Celebrity Colorists Look for These Qualities In Assistants
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Celebrity colorists owe a lot of their success to the mentors who showed them the ropes. Ask any celebrity colorist and they’ll tell you that the surefire way to growing as an artist is to shadow and assist as many colorists as possible. Now imagine if you were able to assist the celebrity colorists leading the industry today? It’s not impossible. Ahead, click through the gallery to find out what qualities the colorists behind Chloe Grace Moretz, Khloe Kardashian, and more are looking for in an assistant including how to apply for a position then nail the interview process.
Responsible, Hardworking, Motivated
–Cassondra Kaeding @ckaedingcolor
1. Responsible and hard working: This job can be tough it’s not for everyone. I want someone who is ready to put in the time, someone myself and my clients can trust with ease.
2. Motivated: This job can be so much fun and really rewarding if your motivated and ready to work great things will come your way!
3. Able to multitask: I work in multiple locations, in the US, outside of the US, on location, etc.
How to apply: When an aspiring colorist reaches out to me, I will ask for a short video telling me a little bit about themselves, why they want to be in this industry, why they think they are a good fit. I also want to know what they expect of me and what they want to get out of their assisting experience.
How to nail the interview: Be open and honest. I like to be transparent and make sure that we are both on the same page. I need to see that you are serious about taking the job because I love what I do, I love my clients, and I put my all into my work. I expect the same from my assistants.
My assistant program is a two year minimum. I want to make sure that they learn everything I can teach them. I have worked hard at building my career and clientele and I want my assistants to succeed and say “Cass was the best boss and I really learned so much from her!” haha
I reach out to current co-workers, post on social, referrals from friends, and clients.
Confidence, Experience, Passion & Flexibility
1. Confidence/Experience: I like to think of my assistants as my second set of eyes. I need them to tell me when something needs an adjustment, highlights are ready, the ideal gloss etc. We average about 20-25 appointments per day in the salon, so it’s impossible for me to run to the shampoo bowl every five minutes.
2. My ideal assistant is someone who has been doing hair a few years, and is ready to take their career to the next level. I obviously take time to teach them my formulations, application and techniques so that we quickly run like a well oiled machine.
3. Eye and passion for hair color: Assisting a hairstylist should be considered a temporary job and investment in higher learning so that eventually you can learn the skills and be able to have similar success. I expect my assistants to do clients on their own, and they should be hungry and ready to go on their own after 2 years of assisting. Otherwise you become a crutch on each other and doesn’t help me or the assistant in the long run.
4. Flexibility: Working with a high profile celebrity colorist doesn’t mean we are always in the salon and on set. Most of the time we are, but with the advent of social media, the game and business model has changed. It’s easy to do pop-ups in different salons in different cities, education, direct bookings. I need assistants that are ready for the adventure, but they also need to be self sufficient when I’m away and they don’t get to come along. That is why I prefer experienced stylists so that they can fend for themselves and see their own clients, as well as servicing mine while I am away.
How to apply: Coming by my home base salon (Andy Lecompte Salon) and meeting with the manager and dropping off your resume. Our manager filters out assistants they think would be a good fit for the salon as opening come up all the time, and sometimes at a moments notice.
How to nail the interview: Stay near me and pay attention to my needs. I am very good at giving direction so you don’t need to read my mind, but if they are on their phone looking at social media or chatting with the front desk or in the break room, then they aren’t giving me the the attention my clients and I need.
Ideally I like to keep my assistants for two years, but we are always looking for coverage as people need days off, and usually those people end up coming on as our regular assistants.
The old-fashioned way where assistants drop off resumes to the salon and meet with our manager, or they contact me or the salon through social media. Honestly, coming into the salon and meeting with the manager is your best bet to make a connection with the salon, as scary as it sounds. Also, don’t be afraid to come back multiple times as openings happen last minute, and resumes can get lost in the shuffle. We also check out the potential assistants’ social media before they come in so be sure that it’s a good representation of your professional self.
Ambitious, Passionate & Hardworking
–Rita Hazan @ritahazan
1. Ambition: an ambitious person doesn’t count the hours or jobs. They are always eager to learn and take initiative on their own; knowing that every job is equally important to both me and their future career.
2. Passion: someone who loves hair color – it’s what they were born to do and they don’t have a plan B; this is all they want to be good at. A person that has passion always wants to learn and it doesn’t seem like work, it’s a way of life.
3. Hard worker: I work crazy/long hours and crazy days sometimes, two weeks or more in a row. I fly all over the world and go straight to work when I land. Most of the time food and sleep are not in the equation, you have to be able to work on little sleep and the tiny bits of airplane food you get. But when you love your job and are enjoying the experience, knowing one day it will all be worth it.
I train my assistants to promote them and make sure they have long and successful careers. We work hard, but I teach them and give them the tools they need to succeed. It’s a win-win for anyone who is willing to put the time in.
How to apply: Just call and speak to the manager, it’s pretty easy. Just be vocal about it!
How to nail the interview: Be open, have passion and express that you’re a hard worker and willing to learn. Be friendly and honest. I prefer no experience or little experience so I can teach them.
I don’t switch assistants very often. I like to have a team that I trust and my clients know. Especially working with celebs, they don’t like new faces and prefer to have the same team so they can speak freely and be comfortable.
