Did you always know becoming a hairstylist would be in your future? What made you fall in love with it?
I didn't always know it, I never had a lot of exposure to the industry growing up but doing hair came pretty natural to me which led to me often doing my friends' hair for events. I went to hair school thinking it would be a good, fun job while I was still in college trying to develop the path I wanted to go down. As my skills and experiences developed and I got more exposure to what the industry can hold, I started gravitating more towards the freedom and opportunity it offered. Many of my friends were my first clients and the trust they put in me felt precious and personal. There's so much reward in helping someone express themselves. I really fell in love when I started getting into editorial work, it opened a wider door to art, design, fashion, and expression.
Could you explain what a day in the life of a stylist is like?
A day in the life depends on the segment of the industry you're working in. A day in the salon generally looks like a book full of clients coming in for color, balayage, or a cut. Each appointment starts with a consultation; to me, even if a client wants to hand over control, when I'm doing someone's hair it's a collaboration of their style + lifestyle with my knowledge + technical skill. A day on set can look very different depending on the job but the start of the day is usually model prep and the rest is hanging around for touch ups. 2020 has really altered what a day looks like.
The beauty industry is constantly changing. What have you noticed has changed in the past five years?
One of the bigger shifts I've noticed has been the welcoming of bolder color choices, haircuts, and more playful makeup into mainstream beauty. We're seeing a rise in statement color with bright hues and bleached face-frames. With cuts, we're seeing super cropped bobs and heavily textured shags. I love it - people are feeling more free to express themselves through their appearance. The balance of this shift comes in with those who prefer more natural looking hair. Lived-in and sunkissed looking color and air-dried textures. There's been a big embrace of natural texture across all hair types.
There seems to be a noticeable shift to “clean” and “honest” products & ingredients. How important is this for you? The industry & consumers?
There is so much nuance to this new focus on "clean" beauty. Anything can be toxic in excess, and a lot can be safe in moderation. I think this shift to expecting honesty and transparency from products and brands is the most important. In the salon, I made a change to "low-tox" color lines to better support my health and reduce my + my clients exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. As consumers, we should be asking questions about ingredients, sourcing, and sustainability because for a long time it has gone unchecked. It is important for us to demand better from the brands we support. This shift is helping push for a more ethical, less wasteful, less harmful industry.
You are so dedicated and driven in every aspect of your career. What advice would you have for an aspiring hair stylist?
Thank you. For me, it's important to obtain as much education as possible and to seek inspiration both within and outside of the beauty industry. My advice would be to connect with people in the segment you want to be in - other hairstylists, makeup artists, photographers. A well-rounded network can help you build opportunity, and there's more than enough opportunity to go around. When it comes to building skill, there's nothing better than putting in the time. Practice as much as you can on as many people as you can. Hone your consultation skills, communication. Seek out classes. Put your work out there. Also, don't be afraid to charge what you're worth - you are worth it.
2020 has been undoubtedly a whirlwind. Has this year brought any surprising light into your life?
A whirlwind feels a little like an understatement - haha. Surprisingly, 2020 did bring some light. I really learned the value of rest and downtime. I rediscovered my infatuations with design, music, cooking, writing, and reading. I love that I've been able to spend more time learning about issues that are important to me. I was able to make a few updates to my home to create the space I wanted. I had some major opportunities pop up that surprised me. It has been a rollercoaster of a year but I am immensely grateful for the moments of light it brought.
Words to live by...
The words of the prose poem "Desiderata" by Max Ehrmann. My mom introduced it to me when I was young.
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