Jen Atkin is one of the most in-demand and influencial celebrity hairstylists in the world. Her client list reads like the who’s who in Hollywood; Jessica Alba, The Kardashians, Cara Delevingne and Chrissy Teigan to name a few.
She’s also a successful businesswoman in her own right. In 2014, she launched Mane Addicts, which is a go-to online destination for all things hair, and more recently she launched her own haircare range, OUAI.
We love Jen’s positive and supportive attitude towards emerging and established artists, designers and businesses (just watch her Snap Chat). And we were lucky enough to chat with the incredibly humble woman herself.
Here, she reveals her career highlights and challenges, the hottest hair styling tips for women on-the-go and how she stays inspired in such a demanding, ever-changing industry.
Get to know celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin
Congratulations on launching OUAI in Australia. When did you first start putting the wheels into motion for the brand? How did you come up with the name?
I started working on OUAI about three years ago. I’ve spent so much time in France for work and Fashion Week so it’s always been a place that inspires me. The Parisian woman, no matter where you come from, is what every woman aspires to be: casual, effortless, and beautiful. OUAI is all about the nonchalant attitude of the French, saying yes to good hair every day.
Women on the run love a quick and easy morning hair routine. Talk us through a quick ‘how-to’ to achieve an effortless day to day look.
This will ultimately depend on hair type and texture. However, a generic hair routine would include prepping the hair by washing with OUAI Volume Shampoo and Conditioner, then gently squeezing out moisture with an old cotton t-shirt. Spray damp strands with OUAI Wave Spray and OUAI Soft Mousse then do ‘the clip trick’ to create an s-pattern in the hair, pushing the hair up, then placing a clip underneath down the length of the hair. Let air dry, or blow-dry over the clips. When the hair is completely dry, remove the clips, spray with OUAI Texturizing Hairspray, and you’re good to go!
As the creator of some of the best celebrity hairstyles, how do you stay inspired and come up with new ideas for each of your clients?
I love to travel and I’m constantly inspired by my surroundings. I love collecting fashion magazines abroad because the editorial spreads are all so different. I’m also always scouring Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram for amazing inspo images and my computer is filled with folders organizing them all.
Travelling the world for work, what have been some of your career highlights and destinations?
One of my biggest career highlights was working on my teenage idol, Gwen Stefani for the cover of the biggest fashion magazine, Vogue. It was definitely a pinch me moment in my career. The lowest has been all the time I spend away from my husband. We both travel for work a lot and it can be hard. I really value the time we do get to spend together.
My favorite destination memory was when my husband and I got married in Paris two years ago. It was so spontaneous and such a dream.
You have worked hard to build your Jen Atkin/OUAI/Mane Addicts Empire. What have some of the challenges, learning curves along the way?
Staying organized is definitely a challenge. I’ve learned to build a team that you can trust and depend on. I’ve also learnt to not worry if things don’t go as planned, and to embrace the ebbs and flows along the way.
Leading a busy lifestyle, how to you schedule in training? What are your LA gym hot spots?
Khloe Kardashian is my biggest fitspo! She works so hard and always make sure to work out every day. My schedule is nuts, so I usually have to find a class early in the morning or late at night. I love Barry’s Bootcamp right now and I’m a huge fan of Class Pass to try out new classes in LA.
You visited Australia last year with Sir John and Khloe Kardashian. What did you love about Australia? Any plans to come back soon?
I love how warm and welcoming the people are. Everyone is so friendly and hospitable. I’m a big fan of flat white’s and I always have the best time when I’m there.
Star sign: Pisces
Favourite quote: Don’t be jealous of your peers, be INSPIRED by them.
If you weren’t a hairstylist, you would be: A singer on a cruise ship
Currently listening to: The Life of Pablo
Favourite shoes to workout in: Puma
Go-to mascara: Fiona Stiles
Favourite holiday destination: Italy
Can’t live without: Diet Coke
Best piece of advice for success: Be humble, work hard, and don’t try to compete with anyone else. There’s enough to go around for all of us to be successful.