Josh Heuston talks future projects, favourite products and his mane game

The man behind the hair

Editor / July 17 2023

Josh Heuston is no stranger to the runway. Before stealing our hearts as Dusty in the Netflix series Heartbreak High, the 26-year-old model and actor was scouted at the age of 18 and has travelled the world working with the likes of Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Burberry (to name a few).

But there’s no place like home and as Sydney gears up for Afterpay Australian Fashion Week, Heuston is buzzing to attend with Redken. “Australian Fashion Week is great as it is really familiar, and you feel like you know everyone — the designers are among the best in the world.”

“The best show that I have been to recently was the Prada show in Milan last year,” he tells us. “Being able to attend that was epic.”

The chaos and creativity of backstage bears resemblance to the last year of Heuston’s career, with no signs of slowing down any time soon. Here, the cover star of BEAUTYcrew’s backstage issue takes a moment to talk future projects, favourite products and, of course, we asked about his hair…

“I have more experience modelling but acting is where my passion is”

What Heuston loves most about his work is storytelling. And though done differently through modelling and acting, the latter is where his passion truly lies.

“I started really wanting to act when I shot a music video, and a little bit of acting was involved – I was hooked,” he says. “I did all the night acting classes in Sydney I could.”

Heuston booked his first role playing ‘Henry’ in Dive Club (now on Netflix) before landing his globally-known character ‘Dusty’ in Heartbreak High.

“I think that the modelling experience gave me way more confidence in front of the camera. I understand a lens and how they frame things and I think that helped me a lot.”

“I wanted to make Dusty more relatable”

Playing a high school jock often comes with its own set of stereotypes but Heuston was intent on reframing the role.

“I wanted to make Dusty more relatable to audiences of today, showing his insecurities,” he explains. “It was little things like getting him to fidget a lot or playing with his rings to give the appearance that he’s unsure or a little uncertain at times.”

One self-expression moment that sticks out in his mind is from the Mardi Gras episode — “My character wore an all-lace top and had the confidence to wear it.”

The dancing scene from the end of the season is another stand-out memory for Heuston. “We all just winged it and it wasn’t choreographed at all. The producers and director allowed us and encouraged us to improv a lot.”

With Season 2 confirmed, Heuston will be back on our screens as Dusty soon but he’s booked and busy in the meantime.

“I’m excited for Dune: The Sisterhood which is a show I am about to go and shoot in Budapest for HBO Max – I love fantasy and sci-fi. As soon as I arrive, we start pre-production and then straight into it for 5-6 months.”

“Your hair says a lot about your personality”

Although you’d assume Heuston’s curly mane might require some hefty care, in reality, it comes down to a few key products.

“I use Redken’s ABC [Acidic Bonding Concentrate] Shampoo ($45 at Adore Beauty)  and Conditioner ($45 at Adore Beauty) – I wash my hair once a week; my hair kinda does its own thing,” he says. “The ABC products help hydrate, strengthen and repair my hair and make my routine quite low-maintenance.”

The curls weren’t always around either; “I shaved all my hair off when I was in year 7 – all my mates were going to do it but they didn’t do it.”

Even after that, Heuston kept his hair on the shorter side until the age of 20. “I had straight hair and then, all of a sudden, it was getting curly and it changed, so I wanted to keep growing it out,” he shares.

“I think your hair says a lot about your personality so I don’t have too many products in my hair routine, but I do vibe the Redken Texture Paste ($39 at Adore Beauty) – it makes it easy to style my hair and adds a bit of texture to it.”

And if you’re wondering if he’d ever shave his hair again… “For any role, if they asked me to change my hair I would do it in a heartbeat. I would love to have a mullet for a role, that would be amazing.”

“Nothing is better than going for a quick swim in the ocean”

Hair aside, Heuston’s beauty ethos revolves around water. Before any shoot, he drinks two litres of it the night before. “I was told this [tip] early on and it works – it makes you feel hydrated and fresh for the day ahead.”

And when he needs to unwind after a long day, there’s one place you’ll find him: the beach. “Nothing is better than going for a quick swim in the ocean,” he shares.

As for his love for painted nails, he has his sister to thank for that one. “When [she] was 10 years old, she used to make me play in her ‘home salon’ and used to beg me to let her paint my nails. She did it and then I really vibed with it, so I’ve kept doing it.  Sometimes it’s black nail polish, other times its colour… More and more guys are doing it now – I love that.”

Josh Heuston’s must-have grooming products

1/ Redken Texture Paste, $39 at Adore Beauty

2/ Le Labo Noir 29, $497 at MECCA

3/ Redken Oil For All, $55 at Adore Beauty

Photography: Joe Brennan

Hair: Diane Gorgievski 

Want more great features like this? Read the rest of our digital issue.

Samantha McMeekin was BEAUTYcrew's Editor from January 2020 to June 2023. She has worked as a journalist in the beauty and lifestyle industry for over 10 years. In 2019, she was nominated for Best Digital Writer at the BSME Awards for her work on GLAMOUR UK. If you ever meet her in person, she'll probably try to guess which fragrance you're wearing (she's got a humble 60% strike rate).