All it takes is a quick glance through Larry Sims Instagram to realize just how talented this Mane Master is. Styling the likes of Zendaya, Lupita Nyong’o, Gabrielle Union, and Mary J. Blige, Sims has established himself as an expert in the art of both sculpted and natural hair. His looks on Lupita range from perfectly coiled feminine curls to deep side parts with chiseled finishes. His work on Zendaya shows off her gorgeous long mane; the types of waves girls can only dream of. Sims indulged us in his career and let us in on his surprising advice for success…
How did you get your start in the industry?
I got my start through being a professional dancer. I met Ken Pavis by way of dancing for Jessica Simpson. He gave me the opportunity to work for Victoria Beckham when he wasn’t available and the rest is history…
What was one of your biggest career challenges and how did you overcome it?
I’d have to say my biggest challenges came during my start in the industry. I didn’t have much in terms of experience and tools so I had to fake it until I made it. In order to move forward I became a sponge and stayed around people who inspired me. Learning to not take things personally and the understanding that the “problem” is always bigger than you, came a little bit later but are very relevant still.
Who are some role models who have inspired you?
Johnny Wright who is the First Lady’s hair stylist is a great friend and gave me an apprenticeship when I was in cosmetology.
Ken Paves because he believed in me.
Oscar James because he was the first known artist that I knew when coming into the industry and I still respect him to this day.
Oribe because… he’s genius.
Do you have a signature look or style that you are known for?
Lately, the versatility I’ve been able to achieve with Lupita (switching up the parts and shapes) with little hair to work with. I just started working with Shemeik Moore and he asked for “the Lupita part.”
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Calm down…it’s all going to be fine.
Which hair products or tools are always in your kit?
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
The best piece of advice I’ve received is to always be inspired. Do your homework, stay on trend, think outside of the box, and always surround yourself with amazing talented positive people.
What is the next chapter for you?
Products, producing television content, books, and classes. I want to continue to inspire any way I can.
How would you describe your beauty and hair philosophy?
My hair philosophy is to do you, unapologetically. Live outside of the box… it’s just hair.
For more #manespiration, follow @larryjarahsims.