Lee Stafford and some flying ducks
The Grand is my favourite venue – what’s not to love about your own private beach? And the table settings and the food … it’s all just perfect in my book. Now add to this Lee Stafford, who is just lovely too. What a fine time I had: croissants and tea, a sea view and excellent company.
Lee Stafford is HUGE in England: his products have already achieved cult status: his Flat Iron protection shine mist, R94.99, was declared Hair Product of the DECADE by the Daily Mail in the UK; and a tub of Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment, also R94.99, is so in demand that one is sold every 60 SECONDS somewhere in the world! He still gets 10 or 20 tweets a day about it. Initially, they couldn’t keep up with demand: ‘In the end, you could only get it on eBay for double, treble the price because it would sell out so fast,’ he laughs, delightedly.
Lee is justly proud of his award-winning range (he himself has so many awards that it would take two pages to list them – literally, I printed the list out) of products. One of the things that has made him so successful in what is, let’s face it, an already crowded market, is his innovation. ‘Every one has to have a good shampoo in their range, and a shine serum, they’re very important. But they’re me-toos, you know what I mean? What makes you iconic is getting there first. And also, you’ve got to have products that work.’
He invented heat protection products: ‘I was the first person in the world to bring out a product to protect your hair against heat’ (the aforementioned Flat Iron protection shine mist) and he reinvented dry shampoo, making it with corn starch (not rye starch, which is more usual), because it is finer, and better quality and absorbs oil better.
Did you know?
- There was no design team for the brand; Lee did it himself with Graham, his MD
- Lee Stafford has the No 1 fastest growing hair range in the UK
- There is such a thing as a Barcode Course. And it takes two days. Who knew? This is how they knew that they could put colourful lines into the barcode without affecting the scanning; it’s the gaps between the lines that are scanned.
- The use of mixed upper and lower case on the bottles is due to his dyslexia: ‘ I always used to write like that before we had computers’
- The iconic silver staffie on all the bottles (Staffie? Geddit?) was modeled on a staffie from a dog modeling agency (seriously). That dog’s brother was the staffie who swallowed the diamond in the movie Snatch.
- Lee recommended the Poker Straight Dehumidifier, R94.99, (which he tested on his mum) for ethnic hair
- Try this tip that Lee used to use when he was doing lots of shows if (like me) you have limp locks and want lots of volume:
- Use Lee Stafford Volumizing Mousse Double Blow, R94.99, and then literally double blow. Put the mousse on, and blast dry your hair upside down, as you would usually do. But here’s the nifty bit: once it’s dry, put more mousse on and blow dry your hair again. ‘Or you could do it three times; it’s a real killer!’ he swears. He also swears it’s not sticky (it even says so on the tin) or crunchy.
And on that useful note, the delightful, down-to-earth, chatty Lee Stafford was off on a shark cage-diving expedition (for which he has been fattening himself up all week eating our delicious food).