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Instagram Must-Follows...And Other Ways to Inspire Your Style
We asked a group of today’s premier hairstylists: Where do you go, and what do you do, when you’re seeking some inspiration? Their answers may hold the key to unlocking your own styling magic!
Just picture it:
You’ve packed the kids off to school...sent your guy off on his daily routine…
...and now...somehow, amazingly...you’ve got the whole morning all to yourself!
So it’s time to give your hair that special attention it so often misses during your busy week.
You make yourself comfortable at your mirror....grab your favorite styling products and tools.
But that’s when it suddenly hits you:
When it comes to fresh, thrilling styling ideas...
YOU’VE GOT NOTHING!
“It’s no fun to sit down in front of that mirror and realize you’ve got no idea what to do with your hair!”
But before you go beating yourself up over a lack of inspiration, trust us:
You’re not alone here.
Whether you’re talking about a brilliant painter, a three-star Michelin chef, or a musical genius…
...any creative person deals with the well of inspiration running dry once in a while.
And that goes for acclaimed salon professionals, too.
After all, can you imagine the challenge of creating daring, sensational hairstyles…up to a dozen times a day...for years?
INSPIRING THE INSPIRATIONS
In short, even with all the natural talent these styling stars possess…
...they too sometimes find their inventive batteries in need of a recharge.
So, we asked a group of today’s premier hairstylists:
Where do you go, and what do you do, when you’re seeking some inspiration?
Their answers will guide you to some serious imaginative stimulation…
...and just may hold the key to unlocking your own styling magic!
INSPIRATION BY THE ‘GRAM
Since you’re already online...why don’t we start our search in the wild world of social media?
That’s what Jen Atkin does.
She’s one of today’s top celebrity stylists, with a client roster including Katy Perry, Chrissy Teigen, Jennifer Lopez, and all the Kardashian sisters!1
And when she needs a jolt of creative energy...she looks no further than her phone.
That’s because Instagram is home to literally thousands of dynamite feeds...showcasing the work of jaw-droppingly gifted hair artists from around the world!
Some of Atkin’s favorite Instagram sources include:
- SYD HAYES (@sydhayeshair): On the feed for this UK-based stylist, “you can expect celeb- and model-packed beauty editorials, and inspiring close-up shots of colorful hair”
- ASHLEY RUBELL (@ashleyrubell): This bicoastal stylist’s feed is full of “air-dried waves, natural texture, artsy braids, and soft bangs”
- JENNIFER LOURA (@jenlourahair): Loura is a head stylist for West Hollywood’s celebrated Mare Salon, but “it’s the inspiration boards she shares that will really get your creative juices flowing”
- SAL SALCEDO (@salsalhair): Another LA-based stylist, Salcedo “knows his way around a haircut...and somehow, each and every chop is more awesome than the last”
When a styling veteran like Atkin trusts these feeds to keep her creativity engaged…
...you can imagine the rousing explosion of looks you’ll find there, waiting for you!
And, of course, you’ll also want to follow Atkin’s own feed, Mane Addicts (@maneaddicts)...
...so you can savor the fruits of Atkin’s own exhilarating styling mind!2
EVERYONE LEARNS FROM SOMEONE
Think for a moment about your career...or about that “dream job” you’re striving for.
Now...who are the people in your field whose innovations encourage you to reach for the stars?
Well, today’s top hairstylists have those aspirational figures in their profession, too…
...iconoclasts whose example helps to inject a shot of originality into their own work!
For example, many stylists we spoke with praised LA-based colorist and “hair activist” Guy Tang, who’s noted for styles simply bursting with every shade on the spectrum.
"Guy Tang’s rainbow-hued hair creations have proven an inspiration for fellow stylists around the globe.”
Fellow colorist and international hair educator Amanda Harsche says of Tang, “I love what he is doing for the industry, and how humble he is about it. It’s like he doesn’t realize he is famous.”
Tang is also cited as an important inspiration by noted hair influencer Mary Tran, and by Lanh Le, master stylist for the Excellent Hair Salon of Fremont, CA.
But interestingly, Tang’s own muse comes from outside the world of hairstyling.
“My parents are my biggest inspiration,” he says. “They may not be in the beauty industry, but I emulate their hard work.”
Tang celebrates the “perseverance” they showed in raising two kids as non-English-speaking immigrants, and he finds strength in the values they taught him…
...strength that comes through loud and clear in his electrifying hair designs!3
Tang’s tale is a reminder that, even if the valuable people in your life aren’t professional hairstylists…
...they can still teach you critical lessons that help you realize your style and glamour dreams!
TAKE THE LOAD OFF
If you’ve ever read an interview with any creative person about where they get their ideas…
...you’ll often notice their best, most striking concepts come to them when they’re thinking about anything but their art.
That’s because sometimes, giving your mind a break from the pressures of creativity…
...is the surest way to conjure the clarity you need for new ideas to take root and blossom!
Our salon pros also assert the value of stepping away and getting a fresh perspective.
For instance, Andrew Carruthers, founder of Salt Lake City’s Lunatic Fringe salon, usually finds new styling ideas waiting for him...at the end of a fishing line!
“Fishing is a place that I go,” says Carruthers, “because it gets my mind in a different place.
“The lakes and the trees and everything that surrounds me while I’m fishing...that’s a lot of what inspires me,” by creating a “peaceful mindset” that allows those new ideas to enter.4
Nature is also crucial to the creative process of Christo, New York’s legendary “King of Curls.”
He advises you to “visit a beautiful scenic place that clears your mind and brings you ideas of designs.”
“The peace and serenity of a splendid scene like this can ease your mind...and get you truly ready to create!”
So, when your styling mind is running in place...try taking it for a walk in the park...puttering around your garden...or picking up a favorite mind-exercising hobby, like sudoku or drawing.
Because while you’re enjoying this relaxing “down time,” your subconscious is hard at work...bringing brilliant new styling suggestions to the surface!
It’s just like Christo says: The ultimate source of all styling inspiration is “your own imagination.”5
THIS STYLE IS ON FIRE
In other words...everything you need to galvanize your style is waiting within you…
...in knowledge and talents gathered throughout a lifetime of feelings and experiences.
But as Bruce Springsteen once said, you can’t start a fire without a spark.
So we hope the nuggets of wisdom from our celebrated salon experts provide just the spark you need, to ignite the flames of your creative passion…
...and channel your abundance of riches into a truly unforgettable styling experience!
- “About.” Jen Atkin Celeb Hairstylist, jenatkin.com/about/.
- Lebsack, Lexy, and Jen Atkin Ouai. “29 Instagrams That Are Basically Hair Porn.” www.refinery29.com/2017/04/149580/jen-atkin-ouai-best-hairstylist-instagrams.
- “20 Hairstylist Influencers You Need to Know.” Beauty Launchpad, 19 Sept. 2016, www.beautylaunchpad.com/20-hairstylist-influencers-you-need-know.
- “How To Find Creative Inspiration As A Hairdresser.” Sam Villa Professional, 16 Feb. 2018, www.samvilla.com/pro/blog/fundamentals/find-inspiration-for-hairdresser/.
- Velázquez, Devri, and Devri. “NaturallyCurly.” Where Curls Come to Life - NaturallyCurly.com, 17 June 2015, www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/home/the-king-of-curls-reveals-his-source-of-inspiration-curlboss.