On set with Johnny, Selina’s talented hairstylist

11 November 2020
What does it take to style the characters on the show? We recently caught up with him and this is what he shared with us.
hair design

In every television series, the characters of the shows must look the part.  Have you ever wondered who does the Selina cast hair? It’s the celebrity hairstylist Johnny the hairdresser. We posed the following questions to him and this is what he had to say.

Please give us some background about who you are, where you grew up and where you went to school.

I developed an interest in hair and beauty from a very tender age. I knew that one day I would pursue something along those lines. In primary school, I used to spend a lot of time in my aunt’s salon.  I enjoyed seeing how she transformed an old hairstyle into something new and fresh.  

It was only after I joined high school that my interest in hair and beauty grew to a point where I decided that’s what I am going to pursue. Many people discouraged me and told me to pursue a “serious” course, but my heart was already set.

After I completed my secondary education, I didn’t get enough marks to join university, so I enrolled for a Diploma in International Relations at Strathmore College. It didn’t take long before I realised that that was not what I wanted to do.  I left college and joined Ashley Beauty College to study hair. It was a life-changing moment for me and that is when my creativity grew. I was one of the top students in college and was also awarded a scholarship to do a makeup course.

Take us through how you prepare the hair/look /style for each character on Selina. What does this involve?

Understanding the character’s role really helps me to style the cast of the show. The styling depends on the role each character plays. For example, lead actors and actresses would be styled differently from the supporting cast.  I also have to consider the shape of the face of each character in order to balance the style, hair and accessories. I aim for very simple and yet classy hairstyles due to the time frame we have on set. What guides me also is how the characters are dressed by the wardrobe team. There must be harmony in both hair, makeup and wardrobe to bring out the best in the character.

Please share some fun moments you have had on set.

Being on set is fun especially when we have the disguise scenes. Such scenes make us explore and put-our creativity to the test. With the makeup team, we’ve achieved some amazing results by changing the hair colour, density and even haircuts. Eventful scenes such as weddings and parties are also some of the fun moments I have had on the show. Such opportunities allow me to explore amazing wedding styles that are trending. Interacting with great personalities on the show is also fun and gives me a wide connection to other people.

Has there been a bad hair day? 

Yes. One time we were off location and we had left a wig for a character on the main set. This set us back timewise because we had to go back for it. At times the flat iron or blow dryer decides to break down, but we come up with -ways to overcome those challenges for the success of the shoot.

Tell us 5 must-have styling tools for a hairdresser

  • Tail Comb
  • Bobby pins 
  • Hairbands 
  • Flat iron
  • Hair serum /spray.

How do you stay up to date with current hair trends?

I do a lot of research on new hair wigs, products, equipment and even accessories just to be up to date with what is trending. I also watch a lot of the latest series and shows to get a clear vision of where the beauty industry is heading.

Selina is a captivating telenovela that airs on Maisha Magic East. Catch the show every Monday to Friday at 8:30 pm.