You know you're at the top of your game when Jennifer Lopez has called you her personal hairstylist for over eight years. Lorenzo Martin, a California native, tends to the tresses of JLo, as well as countless other top celebrities - Britney Spears, the Kardashians, Sophia Bush, Heidi Klum and Catherine Zeta-Jones. He's clearly a man who knows what he's doing, and this week, Lorenzo set up home in one of Dubai's most renowned salons - La Loge at The Address Montgomerie - for five days to transform the locks of the women lucky enough to secure a highly sought-after appointment with him. Bazaar stole five minutes with the famed hair stylist to chat about his star clients, his must-have products and his thoughts on the region...
Harper's Bazaar Arabia: Thank you for sitting down with us. Is this the first time you’ve been to Dubai?
Lorenzo Martin: No it’s the second. I’ve been three to four times for different concerts and events. And I love it. I wish it was closer so I could come more often, but once you get here it’s pretty fabulous! I’ve been to a lot of places. I’ve done a lot of tours with people. But this place, I kind of feel New York, a little Miami, some London. It’s a lot of different things mixed together. It’s colourful, so you feel stimulated, I love it.
HBA: You’ve been doing the hair of women that have booked to come and see you since you’ve been here, what’s been the biggest concern they’ve come to you with about their hair?
LM: The biggest concern probably is that their hair is dry, from the water. Actually, my hair was dry last time we came, so I figured it out when I came this time and have been sleeping with conditioner every night and then I wash it out the next day. And my hair has been great! That was surprising because the colourists were looking at the hair here like, ‘why is the hair so dry?’ and I didn’t know about the water processing here, and that’s why a lot of people are really concerned about their hair. For most people it’s just the ends, but here it's kind of dry everywhere. I was most surprised about that but people have amazing hair here! They can handle it being dry, they can handle everything! And there are amazing hairdressers also - they do blow-dries in 20 minutes! I can do it with my assistant helping me but these hairdressers just power through one blowout, with hair as thick as yours, in 20 minutes! No problem, no sweat.
HBA: It is life changing how quick they are here! And so you’ve been with Jennifer Lopez for how long as her hair stylist?
LM: Eight years.
HBA: Amazing. How did that come about?
LM: I went to her house with somebody else who was colouring her hair. I was on another job and they called me like, ‘do you wanna go to JLo’s?’ And this was my only opportunity so I left and said there was an emergency! Isn’t that bad?!
HBA: But it’s JLo, so it was worth it!
LM: So then I went to her house and I was just blow drying and trimming her hair, and so the next day I got a call to go back and do her for something else. At first, I thought, 'oh my god she didn’t like it. Why are they calling so soon!' So then, she called me to blow dry her hair for another party, only my agent called and was like, ‘Are you sitting down? You’re on hold for like ever.' I mean they just kept putting me on hold because she works so much! I was sitting there one day thinking, how did this happen? I did other celebrities but no one on that level. She’s a superstar that works every day on big jobs, but she’s amazing! She makes us look good. She’s got good hair, she knows how to work it. She knows how to flick it!
HBA: Is there a look that you’ve done on her that stands out from the time that you’ve worked with her?
LM: I love her hair dead straight with no volume, just long and down. It’s hard to keep her hair like that as her hair is very curly. That’s my favourite look on her. I think it’s the most flattering, it goes back to her first video. I love her like that. We’ve done so many looks on American Idol. We were talking on the boat last night, there isn’t one thing we haven’t done with her hair. There’s nothing I could possibly do to her hair to switch it up. She’s had every colour, every length, she’s had it full, big, gigantic. She’s a chameleon! She’s lucky she has the face to pull it off. And sometimes she’s like, ‘Cut it in a bob! We can just add if we want!’ I’m like, don’t even trim this! I had mine trimmed last week and I was traumatised. I was like, what was he thinking? What was happening?
HBA: Agreed, getting a trim can be terrifying. And with your celebrity clients that you have, how does it work when you do their hair? Do they come to you with an idea, do you say, ‘this is what I think,’ is it collaborative?
LM: It’s a bit of a collaboration. The stylists have a big part to do with it because they have inspiration from fashion magazines, like this is kind of the look that we want for Britney’s video or whatever. And then we have to execute it. Sometimes it’s my idea, sometimes it’s the stylist’s idea, and sometimes it’s the client’s idea. And, it depends on how they feel too. For music videos, for instance, they like to switch it up and do dramatic different things, whereas if they’re doing just an appearance, like on a talk show, then they tend to look like themselves. Like Jennifer will do a middle part with a little bit of wave.
HBA: What is the biggest hair trend for the season, in your opinion?
LM: I would say straighter and sleeker, smooth and thinner. It’s gone to full, to really full, to beachy, to dishevelled. I think this season is sleeker, more flat ironed, shiny and healthy, that’s what I think. It’s sexy. It’s simple. It actually compliments the clothes better, I think. Also, I was wondering, do they have fashion week in Dubai?
HBA: Yes! It's coming up this weekend, it's called Fashion Forward. It’s at D3, which is a new area that they’ve built just past the mall which is the city's new fashion hub.
LM: Nice! I wish I could stay for it! But I fly out Thursday. Honestly, I love Dubai. People here are dressed to the nines! Diamonds everywhere. I mean, I’ve never seen jewellery like it. And I work in Beverly Hills! And we work in a very glamorous salon but nothing like these women are. It’s next level. Everything from their shoes, to their bags, earrings is perfect. Also, is there a dermatologist in town that I don't know about? The women here have amazing skin.
HBA: Beauty is such a focus for the women in this region as a whole. It's inspiring the level of dedication they have to their routines.
LM: It is. I’ve noticed the lipsticks here too. Everyone looks like Kylie Jenner. And Huda! The lips are perfectly done, and they're amazing here also. I don’t know if that’s natural or injected or enhanced? I like any kind of enhanced lips!
HBA: Final question, what are your go-to products in your kit?
LM: Elnett Hairspray by L'Oreal, Sachajuan. The powder spray I use most is Psssst! I use it every single day on almost every single client, every photo shoot. It’s the original Dry Shampoo from the 1960s! And actually in this region, a powder layer will keep the humidity from getting in, and it protects it, plus it smells good! By your fourth day, it will absorb all the oil. That’s my go- to product - love, love, love it.