Paul Edmonds is currently on our screens as the official hairdresser to the new series of Britain’s Next Top Model (Thursdays, 9pm on Lifetime - BT TV Channel 329/384 HD), but when he’s not tending to the tresses of the hopeful contenders, he’s making transformations happen on his other clients – including Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson.

And with Emma’s latest movie Beauty & the Beast selling out box offices, in which she plays loveable teapot Mrs Potts, Paul lets us in on the secrets of some of Emma’s most memorable movie hairstyles.

“I met Emma Thompson through my client Alan Rickman,” says Paul.

“She had just finished filming Junior with Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and was about to play a role in the film The Winter Guest. She had been getting her hair cut in LA and Alan was gracious as always and told her I was the man that she had to go to.”

[Read more: M&S reveal full campaign starring Emma Thompson]

Here are some of the secrets behind Emma’s movie hairstyles – and how Paul helped her hair return to normal afterwards.

The Winter Guest

“For this role the film required her to lose her long wavy hair into a short haircut, which represented a new edgier 80s vibe Emma, darker hair, short at the sides and longer on top, lots of texture a strong character which is want Alan wanted,” Paul reveals.

Primary Colors

“The next change came with her role in Primary Colors where she had to look like a president’s wife, a bit Hilary Clinton-esque.  This required the hair to be blonder for that slightly corporate safe look (i.e. not outrageous colour work) with longer layers to give her that softer controlled look but still retaining the shorter length.”


“The extreme look came when she was working on her role in the film Wit.

“Emma was clear that she wanted her hair completely shaved off in the role as a person battling with a terminal disease, and the challenge here was growing her hair out after filming in order to keep her hair looking wearable.

“We kept the hair short with layers; her natural hair colour is a dark blonde, but she had soft highlights applied through. This look was accentuated further for her role in Love Actually where I gave her more layers on top and slightly longer at the back and sides, so it had a more motherly look about her character.”

Brideshead Revisted

“The next change was for Brideshead Revisited, where Emma was growing her hair during this period for a more 1920s look. Because she was wearing a white/grey wig we grew her hair colour out at the front again to allow for the wig to blend in with her own hair so the hair line was real.”

Saving Mr Banks

“Emma's hair was dyed dark brown and permed. Here the challenge was to get her back to her hair in Love Punch (which was filmed just before Saving Mr Banks). For the transition back to blonde we had to first cut the perm out (preventing further damage in colouring back plus the hair was frizzy and curly), thereby giving her a rather short crop but longer through the top.

“Her hair was lifted in colour and highlights but required a step process with more regular visits to ensure we got her back to the Emma we all know and love.”

Click here for more information on the Paul Edmonds salon.

Britain’s Next Top Model is on Lifetime (BT TV channel 329/384 HD and BT TV Catch-Up) every Thursday at 9pm.

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