“I decided to devote my time to creating things that can bring happiness around me and embrace the inevitable changes to come.”
Growing up with three brothers, we were constantly surrounded by hair curlers and dryers because my mom is an accomplished hairdresser. I decided to follow suit and, once I finished high school, I completed a post-graduate in hair styling. The next few months I spent as an intern working in various salons around Spain but realized early on I wanted my work to reflect my own signature style. In 1999 I opened my hair salon in my parents’ garage.
La Biosthetique, with whom I share a long-standing relationship, mentioned I could enter their international hair styling competition in 2015. I did and, to my delight, I won Spain’s Cut & Colour Award. This was big and I decided to inquire further into the realm of hair styling awards. I am very grateful for how things have panned out.
Signature style and artistic interpretation:
I consider myself to be open minded and more than a particular style as such, I would mention my relentless attention to detail as being my signature trait. When it comes to deciding on the themes for my collections, I tend to sway towards more serious issues like the defence of human rights, freedom of expression or concerns for our planet. A lot of energy goes into research and preparation because I want the story behind the showpiece to unfold before the viewer’s eyes.
Turning point in my career:
The lockdown period during the first wave of Covid-19 was very unsettling. At a moment’s notice I had to close the salon and go from working 12-hour days to zero in a heartbeat. This left me with a lot of time to process many things.
In the end enough time puts things in perspective and I decided to devote mine to create things that can bring happiness around me and embrace the inevitable changes to come. One of the things I learned is to worry less about outcomes and trust more in my artistic interpretation and this, led me to reach a certain type of freedom to create I had not experienced before. So yes, this was definitely one of the turning points in my career.
One of my most anxious moments in my career definitely happened at the 2017 Visionary Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The venue was prestigious and intimidating. Thousands of people came to see some of the best work in the hair professional industry. This caused some serious butterflies in my stomach. Funny thing is that when I was proclaimed winner for my Avant-garde collection, the butterflies from before seemed insignificant to what I felt later when I found myself “speaking” to Anthony Mascolo and the press in my non-existent English.
Over 20 years there have been many moments of which I am proud. I am most proud of the UMA technique that myself and Brendon (my good friend and partner) created at the end of 2020. We have been working on this for over two years and to see how effective UMA is and how much fun other hairdressers were having with the technique, was extremely gratifying.
“Creating textures is like joining stars to create constellations.”
Tell us about UMA technique:
I started developing this technique when creating my collections, but the execution was very primitive. I kept on thinking this should be easier and accessible to hair professionals. So, one night when Brendon was the last cut, I told him about my intention, and it didn’t take long before both of us were working on making the perfect instrument to practice the technique. We started referring to the instrument as a “her” and so “she” started gaining personality. Creating textures was (is) like joining stars to create constellations so I suggested naming her UMA, the abbreviation for the Big Bear constellation. Brendon liked it too and UMA stuck.
Goals for the future:
First and foremost, I aim to be a better person today than I was yesterday. Professionally, my ambition is to keep myself at the forefront in our industry and inspire my team and other professionals to act on and believe in their own creative madness. UMA’s success is very important too because I want to leave behind a technique exclusively for hair professionals, with which they can nurture and develop their own creative craziness.
“I often remind my team to dream as if they were children again and execute like the professional they want to be remembered as.”
Advice for someone starting as a hair professional:
Don’t be afraid of mistakes and spending time in areas outside your comfort zone can inspire you in surprising ways. Our subconscious has a peculiar way of matching past occurrences with new experiences and we are left to interpret what has been presented to us. I often remind my team to dream as if they were children again and execute like the professional they want to be remembered as.
I would also remind them that as hairdressers we are better professionals when we share than when we compete. Don’t get me wrong, fair competition is healthy, it’s a way to keep us at the top of our games but don’t be afraid of sharing. Sharing demonstrates security in one’s’ ability and helps others to become better which at the end of the day, can only improve our industry standard.
- Winner Beauty Stylist La Biosthetique 2015
- Winner Best Runway Fígaro 2016
- Winner Avant-garde Fígaro 2017
- Winner Alternative Hair Show Avant-garde 2017
- Finalist Avant-garde AIPP 2017
- Finalist Commercial Men AIPP 2018
- Prenominated Hairdresser of the Year Fígaro 2018
- Finalist Hairdresser TCT Awards 2019
- Finalist Avant-garde Fígaro 2020
- Finalist Cut & Colour Fígaro 2020
- Finalist AIPP Avant-garde 2020
- Finalist Avant-garde TCT Awards 2020
- Hair styling magazine covers:
- Estetica Magazine
- Gallery Hair
Professional hair stylist who inspires you:
Game-changers like Vidal Sassoon, Robert Lobetta, Toni Mascolo and Trevor Sorbie did not worry about the outcome and, by doing so, they achieved so much.
Favorite experience styling a celebrity:
Without a doubt, when I styled Spanish music icon Monica Naranjo’s hair for her music video Doble Corazón.
Where do you see yourself five years from now:
Creative Director of Kumenhair and continuing to develop UMA by incorporating new techniques and instruments designed for hair professionals of all technical levels.
Photo: David Arnal
Makeup: Raul Castano
Styling: Eunnis Mesa and It Spain
Photo: David Arnal
Makeup: Merche Ramirez
Styling: Eunnis Mesa