Industry News

Root Awakenings: Jamal Hammadi

Web Editor | July 10, 2011 | 6:16 PM
Mary Beth Janssen chats with Jamal Hammadi about conscience and creativity.

Jamal Hammadi is one of the most in-demand media hairdressers. He's styled hair on movie sets, photo shoots and major runways and developed his own organic hair care line. His key to success is continually challenging himself and those around him.

"From my beginnings at the Allen Edwards Salon in Beverly Hills, I felt like I wanted to learn more. I was fortunate to meet Louis Licari and work at his salon in L.A., did a bi-coastal at his New York salon as well.

Then I met Linda Evangelista and she flew me around the world with her to do covers. Next I worked with Sharon Stone and Lisa Marie Presley. All this happened within a year; my career just took off. At the same time, I almost felt as if I was an imposter, that I wasn't good enough for what was happening to me. I felt I needed more training.

"Fortunately, my experiences catapulted me into going to Europe and studying with one of the most creative and influential hair stylists of our time, Odile Gilbert. I was a part of her team, working with her at haute couture and pre -porter shows. I was able to learn amazing things from her and how to do every single look and how to do them quickly.

"After that experience, I felt much more confident, and began doing media work pretty much full time. I felt like I had evolved and developed my own style: one that really celebrates women.

"Early on, I knew I wanted to create an eco-lifestyle brand. My muses for creating the product line have been incredible. Linda Evangelista, Sharon Stone and Heather Graham are a few who helped me with my product development. That's where my motto came from: ‘Tested on actresses, never on animals.'

"For me, hair is an emotional affair, and a symbol of our personality that deserves centerstage. Look through any magazine. It's all about the hair along with the shoe and the bag and the lipstick. But the hair is the personality that leads it. It's a beautiful facet of our ability to express ourselves."

"It's frightening to me that there are parts of the country where they're wearing hair from the '70s and '80s. We can get stuck in an era or a time warp. We're meant to change and grow and evolve. This is how we keep our zest for life. This inspires us and drives our creative impulses.

"I think it's important to be open to everything. A new hair style can open you to perhaps trying organic food, going for a hike, meditating, or whatever. When you open up, amazing things happen. Open to creating better things for yourself and the environment and being a responsible adult.

"Being behind the chair is a nine-to-fiver, but you can make it different, you can switch it up and keep renewing yourself. You can still get new clients, you can educate, you can learn-there's so much opportunity. I'm a perfect example of that. I came from behind the chair. I came from starting as an assistant, washing hair in the back.

"We shouldn't use a crutch like drinking when we're stressed. Make it something constructive. Make it cooking at home, eating really good food. Change your attitude. Be respectful to your body.

"I know this can be challenging, because we're surrounded by temptations. But this is about disciplining yourself. Discipline is really big-right up there with being honest with yourself. You know, sometimes you slip and that's okay. You just get right back on and keep moving forward. You have the power to change whatever you need.

"I believe that if you persevere, get the best training you can, and set goals for what you believe you can do, you will accomplish great things for yourself. Turn off the voice inside that depletes you and listen to your inspired voice, the one that brings you joy and nourishes you. This will turn on the light in your life."

Root Awakenings: Jamal Hammadi
Jamal Hammadi

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