As the go-to hair stylist for some of our favorite blonde bombshells (including Kate Bosworth, Kiernan Shipka, January Jones, and Ashley Benson), Bridget Brager knows a thing or two about the art of beautiful, touchable, and ultra feminine hair with the ‘cool girl’ touch. Remember that braid the created for Kate Bosworth during Coachella? While daring, her looks are still wearable by some of Hollywood’s most beautiful fashionistas. We had a chance to chat with her about the makings of a career in one of the most challenging and competitive creative industries. See what she had to say below.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I had just moved to NY and hadn’t received my cosmetology license to work in a salon so I had a lot of time on my hands. I started cutting and coloring hair on the side while I carefully planed which salons I would try to interview for in the big city.
Meanwhile, my husband, was working as a model and he overheard a conversation his makeup artist was having with the stylist on set saying she was looking for an assistant who could cut hair for an upcoming job. My husband quickly jumped in and gave my name. The next thing I knew I was on set. It was a dream I didn’t realize I even had. The next thing I knew I was overwhelmed with excitement by this whole new world of opportunity. I began working hard trying to find more established artists and hairstylists to assist. This lead me to some pretty big names in the business. I started working with these hair geniuses (or mane masters) on photoshoots and fashion shows and traveling around the world with them. It was all a dream and such a great beginning for me.
What was one of your biggest career challenges and how did you overcome it?
One of the biggest career challenges in the business is trusting freelance. As a freelance artist you have to network and build relationships, you have to be able to be super open and free with your time and of course, be good and have a good attitude.
In the beginning, you work a lot for free to build your name and your book. You are really doing this job for the love of your craft. What I learned is to trust that working hard at what you love to do will pay off. I have always tried not to think of day to day or week to week, but big picture. Now, thinking back to the beginning challenges like not having a day off in 12 days and having a $500 paycheck to show for it was a necessary part of the process; its important, and worth it.
Who are some role models who have inspired you?
Oh gosh, so many! Sam McKnight, Odile Gilbert, Guido, Danilo, Recine, Luigi Moreno. And just about every kick-butt girl boss out there (looking at you Mane Addicts)!
What are you favorite tools and products?
A paddle brush, round boar bristle brush, tail comb, my favorite hairspray, mousse, volumizer, hair oil, salt spray, clips and of course my trusty shears, cutting comb and my leopard print cape!
- Harry Josh Paddle brush
- Ibiza Boar Bristle round brush /Spornette round brushes
- Elnett and Oribe Superfine Hairspray
- Leonor Greyl Mousse au Lotus Volumatrice Phytovolume Actif Volumizer Spray /BB Thickening Spray (depends on hair type)
- Moroccanoil Treatment
- Sachajuan Ocean Mist
- Dry Shampoo- Oscar Blandi
- Oribe Dry Texture Spray
- I purchased my Leopard print cape at Nigel’s in the Valley which is an amazing supply shop for hairstylists and make up artists and also, the everyday product junkie!!
What apps can we always find you using?
I’m always updating my Instagram and for fun and inspiration Pinterest puts me in the red zone… it’s too good! I’m training for a half marathon right now, so Runkeeper is keeping me on my toes.
What is your favorite Instagram account to follow?
Which hair products or tools are always in your kit?
What every girl needs- the basics really: a paddle brush, round boar bristle brush, tail comb, my favorite hairspray (Elnett), mousse, volumizer, hair oil, salt spray, clips and of course my trusty shears, cutting comb and my leopard print cape!
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Love every minute. Don’t feed the fear.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? What advice would you give to new stylists?
Don’t be in a rush to get to the “top.” Slow down, take notes, and be nice and genuine to everyone.
What is the next chapter for you?
Who knows?! I guess ultimately, I want to continue to spread my wings. The beauty industry is so thrilling and its changing by the minute. There are so many opportunities to be had and so much hair to do! Lots of dreaming happening over here. I really feel like I’m just getting started.
How would you describe your beauty and hair philosophy?
There’s beauty in balance.
I really believe that beauty shines from within. My philosophy is to find happiness and healthiness on the inside and that will lend itself to the outside in every possible way: hair, skin, smile, everything.
For more #manespiration from Bridget, be sure to follow her @bridgetbragerhair.