20 years of hair is incredible. Congrats. Was there a session during your career that stood out the most? Moving to NY at 21. Working at Sassoon. Being completely blown away by the giant city and what it had to offer. I learned a lot about myself and the world around me. I think that was probably a huge jumping-off point for me.
You’ve work for Vidal Sassoon and Bumble. What essential craft cultural difference are between them. Did you struggle with hair religion? Sasoon was very technical and precise … it was definitely a classical training in the balance of weight, angles, shapes and lines. Bumble also was very thorough in their training in that regard and also had somewhat of an open-ended freedom of expression which I was drawn towards. Bumble gave me a great platform to develop my styling. Both were so important in my development and provided a natural transition to the stylist I would become.
How do you transition from being technical to visual? When I approach a style or a haircut, there’s a structural plan and technique that goes into what I want to build.. the visual aspect is more a free-flowing idea. The idea of how to feel through visual presentation is very much on the hands of one’s eyes. It’s like less book smart but street smart.
What advice do you have for hairdresser looking to break into editorial and red carpet/ press release tours? Assist fashion editorial stylists to celebrity stylists. Learning the etiquette of how to be on set is so important.
How do you stay curious? when I’m busy and things are flowing well, the inertia of progress somewhat demands curiosity. Curiosity is born of the necessity of art.
I’d enjoyed watching you cut Momos hair, particularly your consultations with her. What are you looking for during a contusions and how do you communicate your vision? I get a feel for what the person wants or is asking for and square that with what I see for them. A lot of times the consultation is super helpful because it gives me a feel for where they are. Their vibe. Sort of an over-view of how they see themselves at that time.
You worked at Taboo Salon in LA for a time. The owner Gill is a friend of mine and many. Her space has been a part of LA hair culture for over 30 years. What was it like working there? I owe a lot to Jill and my friend Christine Cabrillo for connecting us. It was amazing! In a lot of towns I’ve noticed certain cultural hubs where things are just magical. There is maybe the live music venue which captures those great moments for music… the art gallery where things just sort of line up, the restaurant that just nails it. Jill’s salon was that hidden gem for us. We had the freedom to explore and create the professionals we were to become.
How has social media impacted your career? ha… social media. It is a bit of a like/dislike relationship. Through this public platform, i’ve been able to share and connect with friends, professionals, fans of my clients and companies for collaborations. It’s been awesome! However, it can feel like a part time job some days. I’m still trying to find the balance. I do my best to not to take it too serious…sort of a necessary evil which is sometimes a guilty pleasure.
What is your creative process? My creative process changes all the time. The things that don’t really do much for me one day, I find great inspiration in the next day. I feel very lucky that my work environment changes constantly… it has really helped me to develop my flexibility. I can draw inspiration from the vast expanse of the Tokyo skyline at sunset or my own humble backyard. Also, a lot of times I find inspiration coming from within… inspiration being the beginning of every creative process. It’s a tough question!
Who manages your books? Alex at Starworks manages my books… Love her!
How do you practice the art of hair business? Some tricks I use to practice the art of hair business are… well, humility and teachability, every job offers an opportunity to learn; patience and persistence, being a gentle listener when needed and a finisher when called for; constantly reminding myself that in the day’s end this job is about people… the styling and aesthetics are an important part of the picture that also includes relating to my clients in a way that is human and genuine… which is easy to do 99% of the time because they are so awesome. I guess what I mean is you really need to love being around people and relating to people to do well in the hair business… and again I feel so lucky cause I love it so much!
How do you stay driven and not get burnt out? Ah… how to not get burned out. I do get burned out sometimes but I try my very best to stay connected to the things that inspire me. We’re in the business of giving so I constantly find myself looking for ways to refuel and recharge. I love plugging into nature, Movies, exhibitions, books and magazines to get inspired.
My family—of course my awesome husband and extraordinary son—and pets. They keep me balanced and they keep me grounded so I don’t burn out so easily.
Sometimes traveling will be challenging no matter how ideal the circumstances…but the people I get to spend time with and the extraordinary things I get to see and experience make it easy to stay positive and driven. I am constantly surrounded by people who are amazing at what they do and have been through all the trials and tribulations of our industry… so we are a giant family and that makes it so awesome.
PHOTOGRAPGHY BY GARRETT MARKENSON