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TOMMY LOVELL
 

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I grew up about 20mi outside of New Orleans.

 

WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW?
Williamsburg

 

WHO, AND WHAT, HAS INFLUENCED YOU?
Getting into hair was completely random for me. In college, I was a History major, so I never thought about hair until I became a hairdresser. But, it’s kind of nice in that way. I just had this blank perspective and all these grandiose ideas about hair. I would just try to make stuff up, really having no idea if any of it would actually work. That’s how I learn.

When I started out, I was assisting someone who was booked every half hour of every day, so I just got tons of exposure. My ‘training’ was really just a mixture of imitation and experimentation. I think a lot of hairdressers have a qualitative training, but mine was definitely quantitative, because we didn’t have classes. You know, just rolling the dice a couple thousand times and collecting the data.

That’s the beauty of the scientific process; if you have an idea, you can test it to see if you were right. Then adjust things based on the results. Then you get a new idea, and you test it. It never really stops. It’s like whittling a piece of wood. Take a little away, see where you’re at.  

Eventually, I became busy myself and was doing ~2000 cuts a year. I’ve been doing hair 12 years. You collect a lot of information in that amount of time.
 

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?
Not surprisingly, I’ve always turned to science for inspiration. Not in a way that directly relates to my work, but I get very excited knowing that the unknown can be figured out and even mastered. I also get a thrill knowing that there is so much that is still unknown. Also, Math. In that anything can be quantified given enough data. I sometimes wonder if there is a mathematically perfect haircut. No remainder. If you assign hair a value, the head and headshape a value, and create an equation with the cut. I don’t know if it matters or if it’s possible, but it’s fun to think about. It’s all about balance.

 

WHO IS YOUR DREAM CLIENT?
I really love doing classic men's hair. But I also have so many dream clients already. There is a stem-cell biologist, artists, a mathematician, a theoretical physicist, lawyers, designers… so many people with so many interesting things to talk about. I love trying to know a little bit about everything.

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