The hair guru behind Tinashe, Keke Palmer, Jayden and Willow Smith, and Taraji P Hensen?! Marcia Hamilton is a natural hair guru, an expert stylist, and am absolute hair artist. Working with some of the biggest names in the biz, she has an impressive resume and vast skill set that includes everything from sleek, structured looks, to wild, lived in texture. Keep reading to learn a thing or two about this #manemaster…
How did you get your start in the industry?
At age 9 my mom told me I would become a hairstylist. After many years of living in denial, I finally took the advice of family and friends and enrolled in
beauty school. From day 1 I was hooked and fell in love with the art of styling hair and making people look and feel awesome.
What was one of your biggest career challenges and how did you over come it?
Leaving a 3 year established clientele behind to chase my dream of be coming a celebrity hairstylist meant relocating to Los Angeles, one of my biggest career challenges. I was the new kid with a rainbow colored mohawk trying to make it in Beverly Hills where I didn’t quite fit in. Pre social media days, building a clientele, a set kit, assisting multiple hairstylists while struggling to create a portfolio with free test shoots was overwhelming. Juggling all these components and remaining positive took time to navigate while keeping my bills paid. But with much effort, I persevered and made it through victorious.
Who are some role models who have inspired you?
Kim Kimble, Orlando Pita, Sam McKnight, Odile Gilbert, Guido Palau, Serge Normant, Chuck Amos, Michael Boadi, Vidal Sassoon, Julien D’ys, and Bob Recine.
Do you have a signature look or style that you are known for?
Over the years, I’ve definitely developed a signature style. I’ve always been inspired by old movies, vintage pin-up girls, and all 80’s fashion. This influence always comes through in the looks I create. Incorporating hair extensions is usually a must for me in achieving these gorgeous, voluminous, sexy coifs.
What was your last major makeover that you’ve done?
I gave Tinashe a lob hair cut for her BET Awards red carpet look. Then chopped it again into a textured bob, literally 10 minutes before she walked out onto stage to present the next award. It was all really crazy in the moment when it went down, but it looked AMAZE and there were no regrets. She loved it!
Which hair products or tools are always in your kit?
I have multiple kits that I use each packed to suit the specific occasion, client, or location for that day. A typical day can start on set for an editorial shoot, mid afternoon I’m zipping through LA traffic to glam another client for her red carpet event, then I’m off to the salon for an evening of highlights and
extensions with my last client of that day. Sometimes my work day can end with me on a red eye flight to another city for the next job. Each
job is very different. Over the years, I’ve gotten pretty savvy with my kit packing and am always prepared for the unthinkable. I now have what I
call my “Euro Kit,” which is totally outfitted with a dual voltage blow dryer, flat irons, curling irons, clippers and trimmers. I finally learned my lesson after frying too many tools and messing with those tricky adaptors.
My go-to products: Kerastase Oleo Relax, Tancho Wax Stick, Oribe Dry Texture Spray & Rough Luxury, Kera Care Edge Tamer & Finishing Spray, Toppix Hair Fibers, Oasis Dust It, Dry Shampoo, Ojon Oil.
Tools: Ibiza round brushes, Cricket Carbon Combs, Mason Pearson brush, T3 Blow Dryer, T3 Flat Irons & Curling Wands, BabyBliss Pro Curling Irons, Hikari Shears, Makita Leaf Blower, Extensions & Wigs.
What is your favorite Instagram account to follow?
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Pay more attention to the business end of your industry not just the creative. Take charge and don’t be afraid to speak up, ask more questions. Start your own youtube channel, it might not be a bad idea.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? What advice would you give to new stylists?
The best advice I received was from a friend who is a wardrobe stylist in the industry. She told me to “Just remember Bob & Weave”… by this she meant … be prepared to keep it moving in this biz because no one is loyal. Never get too comfortable, never take things for granted nor take things personally. Pay attention, study your clients, and always remain flexible. Be light on your feet, precise and quick. My advice for new stylists… If you fail to plan, then plan to fail… work on your craft, practice makes perfect. Set goals and stay focused. Invest in your continued education, updated tools and products. Always have an open mind to new opportunities, not every job will pay well or even pay at all. But each can lead to something great that you never expected. Be professional and don’t burn your bridges, our industry is small and things always come full circle. Positive vibes only.
What is the next chapter for you?
Focusing on the direction of my Hamilton Hair brand while building a strong team of artists to create new and exciting looks together. I would like to educate more, share my knowledge and skills while inspiring other stylists.
Be sure to follow @marciahamilton for more #manespiration.