Celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin is one of the most talented ladies around, with a lifestyle that many lust after and a list of clientele miles-long. But her hectic lifestyle often makes our jaws drop, as simply following her on social media can make us tired. We caught up with Atkin during a recent event for Clear hair care, and while discussing their amazing new color treatment line (a must during the summer wear and tear) we got caught up in conversation about her recent work with Khloe Kardashian, her travel essentials, and how she’s inspiring us all with her constant #Hairtalk posts on Instagram.
If you don’t already follow Atkin, she’s a must – for not only new hair ideas, but also an amazing behind-the-scenes look into the life of a celebrity hairstylist. You can go on set with her as she works on everyone from Jessica Alba to Sofia Vergara, and many, many more. Read on below as she dishes about where she finds her inspiration – and why she thinks it’s necessary to inspire others.
Beauty High: Since your schedule is insane do you have an essential products that you always bring with you to travel?
Jen Atkin: I would say for sure Rimowa luggage, I’m obsessed. I always take SkinCeuticals B5 Complex on every flight. I use that because it helps your skin from getting dried out and gross. Berocca, I always take on planes, I always take Wellness Formula from Whole Foods everywhere with me so I wont get sick, it’s a lifesaver. Hair related, I always have Oribe Dry Texture Spray with me no matter what because it’s a lifesaver. With my own hair, with clients hair, it’s like dry shampoo and hairspray mixed together, it’s the perfect combo. I use the Clear Total Care Shampoo and Conditioner and if I’m going on vacation or sitting by a pool, I usually take the Damage Color Repair Treatment Mask from Clear and put it in my hair and wash it out later.
Okay, we have to talk about Khloe Kardashian – she’s been looking amazing lately. Do you have any favorite looks that you guys have created?
For sure, oh my God, we did this really gorgeous one for one of the”X-Factor” episodes. She had on a white Tom Ford dress. It was the first time I really did that side-part brushed, really pretty vintage-y hair. That was my favorite because I think that was the first time she was really glam and I think for so long she was addicted to just really long hair and like those Kardashian waves but it’s fun to do different looks. That’s been my favorite. Actually for my birthday party I did her hair in disco waves and she was doing something for Ryan Seacrest and I thought it was for radio but it was a whole interview situation. So they did this hour special or whatever and she’s got this big like disco crazy, curly hair. She loved it, she loved that hair, everyone loved that hair. It was for my like disco birthday party but she rocked it all day, it was amazing.
Do you normally come up with the hair ideas for her or do you guys collaborate?
Like with everybody, I think I collaborate. I mean there are a few clients that are like, “Do whatever.” But usually we’re collaberating with makeup and stylists so, normally I have my little iPad full of hair images and I’m always scanning different blogs and websites to get inspiration, so I kind of always come with a bunch of pictures just to have on hand.
Do you have a certain client in general who is super-involved or super-daring with a look?
Hmm that’s super daring? I would say the girls who are really open to doing whatever would be Kaley Cuoco – she is one that’s always trying different looks, or Mindy Kaling is always cute about trying different looks, and Jess Alba’s the same, she’s always down for whatever.
Okay, let’s talk Instagram. We love the #hairtalk that you do. Is that simply part of you pulling inspirations as you’re compiling for shoots? How did you come up with the idea to make it your hashtag?
To be honest with you, I kinda started doing it because I felt like there was nothing. I was just complaining to you [Ed Note: This is true, we were complaining about wanting more destinations to go to for beauty inspiration] about the fact that I feel that there are not a lot of places to go to for hair, and I feel like there are more beauty. There is a lack of people that just talk about hair. The biggest thing for me is that I just started with Khloe and started using hair pieces, and like just putting ribbon in her hair and just playing around with scarves and this and that. So for me I just wanted to do something that was hopefully inspiring for other people where they could scroll through the pictures if they’re bored with their hair and you know encourage people to try different things. So it’s kinda just been a hobby that has now become something that I have to wake up and do everyday!
Do you plan out your themes? Have you thought about expanding it into something more?
I know, Instagram to me is doable but having a blog sounds so exhausting to me. I don’t have to have actual content and write a lot of stuff with Instagram. But yeah, I guess it has kind of become my blog. I feel like I don’t really plan it out. It’s weird, sometimes I’ll just be working with a client and we’re talking disco hair and all of a sudden, I’ll start looking up pictures and I’ll find images. It’s usually when I’m on jobs. And whether it’s an inspiration board or mood board that we have on set and I see like Helmet Newton and that reminds me, you know what I mean? And I also think there’s a whole 40-50 years of hair that people don’t think about anymore. We tend to think, Jessica Biel, Lily Aldridge, but no one really references vintage hair which I think is sad. Because I think it’s so pretty so I’m always doing old school hairdos. I miss the days when women did their hair. Our grandmas all knew how to do roller sets and they did their own hair. I don’t think anyone is being taught how to do their hair anymore. Our generation just wasn’t taught how to do their hair, with the internet, etc. – our culture simply doesn’t teach that anymore, and I miss it.
Image via Instagram