Celebrated American hairstylists Alfredo Lewis, Phillip Wolf and Danielle Keasling talk about hairstyling education, art, and their Bollywood dreams.
Hair has always been held to high standards in India, which is a key reason for international hair stylists and hairdressers to venture into the Indian market. Currently leading the game are Alfredo Lewis, Phillip Wolf and Danielle Keasling from the United States.
“We have travelled many parts of the world, and India has always been a place where we really wanted to visit and explore more opportunities,” says Alfredo, who, along with Philip and Danielle, was in India to participate in India’s first hair fest in Goa hosted by hair colour brand Matrix. “It’s great to be in India. I love the food. People here are very welcoming,” says Philip, to which Danielle agrees with a smile.
The hairdressers note that the professional hairstylists in India need overall education to place themselves strongly in the market. “I think people across the world don’t consider education an important element for hairstyling, and that’s wrong. It’s an important part because you are literally touching someone’s hair and working with it,” explains Danielle, who has illustrious A-list clients in the US including Lady Gaga. “Without education, artists will crumble and disappear. When you’re an artist, your food is creativity and that can only come with inspiration. So for that, you have to spend time with people who can educate you,” adds Philip, who has worked with the Kardashian sisters before.
While hairstyling has still not become a mainstream profession, the stylists attribute it to lack of awareness and respect for the artists. “I know it is even difficult for people to call them artists, but everything is so theatrical in hair styling. You can’t just do anything you want. We as a community need to create awareness among our clients,” says Alfredo, to which Phillip adds that hairstyling is similar like fashion.
“You can just wear what covers your body, so why to think of fitting, colour and fabric? You want to dress down and up on the basis of an occasion, and hairdressing works the same way. For that you need to have that imagination,” he elucidates.
When asked if working with celebrities comes with any challenges, Danielle reveals that she treats all her clients equally. “It will be the same pressure as for any other client. Just because someone is a celebrity, I am not putting any extra or less efforts. They are my clients and they are important as any other client,” she says. However, Phillip confesses that he does feel pressured because their expectations are high.
“There is a lot of pressure. Anything that you do on a higher level, it includes higher pressure. You need a lot of education and practice before you work with any celebrity,” says the hairstylist, adding that celebrities don’t go with phonebook contacts. “They come with a trust. For them, everything is about looks so when you deal with them you need to be extra cautious,” he warns.
While many Western artists have earlier collaborated with Indian artists and Bollywood celebrities, the trio too expresses their wish to make their ways into tinsel town. “I would love to. If anyone reaches out to me, I am up for it,” says Phillip, to which Danielle adds, “I would love to collaborate with Indian actors. There is a lot of detailing in everything, and I am open to work on that.”