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INSIDE OUT: One man, one brush and the five-minute hair make-over; Stylist Luke Gove takes to the streets with Penny Fray.

Byline: Penny Fray

WITH Christmas just around the corner, our minds are filled with thoughts of gifts, food and festive parties.

You've already dry cleaned your little black dress and are eager to swap your comfy boots for a new pair of strappy heels. But as any glamour puss worth her Fendi bag knows, getting ready for a post-work bash can be tough.

As you battle through a never-ending pile of paperwork and answer the post 5pm phone calls, the chance of getting that much sought-after seasonal style from a near-by salon is virtually nil.

But never fear, transforming your scarecrow hair into a chic Christmas coiffe in less than five minutes is possible.

And to prove it, we challenged senior stylist Luke Gove from Zoo Hair Lounge in Liverpool, to complete three hair make-overs in under 15 minutes.

Armed with three Bumble & Bumble hair products, brush, comb and a couple of clips, I dragged Luke down to St Johns Shopping Centre to pounce on some unsuspecting volunteers.

The place was packed with people sporting damp, wind-swept hair, all desperate for a quick transformation.

But we found our first volunteer, 43-yearold Linda Jones, in the food court. Her long, dark hair had been dragged back into a simple bun and decorated with a brightly coloured scrunchie.

``I desperately need something doing to it,'' she says, stroking the side of her head. ``It's so boring.''

REALISING that Linda needed to retain the practicality of her hairstyle for work, Luke decided to funk up her present look with a style inspired by the Sugar Babes.

The stop-watch started and our hair guru got to work by pulling Linda's locks back into a sleek pony-tail.

``As we have no time to blow-dry her hair smooth, a quick alternative is to add a little gloss,'' explains Luke. ``Then, slice the ponytail into three sections and pin into place, leaving a few strands sticking out to create texture. Easy.''

The style took just over four minutes to complete and Linda was pleased with the results.

``I really love it,'' she says, analysing the intricacy of the bun. ``But I could never achieve the same style in less than five minutes.''

Luke avoided last season's sophisticated but straight styles, claiming they were boring. ``This month, people should be experimenting with textured cuts and spiky ponytails,'' he says.

Jodie Edwards' straight, shoulder-length hair was jazzed up with a couple of trade tricks. The end result was a sexy, party look.

``To hide the darker roots, I criss-crossed the front with some wax and pinned back the hair for extra lift,'' explains Luke.''But ideally, I would have liked to have a couple more minutes to hide the clips at the base of the crown.''

The 20-year-old shop assistant couldn't believe that the pop star look had been created in less than five minutes. ``It looks great, but I'd rather have kept my hair straight,'' she admits.

But Luke is simply crazy about catwalk trends and is usually found styling the locks of Liverpool's fashion pack, including `girl around town' Lady Lucy French.

``The most successful work-to-party hair is ultra simple but has plenty of movement,'' explains the hairdresser.

Using the natural wave already in Amanda Stones' hair, he transformed her sophisticated chignon into an evening ponytail. ``It's just a matter of taking four sections of her hair and just clipping it into place,'' says Luke.

Although Zoo's stylist made it look simple, the 33-year-old deputy manager for MarkOne's clothes store wasn't sure whether she could recreate the look even if she had a spare half an hour.

If you fancy a more romantic easy-does-it style, wear your hair in plaits during the day to reveal lose waves later on or get instant volume by wearing your locks high in a ponytail. ``You'll instantly have extra volume at the roots when the band is removed,'' explains Luke.

The ultra stylish amongst you should then opt for a lower ponytail secured with a hair bungee. This is the best style to transform office hair later on without any pesky kinks.

But if you're a little too old to be dressing your hair like a popstar, then curls are still big news.

``To ensure your hair is party proof, prep your hair in the morning with mousse which builds volume and reduces static,'' says Luke. ``Then while at work, use travel tongs to perfect the look.''

Another seasonal trend is gel. This 80s hair product is perfect for creating slickbacked boyish styles like those seen in the Kenzo show. Create the look by dampening and slicking down the hair with gel into a side parting, adding a diamante grip for a touch of Christmas glamour. ``Most gel's modern formula will define and control rather than leave your hair looking rock hard,'' explains Luke.

If you like Meg Ryan or pop star Pink's `just got out of bed' hair, then get sculpting in front of the nearest mirror. ``Short, messy hair is also fashionable at the moment,'' adds the Liverpool stylist. ``Use plenty ofproducts to give your hair texture.'' Meanwhile, if you have coloured hair with dark roots, don't panic. Luke says it can be disguised with a zig-zag plait at the top of your head. Otherwise, buy a pot of coloured powder that disguises re-growth.

Finally, for an uncomplicated catwalk style, try weaving metallic wire through braids or plaits as seen at the Dries Van Noten show.

But don't forget the morning after. If you only leave one hair product in your desk drawer the night before, make it Trevor Sorbie Professional Freshen & Shine Spray.

Perfect if you've stumbled into the office with greasy locks that stink of beer and cigarettes.

Jodie Edwards, far left, Linda Jones, left, and Amanda Jones, right, were astounded at what Luke was capable of creating in just five minutes. Linda was really delighted but thought it might take her a little longer to do than our professional
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 19, 2002
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