When it comes to hair muses, red heads are in a bit of a league of their own. Whether it’s Susan Sarandon’s flame-coloured curls or Zoe Lund’s russet ’do, Glasshouse have always been firmly team red. Which is why model and skater chick Natalie Westling has rocketed to the top of our ginger girl hit list recently.
Part angsty teenager, part delicate pale-skinned beauty, Natalie is a fresh gasp of West Coast air breathing life into the modelling world. Without a scrap of makeup and never without a pair well-worn chequered Vans, Natalie has low key cool down to a tee.
To call her a tomboy seems a bit outdated in an increasingly gender-fluid industry, but Natalie is definitely no girl’s girl. Speaking in an interview, Natalie said “I’ve walked in men’s shows before and walked in women’s shows that had men in them.” She’s vocal about her support for LGBT rights and even more vocal about her love of skate culture, representing Vans as their brand ambassador.
But let’s talk more about that mop of red hair. Low-reaching and untouched, it’s a deep orange colour that epitomises her look and frames her milky white skin perfectly. We talk a lot in the salon about embracing your natural texture or colour, working with what you’ve got and utilising your hair to its best potential. Natalie’s a pretty prime example of this. Outside of shoots and shows, you wouldn’t catch her with a pair of straighteners and it’s rare to see her hair doing anything but it’s natural best.
At 20 years old, Westling seems sure of herself and confident in her identity. “Modelling has made me feel comfortable with myself. I’m definitely not like ‘oh now that I have all this, I’m the shit.’ It’s made me realise who I am. I finally feel comfortable in my own skin.”
Perhaps her no-frills approach to hair and makeup (she’s been quoted saying she never wears makeup off the job) is a direct reflection of this. Like former Glasshouse muses Jemima Kirke and Petra Collins, she’d rather focus on what she loves best (skating, socialising, hanging out with her family in Arizona) than spend time obsessing over trends and fussy beauty routines. We’re sure more 20 year-olds could benefit from the Westling way.
Models aren’t just expected to look the part nowadays - attitude, opinion and personality are defining a whole new breed of models, which Natalie’s heading up, skateboard in tow. And with a flame red head of hair and a Californian drawl to match, Natalie is up there with the best of them.
Words: Lucy Vincent