Event Coverage

Inspiring Sebastian Professional Global Artistic Directors Share

Maggie Mulhern | November 10, 2016 | 2:53 PM
Michael Polsinelli and Shay Dempsey for Sebastian Professional on stage in Barcelona during 2016 Wella Trend Vision - NO FEAR!

Michael Polsinelli and Shay Dempsey are the creative forces behind Sebastian Professional, the styling brand known for exciting products designed to create fearless finishes. MODERN met with the Global Artistic Directors shortly before their presentation at the 2016 Trend Vision Awards in Barcelona to get their thoughts on inspiration, their new collection and more:


MP: A Lot of our inspiration does not come from within. Shay and I are of like mindsets. We tend to gravitate toward the same things.  We love the future. We love technology and we love playing with different types of mediums. The world pulls us in. Also make sure to surround yourself with quality all the time. I surround myself with quality hairdressers that I can learn something from.

SD: I think everybody goes down so many rabbit holes. What are the young people doing? We get away from hair and look at architecture. It could be music. Anything that inspires you to try something new and different.


SD: The Sebastian girl is definitely not the most beautiful girl in the world. She’s got a little bit more attitude. She’s looking a little more edgy in her appearance. She could even be a little bit androgynous. We are drawn toward someone confident so that she can carry whatever we do. She can wear something strong to suit our brand which is dialed up a little bit more than anybody else. If you’ve got a strong personality, you can wear a strong hairstyle.


MP: We think out of the box. We have our own identity and stick out. That’s not by mistake. We strip it down and make it simplistic and then put a quirk in the hair to make it a little bit more simplistic. We start with a simplistic idea and then dial it up to make it more elaborate for a show like this.

SD: Simplicity is the basis for everything. Braiding has become huge. We keep it simplistic but add interesting shapes. We change the placement or add something, like sticks. It’s making it fun and interesting for the hairdresser in the salon and gives the client something new.


SD: Don’t be afraid to recreate yourself. Fear stops us. You must challenge yourself.

MP: Fear is the common denominator with all artists - being afraid to be judged. We’ve had to overcome those fears. You have to put yourself out there.  When you put yourself in an uncomfortable situation you will grow as an artist. If you’re doing everything that’s comfortable, it becomes repetitive. We push the envelope and know we are going to get scrutinized. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.


SD: We have a great responsibility when presenting to hairdressers. There is a responsibility when known for wild hair.  We have learned from our history.  We just keep out of our comfort zone and stay true to the brand.  We look at the people that got us to where we are today and with them work as a team.

MP: We keep on the right track - knowing there are fantastic hairdressers here. It’s an honor to do this. We have a responsibility and not just for Sebastian but for the diehards.  We put ourselves into it with love and passion. It’s an automatic thing for us because it can be scary.  We give 150 percent – because it’s us and for the artists in the audience.

Michael Polsinelli and Shay Dempsey for Sebastian Professional on stage in Barcelona during 2016 Wella Trend Vision
Michael Polsinelli and Shay Dempsey for Sebastian Professional on stage in Barcelona during 2016 Wella Trend Vision

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