He is just so gorgeous. His body is that kind that inspired statues by the great sculptors during the Renaissance. He’s 6’1”, chiseled and fit. Many of his Instagram photos show him on the beach, sometimes holding a sporting device like a surfboard or basketball. He is perfectly tanned – and in maintaining consistency, the caption of a recent post reads “Tanning is a sport.” He is holding a football. When asked how he relaxes, he says, “going to the gym.”
Chris Appleton is living quite the life right now, and it is a life he has been gearing up for since age 13 when he knew, for sure, he wanted to be a professional hairdresser.
Appleton was born and raised in Leicester, England, a city about 2 ½ hour drive north of London. Although he acknowledges he “put in the work” by studying his craft and working up the ladder in salons, his big break came in 2010 when he won “Young Talent of the Year” in the British Hairdressing show “Hairdresser Of The Year.” This, he admits, became his springboard. “It was my opportunity,” Appleton says. “It’s important to recognize every opportunity and go with it.” He eventually moved to LA where he immediately became a “go-to” hairdresser for celebrities.
Appleton has earned an impressive list of Hollywood A-listers that rely on him for an exciting finish. Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, Kylie Jenner, etc etc etc., but the one name that has generated the most buzz from the professional community is Kim Kardashian. It was Appleton who created a nightmare for the salon industry when he took Kardashian from jet black to platinum in one day. “I got a lot of comments from hairdressers,” Appleton says. “They were so negative! But even though people questioned whether or not I did it, it was accomplished in one day and her hair was gorgeous.” (Appleton credits Olaplex for keeping the hair healthy.)
MODERN asked Appleton what his favorite era of beauty was. “Actually right now,” he says. “I love that there is so much change. I think that the big trend right now IS change and that nothing is predictable or expected. I just love transformation and this is where I get the chance to ‘push it.’ If I’m going to make the hair long – it’s going to be long. If it’s going to be a high ponytail, it’s going to start above the crown. If the hair is going to be shiny – you will be able to see your reflection.” Appleton is clearly not afraid to “go for it” adding, “That has worked for me. I’m known for luxury, quality, glossy hair. ‘Glass Hair’ has become my signature - always beautiful.” Appleton pauses before sharing some advice: “Get to know what your ‘thing is’ and get it out there any way possible. Be true to yourself and do what you like to do and what you do best.”
Hairdressers constantly ask him where he gets his inspiration. Years ago, he admits, it came from another one willing to “push it” – Madonna. “In the beginning of my career I was so intrigued by her. She would be a different person with each song, each video. She was fascinating. I was so excited watching her constantly transform.” Appleton still gets inspired by others, watching YouTube videos or observing the people around him. “There is inspiration everywhere,” he says, “just look at people on the street.”
In the celebrity beauty world, Appleton has become a household name, which he owes, in a large part, to Instagram. “It’s a powerful tool,” Appleton says. “Your client will use it to learn more about your vibe. You must be authentic to who you are.” As of this writing his @chrisappleton1 page has close to 900K followers. His 2000 plus posts are filled with selfies (mentioned above) and hundreds of beautiful people at beautiful events. Appleton acknowledges that social media should come with a warning. “It’s important to not use it to compare yourself to others.” Appleton tries to not be obsessed with it, but he does use it to create content to share with his audience. He occasionally uses teenage daughter Kitty-blu as his muse, posting fresh looks that he has either already used, or will be using, on any of his celebrity clients. Appleton also has a son, Billy, age 15.
Appleton is loyal to his favorite brands. He is a powerful ambassador for Color WOW which he used to transform models recently on stage at an Intercoiffure Atelier in Las Vegas. He also swears by Olaplex for his color transformations and his Mason Pearson brush to polish hair. He uses Glam Seamless clip-in extensions on most clients and a Dyson blow dryer to finish every look. He says that by using the right products and tools, you can create the most exciting hair possible.
Although he is at the top of his game, Appleton questions everything he does and says to himself that “I could have done better” when he looks at some of his creations. However, he is glad that he worked hard to learn how to do hair, proud of his success and says he “loves this job.” When asked what the best part of that job is, Appleton answers the way most beauty pros answer: “Making people look and feel amazing. I love this job because we get to make people look amazing and feel amazing on a regular basis. I love being able to change a mood, just through a great hairstyle.”
Check out this interview with Appleton (with MODERN'S Maggie Mulhern) when he took a break after his presentation at Intercoiffure: