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How to Get Hair Like Dakota Johnson, According to Her Hairstylist

Ever wondered how Dakota Johnson gets her hair so good? It’s hard to look at that perfect fringe and artfully undone texture and not fall in love with it. Save for regular haircuts with Cervando Maldonado and color appointments with Tracey Cunningham, it is hairstylist Mark Townsend who has been working his styling magic on those tresses for a decade, ever since they met when Johnson was first cast in Fifty Shades Of Grey.

“We bonded right away,” he says, reminiscing on their first job together, a 2013 Gucci LACMA event for which Johnson wore a Gucci dress with feathers and jewels. “She hadn’t cut in the bangs yet, but she told me she liked her hair up and simple. I was all about putting a little texture in up-dos and she just let me play.” The result was an ultra elegant knotted chignon which Johnson proclaimed looked “beautiful, like art.” The pair have worked together ever since.

Striking the perfect balance between red-carpet polish and a low-maintenance aesthetic, Townsend truly has the golden touch. His aim for Dakota is always to create hair that is “touchable and never overdone—just young and fresh,” and he believes that hair should move, rather than be stiff and frozen in one place. A little frizz is fine. “We never want her hair to look like newscaster hair, where everything is in place—we’re not afraid of a little flyaway here and there,” he says. “If there’s a breeze, I want the hair to move with it!”

One of his favorite red carpets the pair have worked on together was the Independent Spirit Awards a few years ago, which was held on a windy beach. “While I suggested we try a ponytail or up-do, she wanted to wear her hair down,” he says. “In the end, she actually went to the event with a scrunchie on her wrist, just in case, so she could tie it up into a ponytail. Actually, half way through it, she did.”

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