The most memorable people I meet – from fellow artists, celebrity clients, to the folks behind a cash wrap – are the ones who are the most grounded. They greet you with a friendly smile, uphold a positive energy, remain open-minded and willing to love and explore the unknown person or idea they’re faced with, and they don’t take themselves too seriously (so important, particularly in the fashion industry!).
When I first met Amy Farid, I was assisting her for a Calvin Klein presentation. I had never met her prior to that and nevertheless I was greeted with the warm embrace of a huge hug, the kind that I normally get from a best friend or family member I only see once a year. Amy is by far one of the most humble hairdressers I’ve known, which is probably what I love most about her. She gets to know your strengths and how (at least on a hair team or in the salon) you complement one another. Can you imagine the impact it would have if we all treated each other that way? With ambitions of working together instead of competing to get to the top? That being said, #ManeMaster Amy Farid is sure to leave you with some #manespiration.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I got my start in the industry as an assistant at Bumble and bumble. Assisting Mane Masters such as Ward, Laurent Philippon and Jimmy Paul. I was 21 and fresh off the greyhound from Kansas! I was so stoked on everything. I worked long hours for little pay and didn’t give a shit. I was around talented people and learning and that was enough for me.
What was one of your biggest career challenges and how did you overcome it?
One of the biggest challenges in this industry is sponsorship. As a hairstylist you meet young designers who have no money or just enough to make their collection. You do the hair for their show for little or no pay and something magical happens. It’s a magic that happens when everyone involved is doing what they love to do, not for money, but for the sheer joy of creation. When something that pure happens it attracts attention. Everyone wants in on that energy and attention. Corporations realize they can align themselves with the next big thing by offering the designer lots of money, which as we all know every designer needs. Herein lies the challenge for hair and makeup artists. When the big hair and makeup companies get involved they have their own appointed hairstylist that they assign to these shows. It’s only natural that we would feel a little insulted because we had a part in creating this brand that big companies now want to be a part of. I have been on both sides of this situation. I think it’s great that designers get money to fund their collections but as hair and makeup artists we can feel like we are getting pushed out by that money. To overcome this challenge I think it is important to remember that the fashion world like the rest of the universe, is like an ocean. There are waves, ebb and flow, highs and lows, peaks and valleys. Everything happens for a reason so don’t lose sleep over it.
Who are some role models who have inspired you?
My biggest role model is my mother Paula. She raised two kids by herself and did the best she could. She does the best she can at everything. She has an inspiring work ethic. Odile Gilbert is a role model to me in this industry. Not only does she have an abundance of talent but she represents the female hairstylist in the high fashion world. OPRAH is or should be everyone’s role model! Lol. I love Oprah, but I REALLY love retired Oprah. She left daytime television and went to her farm/estate/paradise and started growing her own food! She is doing her spirituality thing on her network which I think is fantastic. She left her daytime job and began to enjoy the fruits of her labor. Not enough people do that. They just work themselves to death and don’t actually enjoy what they have. My favorite is when she posts pictures on Instagram after harvesting veggies from her garden! She has no hair or makeup on, she’s in sweats, wearing glasses, but she has this big beautiful smile that warms my heart. It is pure joy and that is really what it’s all about
What app do you use the most?
The app I use the most is #instagram
Do you have a signature look or style that you are known for?
I am known for creating textured hair. Texture meaning anything from braids to dripping wet hair and everything in the middle. Clients love the work I do with Free People and want that style for themselves. It looks effortless and sexy. What is that called? The undone “done” look?
What was your last major makeover that you’ve done?
I’ve been cutting a lot of bangs lately which I love! The most major makeover that I’ve done was a fake one. Lena Ott (colorist/BFF) and I made a wig for Martha Hunt for a Victoria’s Secret shoot. Lena colored it this beautiful dimensional neutral pink tone and I cut it into a choppy chin length bob. People were freaking out and thought she actually cut her hair off and colored it pink! The shoot was for the Valentines Day campaign that’s out now so check it out!
Which hair products or tools are always in your kit?
What is your favorite Instagram account to follow?
Dennis Lanni because he’s a fucking genius.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
I would tell myself to be quiet and listen more. I would advise against reacting. Go within and start meditating!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? What advice would you give to new stylists?
Someone once told me that “nobody can do you” which I think is great advice. We are all unique in our own way and can offer clients our own distinctive approach to hairstyling.
I would advise new stylists to educate themselves as much as possible. Take classes, go to museums, read books, and make art. Learn as much about humanity as possible. We come into contact with people more than the average person. The more compassion, love, and understanding we have for people helps us to communicate better and benefits us to achieve our goals.
Be sure to follow @therealamyfarid for more #manespiration.