Choose Beauty: Nick Arrojo
Hometown: Manchester, England
Industry Icon: Horst Rechelbacher
Career other than hairdressing:
Now reading: MODERN SALON
Your Favorite Day: Cutting hair behind
the chair, taking clients
Hidden talent: DJ-ing
Title of your autobiography: Don’t
Dream It, Be It
Motto: “If you can do it, why can’t I.”
Nick of the Trade
Nick Arrojo heads a hairdressing brand with a culture of fun, professionalism, integrity, education and inspiration.
Nick Arrojo became a hairdresser, because he says: “I needed to have a creative job where I could listen to music and meet girls.” Today, at the head of a hairdressing brand that encompasses all elements of hair—salon, education center, product line—Arrojo continues creating, cutting to music and making women more beautiful.
A hairdresser at 16, a Vidal Sassoon Artistic Director by 21, Arrojo traveled the world. A move to Wella at 26 put him in front of “all the industry greats—Nicky Clarke, Toni Mascolo, Trevor Sorbie. All the talent-rich hairdressers came through that studio in London,” says Arrojo.
Making the Leap
In 1994, he came across the pond to America to become the head of education at New York’s Bumble and Bumble salon and to work in a culture he describes as “very optimistic.”
“Hair was much more important for people in America and they were willing to try new things,” explained Arrojo. “It was much more commercial in America, more wearable, and women wanted to look sexy.”
Famous for his razor-cutting technique, the entrepreneurial Arrojo partnered with Rodney Cutler on Arrojo- Cutler, an Aveda Concept salon in New York City, in 1997. Then, in 2001, he opened Arrojo Studio in Manhattan.
“There comes a point in life where if you’ve worked with the best and you’ve worked for the best, you want to go on your own journey,” says Arrojo. “There was nobody I could go and work for anymore and I wanted to be the leader of my own ship.”
Today, the Arrojo brand comprises the hair studio, an academy, an inhouse cosmetology school, an eponymous product line and the Arrojo Expo.
“The Expo is our event, one of the few owned in full by a hairdresser, and it’s an opportunity to share our culture of fun, professionalism, integrity, education and inspiration,” says Arrojo. “We’ve done it in New York, Atlanta, and now, on March 10, we’re going to give Chicago a little taste of what we think hairdressing should be about.”
And if that wasn’t enough, Arrojo and team are busy launching Style Council, a collective of Arrojo-using hairdressers; re-launching the Arrojo website; planning a three-day training and photoshoot for their Ambassadors; and a “massive” Goldwell Tour across the U.S. “We are ‘powered’ by Goldwell.”
“Hairdressing is the best job in the world,” says Arrojo. “You can have complete freedom of where you work, you make people feel good and look great, it’s give you creativity, you can travel all over the world and you can earn an unlimited amount of money. Plus, it’s so diverse; you can do fi lm, fashion, salon work, be part of a team. It’s so much fun, it keeps you young.”