The Social Media Renaissance of Artisan Stylists

By Danni Gess

I don’t know about you, but since the mainstream acceptance of fashion colors, I’ve been seeing an incredible evolution in the hair industry. An artistic freedom has been unleashed that can only be described as a Renaissance.

Skilled in their craft, creative, and highly motivated, the Artisan Stylist is what I call the exciting new kind of beauty professional that was born from the likes of Instagram, Periscope, and YouTube.

By definition, an artisan is a person who has the creativity and trained skill to create an exceptional product. We, as beauty professionals, have always understood our value but the embracing of these social media artisans speaks volumes to the level of increasing respect for our industry’s artistry.

Though there are hundreds, if not, thousands of stylists that have showcased brilliant work worthy of mention, I decided to feature three whom I follow, that are predominately creative color.

Ash Fortis, aka xostylistxo, is an Instagram sensation with 57k followers and a ton of recognition from major publications such as Modern Salon, Beauty Launchpad and The Colorist Mag. The first time I saw her work was when a co-worker showed me some pictures from Instagram. The juxtaposition of modern edginess and sweet feminity of her color choices had me eyeballing my tubes of fashion colors with unbridled glee.

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this part of her collection she named Moonstone.

She shared with me some of the  current looks she is working on and what direction she see the trends are going.

“Hologramic hair is with a silverized base. I choose colors that would help give the look a three dimensional effect. I also place blocks of colors through the hair…I predict that silver and metallic colors will be very popular…Dusky Metallic. I think more hair stamping, like what I am doing with the digital hair feathers and pixels”

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I’m not going to lie, I’m a sucker for the digital feathers. It’s a brilliant, modern take on that popular feather trend. I’ve heard more than stylist say they missed that trend. Come on!… Admit it! You want it back. Ha! Well, the feather trend has sailed on BUT, I can see this catching on.

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My inner geek completely fell in love with the Pixel Project spearheaded by Philip Ring, aka Philipdoeshair. Shockingly bold and modern, Philip shared that his inspiration came from an old Vidal Sassoon Bauhaus book that featured  Annie Humfrey and Mark Hayes creation in the 1980s. A Sassoon devotee, that drive for excellence shows in every delicious detail in his creations. The concept of taking a flat graphic and somehow create a fluid design is, to me, ground breaking.

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I remember when Philip was working on his pixel technique because I was trying to figure it out at the same time. My first attempt was, shall we say, uh…unimpressive, so I was green with envy when I saw he cracked the code.

S’all good, my friend. I bow to your brilliance. <grin>

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Jordan Glyndmeyer, aka PinupJordan, came to my attention in an education forum over a year ago. I feel like I’ve watched her artistic “voice” develop to the point that I can spot a PinupJordan creation in a lineup. A prolific Instagramer, Jordan has quickly accumulated nearly 20k “Mermaid” followers that embrace a bold color story with a classic pin up bent.

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My favorite thing about following Jordan’s feed (aside from the obvious)? I love a good success story. From a small town hairstylist to a booming entrepreneur, she is always looking at new ways to expand her knowledge; how can you NOT be inspired to push yourself?

Much like the difference between a Monet and a Rembrandt, each of these professionals have a unique artistic voice that have striking differences and yet they all have legions of fans that await their newest creation. Social media has created a platform for gifted professionals to share their work independently without having to partner with a corporate name. It’s  a brave new world!

How long the fashion color trend will last is uncertain but one thing is for sure; It has unleashed a movement that, I believe, is here to stay.

Are you an Artisan Stylist showcasing your work on social media? Comment below and tell us your experience!


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Beautiful Thursday: What to Consider when Choosing an Updo

Weddings, Proms, Homecomings, Social Events…there are so many events that come up where you may be in need of a beautiful coiffed style. Oftentimes, my clients will bring pictures of what they want,which is incredibly helpful and welcomed. However, there are some important factors that many people do not consider ahead of time and are sorely disappointed when “dream hair” does not turn out what they expected.

Here are some important considerations when pulling together a Pinterest look book of option for your stylist.

Color

Yes, a brunette can wear the same updo  as a blonde or ginger but you won’t see the details in pictures. When looking at pictures of updos decide if it’s the shape or the detail that excites you. Typically a picture of a blonde will showcase the beautiful details in the creation where in darker brunette a, it’s all about the shape. Don’t believe me? Look back at old prom pictures and compare the blondes from the brunette a. If the brunette did a style that focused on details the chances are those details, though visible, did not pop like the blonde.

A blonde an brunette. Same style, different results

A blonde an brunette. Same style, different results

Does this mean brunette a can’t have details? Of course not! Just make sure the shape is the wow factor.

Clothing

What are you wearing?

It’s one of the first questions I ask my clients when they sit in my chair. This can be a deciding factor on up, down, vintage or modern. For instance, when wearing a dress with one shoulder and you want an asymmetric updo, which side do you put the heavy side? If your stylist doesn’t know wear the straps are, you may look very heavy on one side. Or, if you chose a bridal gown because you think the back of it is gloriously detailed, you’ll want to make sure you style your hair up to show it off. Keep these factors in mind both when choosing a hairstyle but your dress as well!

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Extensions, Extension, Extensions…

I can do amazing things with hair. Really. But I cannot give you Taylor Swifts hair. She’s got more hair than the average girl so if you want your hair to have that fullness, you may need extensions. Clip ins work. Preferably real hair because the synthetic kind can not have heat on it. Expect the price to be a minimum of $100 to buy those bad boys but on the plus side, you get to keep them!

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She had surprised me on the photoshoot with her hair all cut off….extensions save the day!!!

Veils, Tiaras and Adornments! Oh My!

If a stylist does not know what you are wearing on your head, we cannot make proper space for it in our creation. Even if you are planning on putting a simple clip in your hair, a stylist should do it. Why? Because once we’ve constructed your hairstyle and lacquered it with hairspray you cannot muss with it. Besides, wouldn’t you want there to be no unsightly pins or elastic showing? That’s our job.

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You are not Kim Kardashian. You are : fill in the blank.

When you show me a picture of a celebrity updo, I will take it as inspiration to make the best possible you…not said celebrity.

Why?

Because a kabillion other women are showing that same picture to THEIR stylists. Each client is an individual. My job is to highlight that and make it uniquely and authentically YOU. I mean, why have cookie cutter hair when you can have couture?

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Still some detail in her updo but we focused on how the shape would go with her dress.

Tell us your experiences with getting your hair done and how you felt about it. We want to hear!