I’ve had the pleasure of working with Edward Lampley a handful of times now, for clients like Teen Vogue, Interview and, my favorite, Gemma Ward in preparation of last year’s Met Gala. We first met when I interviewed him for my friends’ site Lost Hairdressers, after which I went on a tangent of inspiration, asking him questions like, “What do you want to be known for in your career?” My intrigue sprouted from the freedom I found in his work that morning, his laid back humor, and the transformative box braids we created. Lampley’s professional background includes years at Bumble and Bumble under the wing of Mane Master Jimmy Paul, before ending up at Bryant Management in NY. Here, he lets his creativity run free on editorials, always pushing industry boundaries, which is admirable and key in shaping perspective. But not a lot of hairdressers can say they entered their career because they were looking for a girlfriend (haha). Read on to get more on the story behind the work of Mane Master Edward Lampley.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I signed up for shop class in high school and the very first day I thought, “How boring, I’m never going to get a girlfriend if I stay in this class.” Thirty seconds later, I heard a bunch of girls laughing across the hall in cosmetology class. I faked sick and went to the counselor’s office to immediately switch to cosmetology. I actually really loved it and was pretty good at it.
What was one of your biggest career challenges and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge that I have had in my career so far is making sure all my luggage is actually the correct weight that the airlines require (the struggle is real).
Who are some role models who have inspired you?
Julien D’ys, Jimmy Paul, Elon Musk, Scott Harrison, Bill Murray, and Pixar. Let’s be honest— I have never seen one of their movies and not cried.
What app do you use the most?
Uber and giphy (my gif game is really strong).
Do you have a signature look or style that you are known for?
I don’t have a signature look or style at the moment. It may be something that organically happens further down the line in my career, but it’s not something that I’m intentionally trying to create.
What was the last major makeover that you’ve done?
Every day is a major makeover darling, it’s fashion.
Which hair products or tools are always in your kit?
Well I have seven bags, so I feel like I have everything under the sun, but as of lately, I’m really into these products: Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum is one of the best hair oils I have found; Moroccanoil Root Boost—I’m obsessed with this, I’ve been using it in so many ways lately; Phyto Intense Volume Mousse—I love this stuff because I can layer it; Redken Control Addict 28—this is a really strong hairspray and it has a dry finish that allows me to brush it out without tearing out the models hair as I’m doing it.
For tools: I really like the Babyliss Pro Volare Hair Dryer. I used this once in London recently and I came back and immediately bought one for both New York and Europe. They are so powerful! It has a Ferrari engine.
Wigs and extensions are imperative to my kit. My go-to store here in New York is called Helena Collection. She has everything a hairstylist will need and is the best in the business.
What is your favorite Instagram account to follow?
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Push yourself to use your mind more. It’s important to get out of the house. Go sit in nature, read, turn off your phone and computer. I feel like I didn’t pick up on that until about five years ago. Once I did, it was a game changer.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? What advice would you give to new stylists?
Best piece of advice: Never look at what other people are doing around you and compare. Learn to find your own inspiration. Push yourself to be different. My advice to new stylists: Practice. There isn’t a short cut or easy way to learn without practice. You have to push yourself every day to do something creative. Read more books, find your voice. We need more hairdressers who want to change the world.
What’s next for you?
Creatively, I am trying to stop looking at hair in the same way and beginning to think of it more of a medium. Trying to find new textures and shapes, new inspiration, less text book and more real life with art inspiration.
For more #manespiration from Edward Lampley, click here.