We don’t all have the luxury of a personal hair stylist, so we sat down with Jen Atkin to find out how to get effortless Hollywood hair.
Thanks to the Kardashians everybody knows who Jen Atkin is, and the magical power she holds over hair. Jen is a celebrity hair stylist that’s responsible for all your favorite hair looks. She specializes in effortless waves and super-cute updos, you only have to look at her clients, Sofia Vergara, Chrissy Teigen, Jessica Alba and the Kardashian clan to see just how talented she is. We sat down with her at the launch of her extension collaboration with Beauty Works to steal some of her hair secrets.
Do you want to explain a little bit about your collaboration with Beauty Works?
I actually started my career doing extensions ten years ago for Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie and Mischa Barton back in the day, and it’s changed so much since then. I remember we only had the option of doing individual bonded extensions and it would take 6 hours to put them in, 3 hours to take them out! I stopped doing extensions because I didn’t have the time.
I actually stumbled upon Beauty Works while I was travelling, and I’m always looking to see what’s out there and what’s new. I also really like to, I think, associate myself with people who are innovative and forward thinking. After talking to them, I stalked them, and I was like we have to do something together. I just loved everything that they stood for, and I think that being able to have like a 9-month guarantee – most companies would be 4 or 6 months – shows how confident they are in their product.
So what’s different about these extensions and what’s the idea behind them?
So the first thing was the hair quality. The second thing was the color. That’s probably what we spent the most time on because the biggest pain is when people get extensions and it never has a root – that’s the number one thing that’s going to show you have extensions. I wanted to have different options for different hair types, some people want permanent extensions, some want temporary extensions. I personally, in my kit, use the clip-ins.
I think extensions have a bad name because when they first came out it was like the spaghetti strands and I think we’ve just come such a long way from there now.
What do you recommend for busy career girls on the go who want to try out the extensions but may be a bit short on time or technical skills?
The hair enhancer, I think that’s best because it’s the fastest. You’re getting more hair in a quicker amount of time. Some girls feel a little intimidated by the placement of clip-ins, and individuals or the three-strand, so my best tip is to get the hair enhancer and put it in the back of your hair. I love my Ouai wave spray, which is actually available on Sephora.com here in the UK, so get some wave spray and a diffuser, then run it through your hair for like 5 to 8 minutes, and you’re done!
Do you have any tips for balancing a busy life with home life and trying to stay sane when you’re on-the-go all the time?
Don’t get married, just be single forever! No, I think, not being hard on yourself. It’s funny with social media, I follow girls that I’m like “Oh My God, I’m not doing enough with my life,” you know. I would say, don’t be so hard on yourself. Like last year, I mean, there were times when I was having what we call Saturday night meltdown, and my husband was like “Oh My God, here it comes again,” and I would be crying for no reason, exhausted and really, really hard on myself. This year, I made a point to just do as much as I can in 24 hours, be present in the moment and not stress out because even if I have a lot going on, I never want work to feel like work.
Do you have any apps that help you balance it all?
I’m such a tech nerd! There are so many amazing apps that have helped change my life and organize it because I’m also anally organized. So, I’m a huge fan of PostMates, it’s like a food delivery service, Uber, and my team and I talk on this app called Slack, and then Dropbox is my other best friend. Slack is number one – we’re all on this network but all our conversations are categorized so instead of us all texting one another, we just jump between topics to talk. Life changing.
Tell us more about The Ouai, and what it’s been like founding your own company?
Yes – my baby! This has been my blood, sweat and tears for the past two and a half years. It was terrifying and liberating at the same time. You know, it’s still weird that it’s made and finally happening. It’s so exciting though because I feel like everything that I’m doing, feels so authentic and organic. I really believe in the hair extensions and what we’ve created, and the same thing with Ouai. It’s a good opportunity for me, I just wanted something that was modern, looked cool and was a good quality product with a good price point. I just saw loads missing, and felt like an overstimulated consumer myself.
Everyone wanted me to try their product and I just felt like nothing looked chic. It was all too much. Everything I talk about on Instagram (@jenatkinhair) is really the problems that I have and I thought instead just putting my name on a bottle, I wanted to create a cool brand and an online platform for sharing ideas. It’s not about me. I curate all of the looks on the website but it is actual girls doing their hair.
Do supplements really work for hair? Do you have any tips for nourishing your hair from the inside?
We’re actually coming out with supplements in May. You can only do so much externally, every year I’ve been prescribing clients different vitamins to take. So, it’s really exciting for me because the millennial buyer does really understand health. It’s why we have SoulCycle everywhere and juice bars on every corner. It’s just a no-brainer, taking a vitamin to get your hair thicker or to help any problems you have.
What are your beauty essentials?
I love Christophe Robin’s line. Christophe Robin’s volumizing mist is one of my favorites, I use it daily, it’s got a rose scent – amazing! I love Kevin Murphy, he’s got amazing pomades, really good gels, everything for texture. That little weird bottle over there is called Gorilla Snot, and it’s like two dollars from the States, I think you can buy it here probably on Amazon. And then I love, K Beauty does have amazing products, their flat iron is my essential flat iron, such a good price point, too. I would say probably our Ouai texturizing hair spray is another essential, it’s like if dry shampoo and hairspray had a baby.
Check out Mane Addicts and Jen Atkin’s collection for Beauty Works.