If the name Suyen Salazar rings a bell, it’s probably because you’ve already seen her work all over your Instagram feed. Whether for an editorial or on one of her favorite celebrity clients, those envious, effortless locks that she’s known for always seem to bring out the best in her subject.
When the hairstylist herself walks into the room, she looks very much like the signature hairstyle that she has long perfected. “My signature look is super relaxed. I liked the more lived-in second day hair. Definitely something with more texture,” Suyen says, adding that she feels that more free-flowing looks accentuate a girl’s face.
“I’ve always thought of working with hair as fun, always playing around with my sisters’ or my friends’ looks,” she begins when I asked her about how her love for hairstyling began. “It was my mom who told me, ‘If you’re good at hairstyling, why not pursue it?’”
Since starting out in the industry nearly eight years ago, Suyen has always stayed true to herself, saying that she doesn’t like looks that are too put-together, as if she were trying too hard. This point of view translates to the way the hairstylist uses hair products as well: “I’m not too heavy with products. I usually use one or two of my favorites when I’m trying to achieve a certain look.”
Suyen mentions this as she fixes the long hair of her muse, it girl Jess Wilson. “Jess and I have been working for almost a year now. She’s the perfect combination of simplicity, beauty, fun and relaxed—and when it comes to my hair, it’s all of the above,” she says.
While her approach may seem very relaxed, Suyen shares that it was her hard work and relentless manner that opened doors for her in the industry: “Be very persistent, especially if you’re planning to be a freelancer! I wouldn’t say that breaking into the industry was necessarily hard. It was just a lot of hard work and dedication.” From starting out as an assistant for a hairstylist, she eventually worked her way up. “I got my break when I started to work for weddings for a celebrity hairstylist based on New York,” she says. From that job, she gained important connections to help her career grow.
Suyen gives away more than a few thoughtful pieces of advice for aspiring hairstylists. “Social media is amazing; it’s how I get a lot of my clients,” she says, adding that an aspiring hairstylist these days shouldn’t shy away from showing off their work on Instagram. “You don’t really need to spend too much money on a website either. Simply use all the free platforms that you have.” In addition to this, she shares that one should keep accepting the different types of jobs that come their way, as more experience will help you improve on your skills and gain connections.
And the most important thing to have as a hairstylist, one might ask? For Suyen, it is the heart one has for what they are doing: “You want to give your clients the best. So you put your heart into your job and give them the best that you can.”
As seen on MEGA Magazine May ’18.