A hairstylist for four years now, Emma Porcellato started as a co-op student at Valentini Hair Design and just fell in love. She loved it so much that she continued her apprenticeship with them and has been there ever since. Get to know more about Emma and her beautiful work and the advice she has for fellow stylists looking to market themselves within the industry!
What drew you to hairstyling?
I have always enjoyed doing hair. I would be the one that everyone went to when they wanted their hair done. I started at a very young age and from then on everyone knew that I would be a hairstylist. I didn’t really realize how much I loved it till I was working in the salon.
What is your favourite technique to use?
My favourite part about hairstyling is styling (or finishing) hair therefore my favourite technique would have to be waving hair. The way that I like to wave hair is by using a one-inch curling iron, no matter what length the hair is. I will start at the root with the curling iron to the ceiling then I will wrap the hair around twice. Then I start to unwrap the first bit of hair that’s wrapped and as I do that I add more hair to the curling iron. Once I reach the end I will leave about an inch to an inch and a half depending on the length of hair. I find this technique is the best for creating waves.
What has been the biggest defining moment in your career?
My biggest defining moment in my career has been being a Contessa semifinalist. It was the very first solo photo shoot I’ve ever done and I am very proud of what I accomplished from it.
Who were your mentors along the way and how have they shaped your career?
My mentors have been with me from day one. Derrick Rutherford and Julio Rodriguez have taught me everything I know from cutting and coloring to managing a salon. The have helped me grow not only as a stylist but also as a person.
Is there a specific area you often find yourself looking for inspiration?
I don’t usually limit myself to one area for inspiration. I seem to find inspiration in everything whether it’s other artists or magazines. My inspiration comes from everywhere.
How did you dream up the Contessa photo shoot?
I started with my theme, which was neon hair. I thought that it would be something really different and fun to do and this would be the best time to do it. Next I knew that I wanted to do a cut a style and something that would show off color well. So I decided on an angled bob with a rounder bang. Next I would do an upstyle with a lot of texture and finally we wanted to do a sleek look with a triangle shape. Next, I found my models. After that I got my I got my storyboards together for each model. Having a storyboard is an important part of the shoot because it keeps everyone on track. The day before the shoot, I did all the hair color. On the shoot day I started by setting the model with for the upstyle. Next, I got straight into the cut because I knew that would take the longest. Then I styled my model with the triangle color hair. Makeup was then completed on all models. Then it was shoot time. It took a while to try and figure out the lighting. We ended up using UV nail lights and everyone that was there held them up and that is how we got the final look!
How do you use styling to enhance your images?
The way I used styling to enhance my image was mostly by smoothing the hair so that the light would reflect the color better.
How did you work with your makeup/styling team to craft the final image?
I worked with a storyboard to make sure the final images were exactly how I envisioned them.
What is this collection saying about women’s trends?
This collection is showing that women’s trends are evolving from the standard classic color. Women are now choosing to express themselves through a bolder and brighter color palette.
What is one product/tool that you can’t live without?
One tool that I can’t live without would have to be my Dyson hairdryer. I love the Dyson because of how powerful it is. I love that it doesn’t burn the client’s head as you’re drying their hair. I find it even dries the hair even faster. I definitely couldn’t live without my Dyson hairdryer.
If you had a superpower what would it be?
If I had a superpower it would be the ability to teleport. I think that this would be an amazing superpower to have because I wouldn’t drive anymore. I could also travel the world in minutes.
What hair/color trends can we look forward to this season?
This season I would have to say that the bright and pastel colors will be trending. They are starting to become more and more popular. Right now we can see a lot of the funky colors on Instagram, and I feel that is starting to make clients want it more and more.
Do you have any advice for up and coming stylists?
My advice to up and coming stylist would be to keep yourself educated on all the new techniques and trends that everyone wants. You definitely don’t want to have a client sit in your chair with a photo of the latest trend and you have no idea how to do it. Also, it’s all about social media so make sure you are always posting to Instagram and Facebook because nowadays the first thing a client does is check your social media. They will check because they want to see what you can do. So remember: stay educated on the top trends and always update your social media as much as possible.