Featured Hair Stylist: Sergio Estrada

"Life! The fact that I was put on this earth to create beauty and art with hair. Every morning I give thanks to God for allowing me another day. Every day is a new chance to become a better stylist, to be better than I was the day before."

Why do you think you decided to become a hair stylist? I became a hairstylist by chance. I originally went to baking school and had realised that I didn't love being a baker as much I did baking as a hobby. I was working in retail for three years after finishing baking school and woke up one day, and I decided that I no longer wanted to have a meaningless job, but finding a career, I loved and not have to go to "work" another day of my life. I started brainstorming trying to figure out which career path was the best for me. I always considered myself an artist and loved creating with my hands. I enjoyed ceramics and cake decorating, but was never a good 2D artist. I suddenly realised that I had multiple friends that were hairstylists, and when my mother was young, she was in cosmetology school. I was always very into fashion and my appearance, so I pieced all these puzzle pieces together and came up with Cosmetology!! I went into the program blind and had had no previous experience doing any hair. I think that worked to my benefit because I was very malleable and was able to soak up everything up. Now five years later after my first course, I have never been happier! I am learning something new everyday and will continue to do so. I truly believe that I was put on earth to be a hairstylist and feel blessed to have found my calling.

How did you get your start in the industry? As soon as I enrolled in cosmetology school, I decided to quit my job and start working in a salon so that I could learn the ropes and learn my way a salon in and out of school. I started as a receptionist at a smaller salon, and when I was close to finishing school, I started working as an assistant at a larger salon more well-known salon. Within six months after finishing school, I was on the salon floor with my very own chair! The whole process seemed to take forever, but looking back five years later I am so lucky that everything worked out the way it has. Now I live in New York and am a freelance hairstylist, and also assist on set and work on my photoshoots.

What inspires you? Life! The fact that I was put on this earth to create beauty and art with hair. Every morning I give thanks to God for allowing me another day. Every day is a new chance to become a better stylist, to be better than I was the day before.

Which iconic hairstyles do you love? I am a huge fan of finger waves! Mostly because I think it's one of the hardest hairstyles to create beautifully, they require a lot of patience and practice. It's a hairstyle that will always be in style, recently have been popping up a lot more on the red carpet, magazines, and in music videos. I love how they look both wet and dry. Another iconic hairstyle that inspires me is the "Brigitte Bardot". That lady could do no wrong. Her hair was always full of volume and beautiful natural curls. Her style was very effortless but still looked very put together and sexy. Something I am known for when creating hairstyles for my clients or on set.

Who inspires you? Hustlers. Local Artists. Anyone with a vision and the drive to make their dreams become a reality. There are numerous hair stylists that are true hair gods that I am inspired by constantly, and I strive to become like them one day. But I am still very low on the totem pole and am still learning from my mistakes. I appreciate and resonate with artists, who have goals and dreams. Who wake up everyday ready to hustle! 6. Everyone has a different their idea of success. If you want to be the best hairstylist you can be, you have to stay passionate and hungry! As hairstylists, we are so lucky that there is always some new style to master or a different haircutting technique to learn. We are forever learning and growing. To be successful, you must continue to push the boundaries and stay relevant.

Which skills are required to succeed as a hair stylist? I offer a keen eye and my idea of beauty. I practice my craft on a daily basis and keep up with trends. I believe that everyone sees beauty in different ways, and that's what makes this world so amazing. A hairstyle that I may think is beautiful may not be seen the same way by another stylist or client. I offer my unique style and also really listen to what the client wants, and by keeping their haircut, texture, face shape, and personal style in mind we create the perfect style together.

As a hair stylist, what do you offer that can ensure more business? As stated above, it's all about working closely with the individual to create a unique style specifically curated for them. By really listening to what the client wants and is asking for I get a sense of what they would like to look like. Then I pay close attention to their face shape, hair texture, personal style and what their daily hair styling routine is. You want to enhance the client's natural features and maybe help hide ones that they may not be too fond of.

On what basis do you recommend hairstyles to your clients? Before I became a freelance hairstylist, I was lucky enough to work in high-end salons where we would host different product lines and stylists come to the salon and teach us classes. I have taken a Bumble and bumble basic razor cutting class; Kerastase taught us a braiding course, and a balayage class with Aveda.

