Backstage at fashion week might be buzzier than a paparazzi scene starring Gigi Hadid in Los Angeles, but the maestros spearheading the design of the manes still make time for interviews. And if you’re a new hairstylist, you’ll be glad they do. We asked seven lead hairstylists, from Guido Palau to Jimmy Paul, about their advice to stylists looking to break through the industry. Click through the gallery for bits of invaluable advice from the best in the business.
“You never stop learning, always have to keep your eyes open, research a ton about every era of hair, every era is important. It might not be what’s happening today, but as hairdressers we need to know every technique to enjoy being creative in our craft.”
“Don’t make things complicated. Never say no. Don’t ever look at your watch. Just do the job with a smile on your face and say yes to everything.”
“There’s so much education out there now, with YouTube videos and classes. With hairdressesing, you can never learn enough or stop learning. Learn how to do everything. I hate to say this but if you really want to do this, you have to be in the right city—New York, Paris, or London. That doesn’t mean you can’t be great in your town. I’m obsessed with ethnic hair and I think that’s something everybody should learn, all those techniques.”
“Study your masters, know who they are, and take the time to volunteer with them and don’t expect a lot out of it. Say yes to everything. It’s never too much work. It’s about those first five years of what you do is what you get out of this business, so work hard.”
"Find inspiration everywhere—in hardware stories, art museums and galleries, and remember fashion history. Reference things, they’ve been going on for hundreds of years."
“Work hard. I think in today’s world, we get trapped in social media, like what am I going to blog about or post. But the end of the day you gotta do really good work. Work under someone who can mentor you.”
“If you’re an upcoming hairstylist, there are a couple things I advise: be nice, be cool, be relaxed. The other thing is, there’s no fast track, you gotta work hard, you gotta be great. Those are the things that’ll help you separate yourself from everybody. Good is better than anything else.”
Starting your own haircare line? The founders of R+Co, IGK, and Christophe Robin tell us how they did it, here.