Nik Martel styles a model's waves backstage for the Violet color segment at the World of Color...
Nik Martel styles a model's waves backstage for the Violet color segment at the World of Color presentation.

We first met Nik Martel backstage at Miss USA back in May where she crafted one of the evenings most talked-about looks, 2016 Miss USA Deshauna Barber’s natural afro, which was a touching homage to Barber's recently departed mother. We caught up with Martel over the weekend at Farouk's Global Conference in Cancun backstage as she styled looks for the World of Color presentation.

Seattle, but currently living in San Diego. 

Curly or straight?

New York or LA?

Cats or Dogs?
Dogs, I have three.

Best part of your job?
I get to meet new people all the time; you make friends fast. I love the comradery the business brings.

Hardest part of your job?
Waking up and being here at 5 a.m. I’m not a morning person at all.

Guilty Pleasure?
Video games. When I’m not on the road or in the salon 40 hours a week, it’s relaxing with my husband and my dogs and totally vegging out. If you’ve ever heard the term pantless Sunday…yeah [that’s my guilty pleasure] and playing video games and watching Netflix and just chilling.  

What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
13 Reasons Why

Favorite hair/style era?
I love the ‘40s and ‘50s; I love those classic styles. Even some of the early ‘60s looks like the Bridgette Bardots and stuff like that. I love classical waves and simple styles, things that look clean and elegant.

Favorite CHI tool?
Right now I’d have to say our CHI Ellipse wand. It’s Teflon, so hairspray doesn’t stick to it. You don’t have to worry about any product residue on it.

Favorite styling product?
Miss Universe Work Your Style flexible hairspray. I can comb through it and work with the hair and not snag it up. It’ll hold curl all day long.

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