Have you ever done a course and where did you do the course? Since moving to New York, my main goal was to become a freelance hairstylist and work on becoming an editorial stylist. Within days of moving here, I was lucky enough to meet and work with Amy Farid. I assisted her on set for Esquire magazine and during fashion week for Hood By Air. She is an amazing and talented hairstylist and has a way of manipulating hair that I had never seen before. I assisted Bruce Dean on set for Carolina Herrera and Echo swimwear's lookbooks. Bruce is very patient, meticulous and a great mentor! He is the true definition of a hustler. Most recently I have assisted Lucas Wilson for major spreads for Elle and W magazines. Lucas has assisted top celebrity hairstylists and continues to work hard and stay humble

Who have you worked for that you could tell your future clients that you are so proud of? Right now it is all about the beach waves!! As the trend continues, stylists are coming up with different ways to style and achieve the look. At times by mixing and alternating different curl techniques to create texture and movement. There are many tutorial videos out there, for the people at home recreating the look, the two most important steps to remember is always to curl away from the face at the hairline, and always to keep the ends straight!! Keeping the ends straight is what will give you the "beachy" effect.

What is THE hottest hair trend at the moment? I used to be obsessed with Jennifer Lopez as a young boy. My bedroom walls were covered with her pictures; I think I would die if I had the chance to create a style for her. I think her face is flawless; she hasn't aged a day in her life, if anything she looks younger! Going off her face shape and features I would want to enhance her features and show off her face; I'd go for something pulled away from her face, some messy top knot or long romantic ponytail with volume at her crown would make her look soft and lovely.

If you had to create a hairstyle for Jennifer Lopez according to the shape of her face, which style would
you go for? The hottest product out right now and everyone, including men, should have is a texture/dry shampoo spray. This product can be used to create texture and airiness within your hair. Ladies, after getting a blowout this will help give you more volume and movement, and on your 2nd or 3rd day it will give you more texture and depending what product line you go with, it will help soak up some those oils, helping your blow-dry last longer. Men, this is a great way to give you some texture if your hair is thinning or tends to lay flat. For men who are blessed with great, thick hair, use a texture spray with your styling pomade, and you won't have to use hairspray. It'll create more of a matte, effortless look.

Which hair product do you think every women should have? What are your goals for the future? Can we expect a product line from you? My future goals are to become a top celebrity/editorial hairstylist. I am working towards that goal now by focusing my time on assisting on set and by continuing to work on my portfolio. Every photoshoot is a chance to master a new hairstyle and to work with a team of talented people to create magic. As of now I have to plans or need to come out with my own product line, but who knows what the future may bring.

Advice for our readers who aspire to be a hairstylist one day? Patience and perseverance and always have an open mind. I think I was so successful in school and have been able to stay focused years after was due to keep an open mind about anything related to hair. Whether it's learning a different haircutting technique, and different way of curling hair, or even as simple as a different way of shampooing a client. You may already know how to do something if someone is willing to teach you a different way, be thankful and humble! You will encounter so many amazing hair artists and I can assure you they would all have their unique way of creating the same look.

What will make you good stylists will be following directions and recreating that look?

To become a great stylist, you will take something you learn from each stylist and make it your own!

Favorite model- Ana Buljevic Favorite makeup artist- Anthony Camacho Favorite Designer- House of Enid Favorite photographer- Diego Campos Instagram: @stylebysergio

Facebook: Sergio Elbailador Estrada

Website: stylebysergio.com Email: estrada.sergio88@gmail.com

Ainslie 1-4 Model:@ainsliestern Photographer: @naresh_studio Makeup:@Davidrazzano Designers:@jamesrobertdesigns @ Kristin 1-4 Model: @kristin.novak Photographer: @naresh_studio Makeup: @Davidrazzano Designers: @jamesrobertdesigns @jacobmcintyredesigns Olga 1-2 Model:@olga_elizar Photographer: @svietasphoto Makeup: @markwitmernyc Designers: @jamesrobertdesigns @jacobmcintyredesigns




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