In the traditional world of men’s grooming, one woman is doing things her own way.
MJ Déziel, a hairstylist based in Montreal, is making waves in the men’s segment across North America. Her sheer dedication to excellence in her craft has led her to becoming a Redken international artist, and shortlisted her as a finalist in the 2018 Contessa Awards.
Salon Magazine: Did you always feel a calling to the beauty industry?
MJ Déziel: My mom worked for L’Oréal Canada, and they needed models for an ABA show. I instantly fell for the glam! Even though I studied photography and graphic design, I decided to take the one-year course to become a hairstylist. I gured I had nothing to lose and was obsessed about being on stage. I got hooked.
SM: Why specialize in men’s hairstyling?
MJD: When you’re starting out as a junior hairstylist you usually get the walk-ins who happen to be mainly men. I love clippers and was better at haircutting than colour. I started getting a lot of references. At the time, Redken was also looking for a new men’s hairstylist to be part of their artistic team, and they had seen me compete at the ABA. This was in 2013, at the beginning of the big barbering trend, and it was serendipitious: I got chosen as the lead of their men’s education program.
SM: What is your current role with Redken?
MJD: My title is international Redken artist and brand ambassador, and I’m one of the lead artists for the new Redken Brews education program, specializing in barbering and men’s trends. I co-created the looks and was part of the development of this new campaign, which is launching in March 2018 in the U.S. and Canadian markets.
SM: You are also part owner of a company offering beauty and wellness services in the corporate world. What’s this about?
MJD: It’s called The Regulars. The idea is to provide people who work long, intense hours with haircutting, hairstyling, massage or yoga services in their place of work. Our clients are corporations like Cirque du Soleil, Ubisoft, and other companies in the tech world that offer their employees many perks. We have a team of freelancers who drop in regularly to offer these services. It’s a great way to offer young stylists another revenue stream on a regular basis. I’m a big believer in giving back and sharing with my community.
SM: You seem to have a keen business sense. Where does this come from, and why is it important in your career?
MJD: Doing things differently is very important to me. I grew up thinking that anything is possible. I’m surrounded with great people that I learn a lot from. Redken and my business partner believed in me. I guess my business sense has developed intuitively.
SM: Where do you see yourself going next?
MJD: I’d like to help my peers as much as possible. That’s why I enjoy education so much. I love sharing my passion with other stylists. Oh, and I de nitely want to do more competitions! This Contessa entry was my rst. I absolutely loved the entire experience, from the creative photo shoot, to the thrill of being at the gala. Next time I want to be on that stage accepting my award!