Hairdresser to Swedish royalty and owner of sustainable haircare brand Björn Axén, Johan Hellström, talks to us about scalp care, laser treatment and how complex fragrances are as appealing as good wine
All products featured on Vogue are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Talk us though your morning grooming routine...
I always start my mornings with a long shower. On my face, I use the Emma S Cleansing Facial Wash, which I really like because it’s fresh and cleanses my face without leaving it feeling dry and tight. On my body I use the Tulip Mania soap from Byredo. It’s actually a hand soap but I still use it in the shower because it has a great smell and feels very luxurious on the skin.
I'll shampoo and condition with the Björn Axén Cool Silver range to get rid of all the yellow tones in my hair; sometimes I swap the conditioner for the Color Refresh Treatment Cool Silver Blonde hair mask to give my hair an extra boost of nourishment. I genuinely think they're amazing products as they don’t make my hair tone too blue or too grey – just crispy white – which I love!
What is your biggest skin concern?
My bathroom cabinet is filled with serums, creams, and toners! I’m lucky that I don’t have any major issues with my skin, but it does get dry if I don’t use the proper products. So I always use skincare that I know works for me and is good for my skin.
I love both Emma S. and Filorgas products so I usually combine both brands. The ranges that I like are Filorga's Hydra-Hyal and Global-Repair as well as Ultimate from Emma S. I have all the products but I usually start my routine with either the Filorga Hydra-Hyal Serum or the Global-Repair Intensive Serum. Next, I apply the Ultimate Day Cream SPF15 or Ultimate Night Cream from Emma S as these are two products I believe deliver exactly what they promise.
From time to time, I also use the Emma S Treatment Enzyme Peel as it removes dead skin cells and gives my skin a fresh glow. I usually apply it while I’m in the shower and let it sit for a minute while I wash my hair.
How do you look after your hair?
My hair is really easy to maintain but I’m still super picky about how it looks so I only use great products and cut it regularly. As well as the Cool Silver products from Björn Axén, I also use the Sport Shampoo and Conditioner as it's gentle on my hair and scalp while still deep cleansing. Best of all, it's really refreshing as it contains peppermint.
I keep my hair short, using our Fiber Fudge to style it. There are actual fibres in the wax, which makes it really flexible and helps make my hair look thicker. Best of all, it helps my hair do exactly what I want it to do. Depending on what mood I’m in, I may use the Sport Salt Water Gel instead to create a messier look. It’s non-greasy and makes my hair look twice as full.
What is your favourite fragrance?
My fiancé [Fredrik Robertsson] and I have so many different fragrances at home, and I really love to switch up my scent. During the summer I usually use Valentino Born in Roma Uomo but right now, I’m obsessed with Donna Noir Absolut from Valentino. I just love the rich scent!
I'm usually into musky fragrances and also amber and wood. I like it when there’s some mystery and complexity to a fragrance. Perhaps it's because I’m also a complex person [laughter]! I really like complexity in both wines and scent. It’s difficult to find the perfect balance with so many different notes but it makes the scent interesting and gives it a depth. I get quite intrigued when I don’t really understand how it’s all put together.
What is the best beauty advice you've ever been given?
Go to a great skincare clinic regularly. Fotona Laser [a treatment that lifts by contracting the collagen fibres] has been a dream come true for me as it's made a huge difference to my skin when getting older. Honestly, it has made my skin look 10 years younger. I never thought that you could do a facelift without going under the knife and now I’ve realised that you can. To me that’s really unbelievable and amazing!
When it comes to hair, I’m the one always giving advice. And my advice is to create a hair routine that works for your hair and scalp in the same way as your skincare routine works for your face.
What are the beauty practices you’ve learned from the women in your family?
I’ve learnt the importance of following an entire skincare routine: cleansing, peeling, serums and creams etc. They are all important! I’ve also learnt to use some mineral powder before I go out. It doesn't give obvious coverage so no one can really see a big difference, but I feel fabulous.
What was your greatest beauty discovery?
Fotona laser, for sure!
What grooming advice would you give your younger self?
Grooming came quite naturally to me and I’ve kind of never changed. Given I started grooming early, I guess my advice would be to do just that before it’s too late. Invest in good products that work for you and create a routine for both your skin and hair.
Do you have a beauty or wellness secret?
My secret is that I take care of my entire self. I love going to the gym and spa because I believe that by taking care of myself from within, it radiates out, making my skin and hair look even better. Another secret, that shouldn’t be a secret, is to take care of your scalp. Always use conditioner on your scalp and treat it with nourishing serums. If you focus on taking care of your scalp, your hair will look fabulous!
Cleansing Facial Wash
Cool Silver Shampoo
Global-Repair Intensive Serum
Ultimate Day Cream SPF15
Treatment Enzyme Peel
Sport Salt Water Gel
Uomo Born In Roma EdT
Donna Noir Absolu EdT