The first time Mark Townsend ever styled Elizabeth Olsen’s hair wasn’t for a red carpet – it was for her first high school formal.

The longtime stylist of her older sisters – Full Housers turned fashion designers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen – Townsend was working with the twins at their house when they asked him to blow out Elizabeth’s hair for her dance.

He didn’t hesitate. “I had been wanting to get my hands on that hair forever,” laughs the Dove Celebrity Stylist of Elizabeth’s thick waves. “Her natural texture is amazing. She has the enviable hair that everybody wants. She really can just easily do a wash and go.”

It was the start of a beautiful beauty friendship and partnership, one that was front and centre at the Toronto International Film Festival. Townsend crafted several looks for her this past week, but one of his favourites was the loose bun she wore to the
I Saw the Light premiere.

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Typically, Lizzie – as Townsend calls her – wears her hair down. But this time, the pair decided to do a bun to complement her black peplum gown.  “For that dress, she had a very specific vision in mind,” said Townsend. “The bun is such a bold, confident look. You’re not hiding behind any hair.”


Here are his how-tos.

1.Townsend worked a few drops of
Dove Pure Care Dry Oil ($11.99 at drug stores and mass-market retailers) on hair, focusing on the mid-length to the ends of hair. Dry oil works on wet or dry hair to seal the cuticle to prevent frizz, which was key during the rainy TIFF weekend.

2. He then applied
Dove Style Care Nourishing Curls Mousse ($5.99 at drug stores and mass-market retailers), scrunching while blow-drying for texture.

3. When hair was dry, Townsend worked a small amount of
Sally Hershberger 24K Superiority Complex Texturizing Paste ($40, at in hands and raked through hair.

3. To make the bun, if you’re a novice, Townsend recommends putting hair into a ponytail first. Use a tight elastic to keep hair secure while you wrap hair around the base. Townsend then twisted hair to the right until it almost coiled up on itself, then pinned with bobby pins. Always use an even number of pins and slide them into hair in an “X” formation to help stay.

4. If you want more lift at the crown, before you make the bun, take about an inch of hair at the hairline and leave it out of bun while you pull the rest of the hair back. That way you can adjust the volume at the crown before pinning it back into the bun.

5. Spray liberally with hairspray.


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