We go through local cosmetology schools. Or people will call or walk in with resumes. I have a big salon and we always look for great assistants that are willing to work in a fast-paced environment.
Punctual, Organized, Efficient
–Matt Rez @colorbymattrez
1. Being on time: this means being 15 minutes early. Having our setup ready to go before I or the client gets there!
2. Organization: being neat, clean, and keeping our station and work areas orderly. Being organized and synchronized with me and our team of three to four depending on the day. I need my assistants to be my second pair of eyes.
3. Sense of urgency: being efficient /getting things done quickly enough without cutting corners. I am OC about quality—that over quantity any day !
How to apply: I don’t hire my own assistants legally. Meche Salon management does. I can pick who I want to go through the hiring process based on their performance. You would interview with my first assistant, then management, and if all is well we set up a trial day where I get to see if we are a good match and you as well!
How to nail the interview: Be on time and be the real you! Don’t try to over please. Be the truest version of yourself. Anyone can be trained operation and how to, but personality and attitude is what gets everyone a job.
I have two assistants most of the time. Sometimes we have a third on very busy days. I like for each client to have an assistant at all times dedicated to them while they are getting services with me. I want a 2-3 year commitment from my assistants.
I go through salon management that has all the pre-filled applications or by word of mouth. Honestly, any selection process that brings the perfect candidate I’m open to. Social media is always a great place for people to contact me. If you are interested, inbox me your info and you never know!
Trustworthy, People Skills, Follow Direction
–Lorri Goddard @lorrigoddard_
1. Integrity: a trustworthy person who walks the talk/ under promise and over deliver. NOT over promise and under deliver
2. People skills: The ability to make eye contact and truly listen to other team members and clients is imperative for success and our business
3. Follow directions: this specific characteristic is a tool that must be honed because an assistant’s ability to follow directions from me, and my lead assistant Dylonn Spear directly relates to understanding clients needs.
How to apply: Direct message through Instagram or reach out via my appointment line 310-560-0573.
How to nail the interview: Eye contact. Listen. Think about the question before you answer it. Cleanliness. Look me in the eye and shake hands with a sincere smile. Ability to hear directions followthrough and complete the task, Being upfront with the skill set one has and the points that the person needs improvement upon.
Additionally don’t keep looking at yourself in the mayor I’ve actually interviewed people that they were looking at themselves more in the mayor than paying attention to what I was asking them a definite no-no if you really want to land the job.
Again being sincere and a go-getter is key!
Write a THANK YOU LETTER for the interview.
Many companies including fortune 500 companies look for an email or a thank you letter to thank the person for interviewing them, this will surely help you stand out from other candidates!
OK what tips would you give someone who wants to know your process.
It’s all about cake, not the frosting, A skill set to follow directions, be polite, LISTEN, follow directions, be honest, be direct, move at a quick pace, dress clean and chic is preferable than someone coming in all decked out in the latest fashion afraid to ruin their outfit, hair or nails.
2 years preferably
Schools, Craig’s list, and sometimes Instagram
Dedicated, Available, Eager
–Sarah Conner @oncolourground
2. Eager to learn
3. Full availability.
How to apply: I’ve had assistants from Craigslist to referrals from other assistants. I’ve also had assistants contacting me via Instagram and asking if they could work for me, and more traditional routes ie. resumes via the salon.
How to nail the interview: Do your research, know a little about where and who you want to work for. Yet avoid coming across as “star struck” in regards to celebrity clientele. Ask questions and be open and honest. The fit needs to be equally as good for the assistant as it does the stylist.
As little as possible. Most of my assistants work with me for a minimum of two years and I even had an assistant work with me for four years, which was heaven. After four years an assistant can pretty much think for you!
Generally, I’ll ask other stylists and assistants if they know of anyone that would be a good fit for my team. Social media can also be a good tool too.
Humble, Passion, Honesty
–Chad Kenyon @chadkenyon
1. Humility. Humility fuels teamwork, A+ client-attention and ensures impeccable results. My goal with each client is that they love (not like) their hair color ; without humility for me and my whole team, this is not achievable. Humility also lends itself to asking for help when needed. When humility is present the ego is gone…assistants with egos do not last.
2. Passion. This is something one has or does not have. It cannot he taught. I need assistants that want to have a career as a hair colorist …not just a job coloring hair.
3. Honesty. When we are honest we are present and focused : not thinking about the past, not worrying about the future, not trying to look at phone/texts or looking at other colorists/stylists in the salon. My work is detailed and I need all eyes, hands and hearts in synchronicity with me so my clients get pristine COLORMELT™️ results.
4. The ability to to smile. May sound odd but when clients see us smile they instinctively smile back and it sets the perfect tone for the color session.
How to apply: I am always accepting resumes for Color Assistant work at Color@ChadKenyon.com
How to nail the interview: Listen intently and retain everything say and do (how I speak to my clients, know what is essential for all clients and each procedure, know how to give a polished blowout and work heat tools, be great at social media, photo and video . Make notes and ask as many questions as you need to to be an extension of me at all times while at work.
I love having my assistant for 2-3 years and for them to go on to have rewarding careers as a colorist. In the end, business is business and if they’re not a good match I let them find another course on their way to being on the floor.
My Instagram Stories, word of mouth, I receive emails and referrals from my friends in the industry that know of talented, diligent people looking to be a color assistant.