Cosmopolitan Hair

August 2001


 Recently voted the world's 14th sexiest woman by a men's magazine, she's married to utterly gorgeous footballer Jamie Redknapp and Is busy pursuing her singing and TV presenting career. Louise, 26, talks to Melanie Goose.

 Into the studio for our cover shoot bounds a petite figure wearing baggy cargo pants, Timberland boots and a Parka. Flashing a smile at everyone, there's no hint of the pop diva you might expect. Louise has that great mix of celebrity with feet firmly on the ground, and she still manages to fit in a busy social life in London and Liverpool with husband Jamie. They're quite the golden couple.

 Louise's career started at at 17 when she joined girl band Eternal and it's now six years since she left them to go solo. After nine years in showbiz it's clear that she's at ease in these surroundings. She has an instant rapport with the stylists and photographer and also knows which clothes suit her and which don't. But there are no hissy fits about what she will and won't wear (except bikinis: "I've done so many and it's not an image I feel comfortable with any more"). We chat while her hair and make-up are being done and she exchanges beauty and fashion tips, admitting to an extravagant splurge recently - a pair of boots from Gina: "They cost �450, but I wear them loads and they make me feel great. So I'm getting my money's worth."

 Louse likes shopping but has a low-maintenance lifestyle. She even did her own hair and make-up for her wedding a couple of years ago in Bermuda. Her album Elbow Beach, released last year, is named after the stretch of sand where she and Jamie relaxed on honeymoon.

 She looks good by eating sensibly and exercising when she can, She's currently working on a greatest hits album and, as well as a stint co-presenting SMTV and CD:UK on Saturdays with Cat Deeley, she's busy with photo shoots and supporting Jamie's team, Liverpool.

 To relax, Louise likes nothing better than snuggling up on the sofa with Jaime (and who can blame her!) with an Indian takeaway. They have two homes - one in the Wirral (near Liverpool) and their London flat. 'We go out a lot and, although the Liverpudlians are very friendly, I'd love to be in London more where my family and a lot of my friends are," she says.

 Louise and Jamie often stay with her parents. I love to see my two young brothers," she says. "They keep my feet firmly on the ground. For instance, a few months ago 1 asked if they'd taped me on Top Of The Pops as I'd missed it. They said that Mum had but they hadn't seen it. When 1 said, 'Shall we put it on?' they said 'Oh, not now. We're watching The Simpsons!"

 For the final two shots, Andrew Collinge tries a funky cowgirl look and a slicked-down 30s do. Gone are Louise's trademark long locks and in their place is an edgy bob that suits her new, sassy self-assurance.

 "Just before Christmas I saw model Bridget Hall in a magazine with a bob and ripped it out. My hairdresser cut a foot of' my hair and I loved it," she says smiling. But what did Jaime think? 'Oh! He likes it. He's very laid-back about things like that. He isn't one of those guys who thinks that girls must have long hair."

 Louise has extensions, which are great for adding volume to her fine hair. "Once, when I was about 16, my mum told me that if I had a basin cut, it would thicken my hair. Well, what a disaster! It looked awful, so 1 had extensions put in straight away. It also turned green years ago after a colour went wrong. But those are my only hair disasters, so I guess I've been lucky."

 Every four weeks Claire Cain, technical director at Andrew Collinge in Liverpool, adds blonde, honey and caramel highlights to Louise's hair. Then she has her extensions done before her hair is trimmed. "Three people do my hair: for the colour, cut and extensions, so Ws quite complicated. They've worked with me for several years and 1 like to be loyal to my hair team."

 It's 5pm and the final shot is in the bag. Louise changes back into her cargo pants and boots, off comes the make-up and, after a peck on the cheek for each crew member, she's heading out the door. She's staying at "Mum and Dad's" tonight, then recording tomorrow. It's been a great day and everyone's happy with the results. Louise never once moaned nor asked: "When do we finish?" There are professional models who could learn a thing or two from this girl!