Diary / Interviews / Sep 26, 2022
Lessons in Cool: Hairstylist Hervé Bernard
Written by: Alexandra Perron, Managing Editor
Photography by: Ben Ritter & Jon Paterson
Welcome to Lessons In Cool, a series all about the people we’re constantly inspired by. They are tastemakers, curators of style, thought leaders, and well, just cool.
Hervé-Claude Bernard knows good hair. The French stylist has been working since the 80s, doing all things hair while also writing a beauty column and touring with David Bowie (check out the slideshow below for proof!) along the way.
I first met Hervé on set with Bobbi during a photoshoot for Yahoo! Beauty almost 10 years ago and was immediately drawn to both his warm personality and the gorgeous looks he created for us. He’s been working with Bobbi ever since, so it was only a matter of time before they were due to collaborate on a product.
The Universal Hair Balm is not only the first Jones Road Beauty hair product, but the first product Hervé has created—and it’s good. A multipurpose styling creme that leaves hair looking its best while helping to protect against damage, fight frizz, and strengthen strands. We caught up with in honor of this launch to hear more about his career, his best hair tips, and how he defines cool.
Hervé-Claude Bernard, hair stylist
Tell us about your career journey—how did you get started in the beauty world?
While at La Sorbonne University in Paris, I attended a special effect make-up school (my secret passion). After graduating, I started assisting on film projects, but soon realized that I was better fit for the fashion world.
I was hired on photoshoots that took me around the world and landed me in New York, where I enjoyed a privileged career spanning from glamorous magazines and fashion shows to touring with music superstars and on film and TV sets with celebrated artists. I was blessed with meeting incredibly interesting people! One of those was Bobbi Brown through a mutual photographer friend.
My biggest challenge used to be my unruly hair! I used to spend 20 minutes smoothing the half straight/half curly mess down with a blow dryer until I cut it short and made caps and hats part of my daily look! Wish I had the Universal Hair Balm then!
A person you’re inspired by + why:
I know it might sound corny, but honestly: Bobbi Brown! Like her, I was always more interested in making women beautiful in their own veritable ways, than creating out of this world looks that didn’t resonate with most in real life. I am in awe of and adore high fashion creative looks and embrace their important mission of challenging the boundaries of beauty canons, but my heart was always with the “real” women, of all ages and creeds, all colors and styles, genuine.
Bobbi has built an empire from the ground up and proved herself to be a phenomenal business force, but she always did it with integrity, true to her mission and the things she believes in. She is an avid philanthropist, truly engaged in supporting others, particularly women in business. She has been a true inspiration to me in that regard: one can be successful and have authentic principles!
Last person you texted:
Most scrolled app or site:
IG and Apple News
What are the 5 hair products you can’t live without:
- Universal Hair Balm by Jones Road
- OI Oil by Davines
- Imperméable Humidity Spray by Oribe
- Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Spray (Unscented) by L’Oréal
- Root Boost Volume by Moroccan Oil
Tell us about the inspiration for the Universal Hair Balm—what do you love most about this product?
I had been looking for a product that leaves the hair as close as possible to natural, but would give it some substance, body and shine, yet allow free movement and for the hair’s natural character to come through, kinks and all.
As fashion looks became ever more natural and authentic in feeling, there was an opportunity to create such a product: something like their own un-styled hair but better, healthier, shinier. We designed it to be uncomplicated, unisex and travel restrictions compliant too!
Your style icon?
Caroline de Maigret
Breakfast: AG1 daily nutrition powder then black iced coffee, in that order.
Dinner: Proteins and desert.
Cocktail: Vodka on the rocks with black pepper.
Advice you’d give your younger self:
Believe in the talent you know you have. Take creative risks.
Advice you'd give someone just starting out in the hair world:
Assist people whose work you admire. Be hungry to learn. It’s not a job, it’s an apprenticeship, so choose excellence over security. Talent is nature AND nurture!
Your best hair tip:
Whether it’s up on down, long or short, don’t work against your hair’s nature! Go with it instead, keep it quick and instinctive, like it belongs to you only!
What does “cool” mean to you?
To me it means real and authentic, which entails some maturity, some experience of the human condition, or at least some confidence in knowing who you are and what fits you best, while adding some elements of the moment, unmistakably NOW.