Chelsea Handler took to the stage at the 2023 Critics’ Choice Awards to showcase her signature wit and style.
As hosts of Sunday night’s awards show, the comedian and actress showed off three different looks, each complete with their own unique hairstyle, courtesy of celebrity hairstylist Adeel Abergel.
From loose hanker waves to glamorous updos, industry experts tell PEOPLE how the stars’ hair was prepped and styled for Hollywood’s biggest night.
“Her confidence is invaluable,” says Abergel of working with Handler, whom he’s known for over a decade and considers to be family. “I prepared with inspiration, we talked about the vibe, and then she let me do whatever I wanted. When I saw the clothes, I realized the look I envisioned for her.” Prepare by creating her Pinterest board with style references to help you.”
Look 1: Sexy Side Blowout
For the red carpet, Abergel gave Handler what he calls “a sexy side-part bomb blast.”
He tells PEOPLE that he planned to spend the night getting his handler’s hair to match the three dresses she was wearing. “I wanted it to start off glamorous and voluminous, then undo it, then sexy and split in the middle, and finally playful and perky,” he shares.
“Before I started styling, I had Chelsea shampoo and condition my hair using Virtue’s Flourish System for Thinning Hair,” says Abergel. This created a foundation for a strong, voluminous look and gave my hair the lift it needed to last all night.
“I first conditioned my hair with Virtue Volumizing Primer all over the semi-wet roots. For some extra memory before blow-drying, I added a Volumizing Mousse to the roots and mid-lengths, followed by a coat on the ends. I added a moisturizing healing oil to the I blow-dry a section of her hair with a round brush to give it volume, movement and that classic blowout shape. When the piece was blow dried, I set it into a pin curl shape using a crease-free clip until it cooled completely.. Then I used a T3 2 inch curling iron to pull the look into sexy territory. I finished it off with a spray of Style Guard Hairspray to keep it airy and touchable.
The look perfectly complemented a Matichevski gown and Stuart Weitzman pumps.
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Abergel spent most of his time in his hotel room preparing Handler’s first look. The rest took place behind the scenes of the show. He said that the atmosphere during the preparation process was bright, and he drank ginger ale and listened to Bob Marley’s songs.
“I love this human being so much and it was so special to me to be a part of her day.” am!”
Look 2 — Undo, Sophisticated Waves
For Handler’s second look of the night — a fuchsia Marchesa gown and nude Christian Louboutin heels — Abergel only had about half an hour backstage at the theater to work on the star’s hair. He aimed for “an unfinished, refined wave defined by a strong midsection”.
“I changed her red carpet hair into a loose, gorgeous wave style with a more effortless mid-part,” he says. I then took a 1.5-inch T3 curling iron and created cascading loose waves throughout my hair, leaving the ends intact. I cocktailed two of my favorite Virtue Shine products: Healing oil and Anfritz cream add even more brilliance to create a lustrous performance on stage.
Finally, Abergel used Virtue Styling Paste to hand hold the handler’s hair for a piece-like effect.
“I loved the wholesome texture vibe of each of the three looks,” says Abergel. “Each style left my hair shiny and shiny. My secret shine weapon was the healing oil. I gave it strength, it strengthened it, it thickened it.”
Look 3 — Modern French Twist
To round out the night, Handler was decked out in a Christian Siriano dress while Abergel styled her hair in a Brigitte Bardot-esque style in just 20 minutes.
“We transitioned the textured hairstyle into a Bardot-inspired updo to add height to the crown,” he says of the modern French twist hairstyle. I wanted it to be more playful, but I also wanted it to be elegant and elevated to complement her outfit.”
“A great trick for adding height is to use Virtue Texture Spray before backcombing to add grit and memory to your strands,” he adds. Once I got to the point, I intentionally left a few face framing pieces in front of my hair and pulled the rest of my hair back for a classic yet modern French twist.I used a few pins to secure it and I finished with a squirt of Style Guard Hairspray and a dash of Healing Oil for a big shine.”