Ones to Watch: Instagram All-Stars You Need to Follow

Alison Alhamed | July 28, 2014 | 2:20 PM

Instagram is our favorite way to connect with hairdressers, makeup artists, nail techs and beauty pros from across the globe. We LOVE exploring hashtags and pages and profiling your work. Make sure to follow @modernsalon for your shot at getting featured! In this article, featured in the August issue of MODERN SALON, we recognize those who share client transformations through the power of social media. Meet powerhouse posters who have hashtagged their way to our Ones to Watch feature—and snagged a spot on our must-follow list. Add these all-stars to your follow list for inspiration, before-and-afters, and all things beauty obsessed.


Ones to Watch: Instagram All-Stars You Need to Follow

Sema Conde is a sought-after colorist and stylist in LA. She creates lovely, natural-looking color that is shiny and healthy—and she makes house calls. From strong transformations and color corrections to sunkissed balayage, @semacondehair turns out a whole lot of happy clients. She was recently on tour with Bonnie McKee and her signature red-orange locks to style and touch-up. Plus, she includes all of her formulas and styling methods in her Instagram captions so she can share all her hair-coloring wisdom!

Ones to Watch: Instagram All-Stars You Need to Follow


Clark Walker acquired his job through Instagram—he didn’t need a resume; his work/pictures alone scored him the job. During his first week in barber school, Walker learned about other barbers using Instagram just to post pictures of work and to connect with other shops and pros, so he started his own Instagram. After six months, 1,000-plus hours into hair cutting, he graduated and began work at a Ray’s Barber Shop. He soon got more personal with his posts—and started to include short bios about his clients with descriptions of their styles. After a year at Rays, Walker was ready to move on and started following high-end, New York barber shop Fellow Barber. He became an avid follower, and noticed a “Now Hiring” photo post. Walker commented on the photo, and directed them to his Instagram feed. They loved what they saw and invited him to stop in for an interview. Walker was planning to move to New York anyway, so this was a perfect opportunity for him. Walker scored the job—thanks to Instagram!

Ones to Watch: Instagram All-Stars You Need to Follow


The love felt by Cassandra McGlaughlin’s followers is enviable. Owner of the appropriately named Platinum Salon, McGlaughlin is a Paul Mitchell National Educator who travels throughout Florida teaching the latest in color, cut and trend. Her followers are a loyal group, and her posts regularly receive hundreds of “likes” and comments all indicating “amazing,” "gorgeous” and “awesome.” Her profile is filled with sleek, shiny blondes, modern ombres and powerful makeovers. She shares formulas and techniques with a goal to give colorists enough information to do great color on every client. “My passion is hair color,” she says. “I love everything about it. I love the chemistry and artistry of it.” And lucky for us, she shares.

Ones to Watch: Instagram All-Stars You Need to Follow


Guy Tang is definitely not afraid of taking on a hair challenge. His Instagram account features an endless roll of color corrections that border on sheer magic. The self-professed “product junkie” is well-versed on a variety of professional color brands including Kenra, Joico, Redken, Pravana and Schwarzkopf. Best known as an ombre and balayage expert, his clientele includes YouTube beauty star Michelle Phan. The former Joico educator and artist is a fitness enthusiast and Mariah Carey mega-fan with a cult following of more than 230,000 Instagram followers. Tang specializes in color corrections and maintaining the integrity of the hair.

Ones to Watch: Instagram All-Stars You Need to Follow


Renny Vasquez is what we imagine the make-up artist version of the American Dream to be. He was ashampoo assistant in a salon for 13 years, and then his world blew up with opportunities. Celebrity make-up artist Sam Fine took @rennyvasquez under his wing in 2013 (around the time Vasquez quit his job at the salon), and it was pretty much all up from there. In no time, he went from being $14,000 in debt and having a car in his mom’s name to being debt-free and getting calls from Gabrielle Union, Brandy and Queen Latifah to do make-up.

Ones to Watch: Instagram All-Stars You Need to Follow


His fresh fades and daring detail have endeared him to more than 42K followers on Instagram. His anti-hipster style has wide appeal, which he has tapped with a line of T-shirts with slogans like, “My Passion Wakes Me.” The “after” images he captures of his younger clientele are especially “like” worthy.

Ones to Watch: Instagram All-Stars You Need to Follow


At last count, Ira Pope Sage has just a bit more than 8,400 followers—a fraction of what this styling superstar should have. The Director of Art for Cote Hair cuts and styles hair and travels around the U.S. as an educator. Twice named “Top Hairdresser” in Las Vegas (where he is based), he has also been named a top platform artist and was interviewed and recorded for Winn Claybaugh’s Masters CD series. His IG is fi lled with interesting undercuts, cut-outs, asymmetrical fi nishes, mohawks and sharply designed napes. “I’m basically a kid from a dirt road in Michigan that has been in the right place at the right time with the proper attitude and heart,” he says. And we will add talent.

Ones to Watch: Instagram All-Stars You Need to Follow


After graduating beauty school, Alex Rivera, aka @alexfaction, Chicago-born cosmetologist, make-up educator and platform artist for Fromm Beauty, specialized in bridal hair and make-up, falling in love with the power of transformation. He wanted to expand his make-up artistry skills, so he became a certified Make-Up Designory (MUD) educator and began connecting with make-up artists of social media fame. Because of his location and lack of model access, Rivera used himself as a model to practice the tutorials and techniques he waslearning and creating. He launched a YouTube channel and Instagram account, @alexfaction, where he rapidly gained a following of more than 47,000 inspired followers hungry for his tutorials. You can find him on platforms around the country for Fromm Beauty, on YouTube demoing special fx make-up or on Instagram. Currently in the TOP 6 of the NYX Face Awards contest, his T-shirts featuring his work are sold on

Ones to Watch: Instagram All-Stars You Need to Follow


Kylee Vanessa Norder grew up in a small town in Michigan but moved to Las Vegas to pursue a career in cosmetology after earning a full tuition scholarship to Euphoria Institute. She joined the Euphoria Design Team and traveled to Arizona and California to compete, winning five trophies. Currently working at Square Salon in Las Vegas, her Instagram page is full of transformative before-and-afters showcasing her make-up skills and formal hairstyling talent.


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