Modern day society if filled to the brim with highly competitive industries. Two of the most distinctive to the public eye being music and styling. Each of these come with an immense number of requirements and pressure in order to fulfil day to day tasks so that the companies within each industry reaches the level of satisfaction which gives them such a huge title.
Which then leads me to question… Do you have what it takes to make it? In order to get into a particular profession which overlaps two different industries, it is often questioned how you actually do this and what paths you should take. Hairstyling is one of many which overlaps countless amounts of times and is also an extremely popular profession to enter.
Luckily enough for us, we have Issac Poleon who is a twenty-two year old hairstylist, based in South London, currently working in the music industry, on board to inform us on his journey, as well as highlighting some key tips on what it takes to be a UK hairstylist in the music industry. Issac has worked with many well-known artists and gained many experiences during his years, which has only allowed his skills to excel.
So Issac, at what age did your passion for hairstyling first begin?
I was around the age of 16. I knew that I had the eye and passion for hair and decided to begin training in that industry.
What measures did you take in order to get to this level of skill?
I studied hair at College and got my NVQ qualification, and then went straight into working within Salon’s and training at the same time. I guess I dived head first into the training side of hair, but I had my extensive knowledge of hair from my peers.
Would you say your style is inspired by anything/anyone in particular?
I really love all hair type’s and stylist’s within this particular industry. So I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m particularly inspired by one thing in particular, but I love good imagery, and am inspired by various stylists both here and in the US especially. I love when hair looks professionally finished and a picture catches your eye.
What led to your work becoming more focused within the music industry?
I’ve always loved music, so I had a passion of it from that alone, but being surrounded by musicians and friends who are involved in the events and music industry I got a taste of how fun it is to work on photo shoot sets, music videos, live shows and much more, and realised that this was where my heart lied.
Is there anything about your work that you have to adjust in regards to working in that particular industry?
The music industry is very eclectic and fast paced, you have to be able to work quickly and think on your feet, the client is always the main focus so making sure that they get the result they desire is key. An artist’s image is a big factor of their career and I sometimes play a big part in this as a Hair Stylist so it’s important I’m on top of my game.
What enabled you to work with such well-known names? Such as Fleur East and T-Pain.
It’s all about mixing your skills and talent, with who you know. I am blessed to have worked with some stylists who introduced me to these amazing opportunities and I have been grinding hard to get my reputation to a place where I can work with such names.
We are aware you have previously worked on set of a T-Pain video shoot, what was that like to experience?
It was super fun, a video shoot is always long hours and a lot of pressure, the director or artist has a particular vision that we have to meet, so it’s about really getting involved and understanding the vibe of the video and making sure that you give them what they need. I had an amazing time!
How much pressure is upon you when working with the likes of these stars?
There is a lot of pressure, but if you believe in yourself then you know you can give them what they need, so it’s about staying calm and fulfilling what is expected. I always remember that the person is a client, regardless of their status or level of fame, so I like to treat everyone like they are gonna leave my chair looking a million dollars.
To date, what has been your greatest experience in the industry?
That’s a hard question as I’ve been lucky enough to experience a lot, but I got to work on Britain’s Next Top Model as a hair stylist and that was one of my favourite things to do. I also won an award for avant-garde hairstylist of the year and that was most definitely a highlight!
You were recently on the road with Nicki Minaj and her tour crew. What was it like being able to work as part of such a big team?
It was such a great opportunity. We had so much fun, her dancers and backing vocalists were amazing people and getting to style them every night was an experience I’ll never forget. Nicki also put on an incredible show each night that I got to witness so that was a huge bonus!
What drawbacks have you encountered throughout your time and what would you say you have learnt from them?
I’ve just learnt to always stay onto of your game, because there is always someone else behind you willing to take your spot, so maintaining a high quality of hair as well as staying passionate and keeping your contacts is key.
Are there any tips you can project to any aspiring hairstylists in this particular industry?
Never give up on your dream! Keep your eye on the prize (And the hair! haha) and remember that you can get to where you want to get. Never stop training, learning and having an open mind, and always listen to you peers with a lot of experience. Even if you don’t agree with how they may style hair different to yours, if you take note, you can learn something from everything!
Be sure to check Issac out!