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In a literal sense, Adam Garland is not very far from home at all. Having grown up in a small seaside town on the Somerset coast, today he lives and works in London, a mere two-hour train ride away. Figuratively speaking, the session stylist is a long way from home indeed. He grew up not really knowing much about the hair styling, beauty or fashion industries. However, there must have been something in the air in Weston-super-Mare, as young Adam got his first job in a salon in his hometown at 14. Not only does he still have a passion for hairstyling at 35, but his sister is a stylist too. According to Adam, he loves his job “too much sometimes”, but 20-odd years of beautifying hair have yielded an impressive portfolio. His editorial work has been featured in the pages of Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel and Vogue – to name but a few. Models and celebrities styled by the British session stylist have walked catwalks and red carpets around the globe. In our interview, he explains why he has joined the Authentic Beauty Movement, what inspires him and why the Authentic Beauty Concept Memento is important to him personally.

Authentic Beauty Concept: What inspires you professionally?

Adam Garland: We were walking to lunch yesterday and I spotted this statue in a shop that had some great sculpting on the hair. It caught my eye and I had to stop to take a picture. So I can be inspired anywhere, at any point. It’s all about keeping your mind open. From a professional point of view, people that have inspired me and continue to inspire me would be people like one of my main mentors, make-up artist Lan Grealis. These people have been key in guiding me, supporting me through my career. They have seen me for who I am and supported me in a very authentic way.

What is pure beauty to you?

It might sound a bit cheesy, but happiness is beautiful. Living life, enjoying the day, seeing the positive side. I think it’s really important in this industry to be able to stay grounded, to be aware of mental health and of mindfulness. I like to surround myself with that kind of energy and those kinds of people.

How do you find pure beauty in your work?

I always want to make a woman feel and look beautiful, that’s the most important thing. I also like to work with what we’ve got and not overcomplicate things. On set, that means having the confidence to say, “We don’t need to change much. That woman looks fantastic. Let’s just add a little bit here and a little bit here, but let’s not destroy the beauty she arrived with.”

How would you describe Authentic Beauty Concept hair feel?

It’s been fantastic to work with the products. They allow me to create that undone look which is very much my aesthetic. I’ve worked on building up layers with the products. The hair maintains a fantastic condition, but it’s workable. As a stylist, I need to be able to change things really quickly on the go, so I am really happy with how these products react.

How can people recognize your work as a stylist?

People I work with, my mentors and people that have guided me in my career, have repeatedly told me that I have a touch. That might translate to some baby hair across the face, a ponytail with a little bit of movement, or maybe how I apply a product. I find it really humbling and am very honored that people notice it. I approach each client individually; I connect with a person and I like to ask questions. Making a person feel comfortable allows me to have as much creative freedom and control as I need and that’s really important.