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Comedian Katherine Ryan deconstructs 12 celebrity barnets

We asked the frontwoman of BBC2's new amateur hair-styling competition what she thought of the 'dos sported by Aidan Turner, Kate Middleton, David Beckham and the Duchess of Cambridge... logo
Published: Monday, 13th July 2015 at 12:00 pm

Ask comedian Katherine Ryan why she chose to host a new reality show which aims to find the best amateur hair stylist in the country, and her answer is as straight forward as they come.


"Well, we all have hair, right?" she shrugs. "Well, actually, we don't ALL have hair. But most of us do. Or we have had at one point.

"Plus, I love having my hair done. Without being too 50 Shades of Grey about it, you cannot pull my hair too hard. I love having it pulled and teased and shaped."

Having always been interested in fashion, Katherine's particular interest in hair styling stepped up a notch when she had daughter Violet, now six.

She says, "It's a responsibility as her mother that not only do I have to feed her and clean her, but I also have to make sure her hair is out of her face so that she can see where she's going, which is necessary when you have a daughter who is constantly flipping and cartwheeling.

"I have become a master plaiter. She may have cookies for breakfast sometimes, but she always goes to school with neat, smart hair that shows someone at home is looking after her. It comes from my own mother who had three girls but always did our hair meticulously before rushing out of the door to go to work.”

Katherine's own hair is also regularly tied up in a plait or top knot. "The trend right now is for very natural hair and mine is just that: natural colour at the moment, and I just wash it and let it dry naturally.

"My hair is not as nice as my daughter's. I have less hair than a six year old, unfortunately. But sometimes I throw it in a quick plait and that's when I get the most compliments. People can't believe I can do it myself, but it's a very easy and time saving skill."

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The Canadian born comedian's hair has not always been so natural, however.

Like most women, she has been through phases of dyeing, chopping, crimping and extending her hair, with often disastrous results.

"Oh, I've made some hair mistakes in my time," she laughs. "I did the top three: firstly, really bad extensions. Secondly, hair that was white blonde which is not advisable. I mean, you saw Kim Kardashian in Paris, right? Kim, you are Armenian! Your hair does not want to be white! Mine was like that.

"And afterwards, it was so damaged that I had to have short boy hair. Which did not suit me. I looked like a handsome young man.”

And does Katherine have opinions on how a man should style his hair? You bet she does.

"Society is pretty clear about a beard these days," she says. "We are unanimous fans of a beard, and I'm no exception. It's an evolutionary thing. Babies love men who look like gorillas because they can grab their long hair and smell it. So I'm kind of a baby like that.”

Below, she gives her verdict on some very well know barnets:

Aidan Turner

"When you can seamlessly transition from model, to Hobbit dwarf, to Poldark without changing your look AT ALL, you know you're slaying the tousled bearded guy thing. It's a sexy look. I like a hairy guy."

David Beckham

"It's cool to see that David and Romeo have the same barber. David used to change his hair every few weeks. I remember the cornrows and the mohican. But I think fatherhood has forced him into more of an efficient lifestyle. I can really imagine Victoria is so invested in little Harper and her lovely long hair, she probably just lines the boys up and sends them to the same barber. And that neat schoolboy look suits David: let's face it, what hairstyle wouldn't suit him with that face?"

Nigel Slater

"It's important to note here that when you use Just For Men, you've got to do the beard too. This is an informative look because without even knowing who Nigel Slater is, this haircut is telling me he presents nature documentaries on the BBC."

Harry Styles

"You can be proud of Harry as a British export. Long hair is mysterious and sexy, which is the hallmark of a boy band bad boy. We thought Zayn was the brooding one but it turns out, he was just upset. Harry is the real brooding bad boy of pop."

Benedict Cumberbatch

"Delicious. A hairstyle as adorably meticulous as I imagine his open plan kitchen would be. I like a tall man with height in his hair and his forehead."

Boris Johnson

"He genuinely looks like someone put the wrong wig on a muppet. I have heard unsubstantiated rumours that he was in a taxi, and there were camera crews outside, and he said to the driver, 'Just a minute', and purposefully messed up his hair before getting out. His look is very calculated and part of his charm."

The Duchess of Cornwall

"She is nailing it. This is the perfect look for a nan who owns a horse. I'm feeling Farah Fawcett vibes, but only if Charlie's Angels was just a boring film about Prince Charles talking to his plants."

Kate Middleton

"The boss of gloss. This woman's blowout is so powerful, it gives her the confidence and the strength to put on heels and tap dance down hospital staircases just ten minutes after being delivered of Royal babies."

Claudia Winkleman

"A fringe is bold. It shows commitment. Do NOT get a fringe unless you've got an extra ten minutes to get ready every morning. A fringe is indulgent, and sharp. In this case, it doubles as a disguise for when you don't want to chat or make eye contact on the school run."

Carol Vorderman

"I love everything about Carol Vorderman: apart from this abomination masquerading as a hair colour. Bleach blonde looks nice from across the street but is a mess up close."

Florence Welch

"As rare and as delicate as the unicorn, here stands The Ginger. The object of wonder and envy; it's my absolute favourite hair colour. She's like The Little Mermaid, though Ariel was my least favourite Disney princess because who gets married without a backup plan? What are you going to do on land if things don't work out?"

Michelle Keegan

"Michelle is too hot. Like, American hot. She's got the perfect wardrobe, perfect relationship, perfect body, perfect teeth, perfect hair, perfect skin. That's the kind of skin that comes from never having to laugh at yourself."


Hair begins on Monday 14th July on BBC2 at 10pm


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