loose Texture

“Texture is huge for me. I really appreciate wavy hair.” He says Jennifer Lawrence as well as Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen have natural, messy waves. “Hair doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t want every hair in place. It’s great to see a woman touch her hair.”

Mark advises letting hair do its wavy thing for summer and trying Dove Nourishing Oil Care Anti-Frizz Serum with argan and coconut oils to keep frizz from Vancouver humidity in check.

For brunettes he has even more specific advice: “Dark hair soaks in light and doesn’t reflect, making it more difficult to see texture. I tell brunettes to get honey and caramel highlights. I work with Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman who both have really naturally dark hair and the highlights add dimension to their look.”

Accessories in Updos

Updos are an easy, elegant way to get through summer heat with minimum styling effort. A messy topknot or a sleek, low, pseudo “wet” bun make any summer dress cocktail ready.

This summer, add an accessory to the updo look. Pop on a headband or weave one into the look – like Mark did with Jennifer Lawrence’s Hunger Games premiere updo – or add a scattering of pearl bobby pins (easy DIY project, but quite expensive from Chanel) to the arrangement, and you’re evening ready.