A hair devotee to the core, stylist Holly Jones is a true artist. Working with sustainable beauty products, Jones responsibly creates beautiful shades of blonde, ombre and balayage. Of course, that’s not all. In addition to her ability to create seemingly natural blonde tones, clients flock to the stylist’s salon for her expert cuts and styles.
Jones’ eponymous studio, tucked behind Abbot Kinney’s M. Herrington Gallery and Altered Space Gallery, boasts an intimate setting and open air environment, offering privacy and one-on-one attention that is often appreciated when it comes to hair. With minimal white interiors, the salon is reminiscent of a spa, providing a tranquil atmosphere, where one can unwind, enjoy good conversation and leave with a new ‘do, feeling beautiful and refreshed.
Inspired by her mother, a hairstylist herself, Jones knew she wanted to be a part of the industry.
“I was born into it,” Jones said of becoming a stylist. “I grew up going to hair shows and being impressed with platform artists. I thought they were amazing. I thought my Mom was amazing and I wanted to follow in her footsteps.”
Now, Jones continues to refine her craft, naturally creating beautiful styles, cuts and color, in her charming Venice Beach studio. We were lucky enough to spend some time with the incredibly skilled hair artist, where we got to learn more about her favorite color trends, thoughts on the hair industry, specialties, and more. Check out the interview!
BANGSTYLE: How would you describe your style?
Holly Jones: My style? It’s all over the place. It’s not about me, it’s about the individual person, and bringing out whatever is good looking about them. I can sit down with a client and give them a perfect black bob with pink in their hair and also create something that’s loose, wavy and brown for another client. Either way it looks good and that makes me happy.
BANGSTYLE: What made you want to open a salon on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach?
HJ: Abbot Kinney is what I wanted because it’s fashion-forward, it’s cool down here and it’s definitely up-and-coming. It’s just gotten busier and busier over the last few years.
BANGSTYLE: We noticed you use pretty much every social media platform available to reach out to regular and potential clients. How else do you promote your salon?
HJ: It’s all by word of mouth. We use social networking as best as we can, but for us, it’s kind of the same thing. For instance, one of my clients would check in every time she came to the salon. When it was time for one of her friends to get her hair done, she asked my client what she thought about Holly Jones Hair Design Studio.
BANGSTYLE: What’s next in hair?
HJ: That’s a funny question. Trends change every season, so I couldn’t even begin to tell you what’s going to happen in 5 years. I will tell you that in 20 years it will be exactly what it is today, so never say never.
BANGSTYLE: What changes would you like to see in the industry in terms of the profession?
HJ: Nothing. I love this industry more than anything. I love hairdressers. Sometimes there are problems in salons, when it gets a little bit dramatic, but I will tell you that that’s part of its charm. Hairdressers are rock stars and they’re so much fun. We can do without some things that happen but, at the same time, I think I prefer it.
BANGSTYLE: We understand that one of your specialties is in hair color. Can you tell us about doing color that is low or no ammonia and in an open-air environment?
HJ: I was a hair color teacher for many years, so I am mostly known for color and I’m very good at talking about it because I taught for so long. I love doing hair and I love making people feel really pretty. The last thing I want to do is feel like I’m responsible for their health, so I do hair color off the scalp. I do a lot of highlighting because I’m very good at blondes, but even with other colors, I still do my best to keep it away from the skin. I’m very lucky to be in [this studio]—I get to keep the windows open. I feel like a lot of people come to me because they know that I’m being careful and responsible, and that I care more about having fun and making them feel nice, rather than other alternatives, which are unpleasant odors and itchy feelings. I would say that is what sets me apart from other hair stylists.
BANGSTYLE: Aside from color, what are your other specialties?
HJ: I’m very good at hair cutting and I’m actually in the process of learning how to teach hair cutting. Teaching another person, and using the right words so that they understand it, is a very difficult thing. I am mainly known for color, hair cutting and styling. I stay away from all the crazy chemicals, like relaxers and perms. I just don’t like to be around it, especially in this space… I would never want [Altered Space Gallery or M. Herrington Gallery] to have to smell of all that stuff.
BANGSTYLE: What are your favorite color trends?
HJ: Pastel hair, more than anything. I’m glad that it’s come back again. I love that grey hair has been in for the last couple years. I don’t know if that’s ever been a real trend before, so that’s exciting. A lot of times we see the same thing happen, like I said, every 20 years, but this is new and it’s really cool.
BANGSTYLE: How do you feel about doing your own hair?
HJ: I do not like to do my own hair. Over the last few years, since I’ve been the only one up here, and I’m busy all the time, I haven’t been able to go out and get my hair done. I prefer to not do my own hair, but I would love to make an appointment and get my hair done. One day, my assistants are going to be doing hair and we’ll be able to do each others hair.
BANGSTYLE: Do you have any words to live by—hair mottos?
HJ: Never say never.
BANGSTYLE: Which trends do you think are on their way out?
HJ: There are a lot of blunt haircuts right now; we’ll be seeing a lot of it this summer. For the past few years, it’s been the ombre and bayalage, which should stay for a while. Hopefully it will move away from the overdone look—I think it is. A part of getting that color has been the really loose stringy, wavy hair, but I think that will fade out.
BANGSTYLE: You’ve worked with a number of celebrities and worked on editorials and fashion shows around the world. How did you get your big break?
HJ: Hard work and time. Working really, really hard and getting good at what you do. Staying friendly with people also helps. As long as you have good relationships, people will remember you and want you to do that good work for something else. It just takes a while sometimes, you just have to stay active and dedicated. As far as having a big break, there really wasn’t one. It’s been baby steps for the most part.
BANGSTYLE: What are you doing to push the boundaries in the hair industry?
HJ: I do feel like I’m challenging a lot of hairdressers to think about considering doing hair color in a safer way. There are a lot of hairdressers that are, but when I talk to some of my colleagues, they sometimes ask me why I don’t just bleach everyone’s heads. But I just choose not to; I can still do a really beautiful job without having to do it. It’s not pushing the boundaries so much as it is opening our eyes. I’m very open to change and willing to try anything new because it just might be better. I don’t necessarily stay loyal to a product line because it’s more important that I stay loyal to the client.
BANGSTYLE: Do you have any advice for new hairstylists fresh out of cosmetology school?
HJ: When I talk to them, I do my best to encourage them to do a lot of research. I think I just try to motivate them to look at what’s out there, work it out in their heads and then try to do it. I always encourage them to constantly take classes—everywhere—most of the time at Vidal Sassoon Academy. To me, that form of hair cutting, at least the way that they teach us, is for the most part, perfect. Of course, it’s not the only way I do things. I also always advise them to just play with products and hair, and have fun.
BANGSTYLE: What are your future goals?
HJ: I see this place growing. I’d like to stay put in Abbot Kinney and make it grow here, but I also wouldn’t mind doing the same thing again up in Silver Lake or somewhere in that area. I have a lot of clients that come from Hollywood, that don’t mind coming to see me, but they really don’t like what they have to go through to get here (an hour of traffic).
BANGSTYLE: What are some at-home tips for us regular folk?
HJ: Listen to your hairdresser! Use the products that we tell you to use.