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5 Tips On How to Become a Lead Hairstylist at NYFW

Lead hair stylists are without a doubt some of the most important people behind-the-scenes of NYFW. Not only do they lead a team of hairstylists that do the models’ hair, but they strategically help curate and carry-out a look that matches the theme and message of the show.

So needless to say, the job of a lead hair stylist is a pretty coveted position. To find out what it takes to become a NYFW lead hairstylist, we talked to Aveda’s Global Style Director Allen Ruiz backstage at the Public School spring 2018 show to hear how he landed his gig and the advice he has for other stylists looking to follow in his foot steps. Keep reading for Ruiz’s top five tips for hairstylists who want to key a major fashion show.


Allen Ruiz NYFW hair stylist
(via Aveda)

1. Education

Constantly gaining new knowledge on different areas of the industry is key. According to Ruiz, the Aveda Institute’s Cosmetology program offers a class that teaches you about backstage etiquette, basic blowdrying and styling techniques, how to build a kit and finishes off with the chance to work backstage with Aveda at a show during fashion week, which according to Ruiz will really help you get acquainted with the editorial hair world.

2. Volunteer

“Do what you need to do, meet people, help out with shows, work for free, just volunteer and do everything” says Ruiz. Gaining experience – paid and unpaid – opens up opportunities to meet new people and learn new things. Showing up and volunteering shows just how motivated you are to excel in your career path and you never know who is paying attention and what doors could open.


Allen Ruiz NYFW hair stylist
(via Aveda)

3. Network

Meeting and networking with new people in the industry is key and increases your chances of hearing about new opportunities organically. Attend network events, request informational interviews with stylists that you admire, take every opportunity you can to build relationships with people in the cosmetology world.

4. Practice

See what the latest hair trends are on the runway and practice, practice, practice. Follow your favorite stylists on Instagram and try to recreate the styles that they are posting. Perfecting your craft is a major component of landing a gig as a lead NYFW hair stylist.

5. Etiquette

Ruiz’s calm demeanor echoed throughout the rest of his team and made for an overall seamless backstage during Public School’s show, which is no wonder the stylist mentioned how important it is to have good etiquette if you want to eventually be a lead hair stylist for a major NYFW show. Remaining calm and being prepared go hand in hand with having a good etiquette that makes other stylists and people in the industry want to work with you.

Allen Ruiz NYFW hair stylist
(via Aveda)

Want to hear how some of the biggest mane masters almost blew it in the early days of their careers? Check out our ‘Don’t Blow It’ series here.

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