“I love that Sexy Hair is all about wearable hair.  I’ve always appreciated the avant garde but the everyday girl is my esthetic, and it’s what I like to do in the salon.”- Nadirah Volpe
“I love that Sexy Hair is all about wearable hair. I’ve always appreciated the avant garde but the everyday girl is my esthetic, and it’s what I like to do in the salon.”- Nadirah Volpe

Sexy Hair Master Artist Nadirah Volpe was inspired by family to sketch out a life in beauty and encouraged along the way by her industry mentor.

Hidden talent:  “I paint. It’s something I really enjoy and I’m giving it more time and attention.”

Industry hero:  “Rafe Hardy, Sexy Hair artistic creative director. He is one of, if not the best, haircutters I have ever seen.  The way his brain understands haircutting just blows my mind.  He has this nearly OCD attention to detail.”

Favorite part of my job: “I love doing the session work.  I love the energy of the shoots and that instant gratification. It’s one of the best things ever.”

Recent Career Highlight:  “We have done New York Fashion Week a few times but when it was announced that we would be doing Betsey Johnson’s show, I can’t even begin to explain how I felt.  She is someone I have loved since I was a teenager and to be communicating with her on looks and working with someone I admire so deeply was incredible.”

Why she loves the salon: “Being in the salon keeps you in touch with what real women want done and it keeps you on your toes.  If all I did was the travel and runway and photo shoots it would be fine but I might not know what was happening with trends in hair, I would just be doing what I was told to do.”

From a young age, Nadirah Volpe was filling notebooks with sketches, preparing for her planned careers of makeup artist, cosmetologist and fashion designer.  Volpe, a Sexy Hair Master Artist, was inspired by her cousins on separate coasts--- one in San Francisco and one in New York—to ultimately hone-in on hairdressing.  “They wore cool clothes, they were in bands, they were really, really cool people and they did hair.”

She enrolled in Marinello Beauty School and upon graduation, went immediately into a salon in Burbank, CA.  “I got lucky because it was in the mall with tons of walk-in traffic and I was smart about paying attention to other hairdressers so I watched closely and learned what I needed to learn, a lot of it through trial and error. By the time I left, I was the busiest person there.” 

Despite being, in her words, painfully shy, she put herself forward to be a Sexy Hair educator. The process involves not just learning what is required of an educator and becoming well-versed in the Sexy Hair product line, but also a live presentation. “You do this nerve-wracking, terrifying ‘American Idol’ type of audition.  But one of the coolest things I discovered is that beauty school helped to get me to come out of my shell and to be comfortable and confident.”  And she was hired. Today, Volpe travels and educates on Sexy Hair techniques and new collections, and works closely with Artistic Creative Director Rafe Hardy. 

Volpe has been able to return to her beauty school, Marinello, to teach classes and to talk about the potential in a career in professional beauty.  She offers some career tips:

  • Figure out what it is about hair that you love.  Is it color, cut, style?  Find your niche. Then do research on companies who do what you want to do and figure out what you have to offer them.  If you have that passion, you will find a way and things will fall into place.
  • Get out there, attend events and meet people.  Get to know the people in the industry doing what you want to do. 
  • Continuing education is probably THE most important thing you can do.  We can be in salons and know exactly what is on trend in our area but every area is a little bit different and by continuing your education and finding out what else in going in the hair world, it makes us more rounded and give us more to speak about.  If all I can do is ‘California Beachy Waves’ then what is that going to do for someone in the Midwest?

“I’m one of the luckiest people in the work, being able to do something I love and get paid for it. There are so many things you can do outside of the salon, things to keep yourself motivated and inspired.  I never realized all the possibilities in this profession but if you work for it, you can make it happen.”



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