Jennifer MacDougall, a New York City-based editorial hairstylist and L’Oréal Professionnel artist who has styled hair for beauty and fashion magazines and two Project Runway seasons, shares the journey that took her into editorial work.
How did you get started going editorial hair?
I always loved the hair seen in fashion magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and at fashion shows. Doing more editorial hair was a transition over the past five years as I started working more with Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and with L’Oréal Professionnel, and I became inspired.
Can you tell me more about the difference between salon creative and editorial creative? How do you balance the two?
To me, salon creative is when the hair is coloured, cut and boldly styled, and is not wearable for most people outside the hair industry. It has a unique art that takes great skill but is also often misunderstood by the everyday person. Editorial creative can be more natural or high fashion. It is styled in a way to give a feeling of the upcoming trends for the latest collections.
Was there every an “ah-ha!” moment for you in your career?
When creating editorial looks you sometimes need to hold back. Is hair the main story? Or is it the clothes? Sometimes you need to hold back and style the hair in a simple way.
Can you share three tips for stylists who want to venture into fashion editorial?
Start by building a book with editorial hair; work with editorial hairstylists; and assist them while learning the art of editorial.
What are the challenges of working on-set?
On-set or on-location can mean that you may be somewhere without power for a blow dryer or without a salon environment. You also need to work quickly—often, styling that hair while the talent is having makeup applied and possibly getting nails polished while talking with their agent. It is not the same as being one-on-one in the salon. Also, there is a team of people giving ideas of how they want the talent to look so you must be easy-going and able to work well with others. You must also have a full kit of everything and anything that you may need, including an extensive supply of wigs and extensions.
Can you tell me about a time where you pushed creative boundaries?
Every day we are pushing the creative boundaries by challenging ourselves to create new editorial images. Sometimes it means changing the model’s hair look five times in quick succession to flow with the wardrobe changes.