Articles > Hair > 6 Expert Styling Tips from the Mind of Orlando Pita
December 1, 2015

6 Expert Styling Tips from the Mind of Orlando Pita

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By Katie Harrington and Christen Grumstrup
Orlando Pita is a big deal. A really big deal. For three decades, he has been a powerful force of hair, crafting the covers for every top magazine in the world; creating signature styles for every A-lister from Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow to Kate Moss and Julia Roberts; and collaborating with every legendary fashion house, including Gucci, Valentino and Oscar de la Renta. As a result of his eye for style, his Fashion Week looks wind up setting trends just about every season.
So when
PHYTO invited us to sit in on his intimate class at their New York Academy, we were there. And because Orlando is such a pro, it was easy to pick up TONS of great tips you can use behind the chair. Here are our favorites!

1. Don’t be afraid to ask your client or model for help when working on a complicated style, like the one Orlando created for the 2016 spring/summer Herve Leger show. “I asked the girls to hold the braid so it didn’t move as I worked,” he reveals.

2. When creating smooth, voluminous curls like the ones below, prep the top sections with a curling iron. Without opening the barrel, run the iron across the top of the section. This will seal the cuticle and give the hair plenty of shine!

3. When creating looks for a runway show, part the hair in a V-shape in the back and bring the sides forward. This will prevent gaps in the hair as the model walks down the runway.

4. For lived-in, undone waves, use a combination of S-shaped curls, waves and twists for a truly natural look. Also, avoid tension on the hair when using the iron.

5. For ultra-volumized, structured waves that stay in place all day, under-brush the hair with a Mason Pearson Brush, using a teasing motion. Then lightly smooth the top.


6. To add shine and eliminate flyaways during Fashion Week shows, Orlando cocktails PHYTO PHYTOKÉRATINE Repairing Thermal Protectant Spray and PHYTO HUILE SUPRÊME Rich Smoothing Oil and applies the mixture with a soft-bristled brush.


Check out Orlando’s Braided Crown How-To Below!


Orlando’s On-Set Checklist
What does Orlando pack for a long day on the set? Here’s what’s in his kit—including several things that might surprise you! 

  • Towels
  • Extension cord
  • Hot tools: 5 different curling irons sizes, crimper, mini-crimper, straightener, mini straightener
  • Pins; clips; barrettes; headbands; metal hair combs’ bobby pins in black, beige and brown; elastics (bands and hooks)
  • Blow-dryer
  • Leatherman multi-tool
  • Do-rags
  • Extensions/extension glues
  • Double-stick tape
  • PHYTO Professional Matte Texturizing Paste
  • Clippers
  • Ceramic brushes, Mason Pearson brush, teasing brush, paddle brush, Denman brush, (All bristles nest so they don’t bend; and all bristles are white bristles so he can see that they’re spotless!)
  • Spools of thread
  • Collapsible water bottle
  • Diffuser
  • Paragon mosquito net (to protect the hair when girls are getting dressed)
  • Sharpies (to color hair quickly when there’s no time for dye)
  • Crèmes, shampoo and conditioner
  • Sewing kit: threads in every color, fishing line, all sizes of needles
  • Scissors
  • Toothbrush (to spray with hairspray to smooth flyaways)
  • Makeup brush (to apply eye shadow on bald spots)
  • Spirit Gum
  • Chopsticks
  • Shears, thinning shears, razor
  • Talcum powder
  • Capes
  • Plastic shield for bang trims to keep hair out of the makeup
  • Travel scale


Watch our full Periscope interview with Orlando below!