"I’ve always turned to science for inspiration. ...I get very excited knowing that the unknown can be figured out and even mastered."
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I grew up about 20mi outside of New Orleans.
WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW?
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 I didn’t have classes. I never learned "how" to do different haircuts. I just rolled the dice a couple thousand times and collected the data. I'm still doing it.
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 those 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. If you're paying attention, you're left with something special.
Eventually, I became busy myself and was doing ~2000 cuts a year. I’ve been doing hair 12 years. If you add it all up, that's a lot of information.
"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."
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 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.