Chad Cook is the owner of Chad Cook Hair Salon in Marina Del Rey CA. He has been working behind the chair for the last 10 years. Getting into the industry fresh out of High School, he quickly fell in love with it. He has received advanced training through Aveda, Vidal Sassoon, Wella, Sebastian, and Bumble and Bumble, with a love for education, he is always looking for new ways to stay up to date on different techniques and trends. Throughout his work, we can see a strong attention to detail and an expert eye for shapes, texture, color, and design. He adds interest in all of his styles through unique accessories, using hair as its own structure and working with hair in its most natural element. Read on to discover more about this amazing artist and gain inspiration from his designs.
What drew you to hair styling?
It was the summer before my senior year of high school when I first explored the idea of working with hair. Everyone was getting ready to apply for colleges and I didn't know what I was going to do. I was never the most school-oriented kid so college wasn't much of an interest to me but I knew I needed to do something. At this time my mom suggested cosmetology school. At first I thought she was crazy but it soon became clear to me that hair was the right medium for me to demonstrate the creativity I have always possessed.
What is your favorite technique to use?
When working on hair, I don't like to force it to do things it doesn't want to do as it just causes grow out process to look unnatural. I'm very visual with how I approach my haircuts. I like to pick the hair up section by section and watch how it falls then I choose the appropriate cutting technique/techniques to suit my desired result whether it be back cutting, classic layering techniques, slicing or point cutting, there are so many options to choose from it all just comes down to the desired result.
What has been your biggest defining moment in your career?
Right now the biggest moment of my career has been the opening of my salon Chad Cook Hair Salon in Marina Del Rey. As someone who has been in this industry for only 10 years, there is still so much to learn and tons of room to grow. Opening my own salon has allowed me to dedicate myself to continuing to build my brand, my craft, and my team and I couldn't be more grateful.
Is there a specific area you often find yourself looking to for inspiration?
When looking for inspiration, I find that I do best when I actually get my hands dirty. Whether it’s grabbing a doll head and just going at it, or looking for models to cut in the salon, I come up with my best ideas while my hands are going through the motions. Another big source of inspiration for me right now is social media. There are so many amazing brands and artists out there just killing it in the industry right now. The passion that they bring to their craft continually pushes me to grow my own skills.
What is the one product/tool that you can’t live without?
You know I really gave this question a lot of thought. The first thing that came to my mind was my scissors because they are such an important part of what we do as stylists, but upon really thinking through what the most crucial tool used in my craft is, it occurred to me. My most valuable tool is my hands. As long as they work, I will figure out a way to get the job done.
What are your favorite braid styles to create?
When it comes to braiding, I like to keep things relatively basic. There are so many different types of braids that sometimes it can get overwhelming, and sometimes you sight of what you are looking at. Simplicity plays a big role in the way I braid. I find that clients prefer the more basic braids a lot of the time as it makes the work they need to do at home when styling it on their own much more manageable.
How did you dream up your latest work?
The funny thing about it is that a lot of the work I create actually comes to me in my dreams. Whether I'm thinking about a new technique, style, or formulation before I go to bed, my brain almost always does the rest of the work once my head hits the pillow. Don't think about it. Dream it, then do it.
How do you use styling to enhance your images?
For me keeping it clean and simple is the key. A lot of people get so caught up in the minutest details when styling, that they may end up missing the overall picture. When styling hair, sometimes less is more.
How did you work with your makeup/styling team to craft the final image?
When I work with an artistic team, I start by creating the vision we are ultimately looking to present. I first come up with a blueprint for how I want the hair to fall for the photos. After this the makeup artist, the photographer and I all come together for a consultation of what the end result should look like. I find it is most important to allow everyone involved in the look to express their opinions and collaborate when it comes to the final image.
What is this collection saying about Women’s Trends?
Right now is all about the lived0in look; texture, volume, movement. It's not about what you do to the hair, it's about how you do it. At the end of the day the client wants to be able to recreate the look you gave them to the best of their ability.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
If I could have any superpower, I would have the ability to magically give anyone a full head of natural hair at any time so I could have fun all day trying out new styles and colors over and over again on my models.
Who were your mentors along the way and how have they shaped your career?
My first mentor was a woman by the name of Renee. She owned a salon called Rituals Color Salon, which is where I first started my career in this industry. She educated me on the big hair events that happen annually and guided me in the industry. She played a huge role in my education because she never gave up on me even when some of my other instructors wanted to. My most recent mentor was award-winning Sebastian artist Marylle Koken, I worked alongside her as a master stylist for about 3 years and in that time really developed my skills as a hairdresser. I am eternally grateful to these amazing women for all they have done for me and my career.
What hair/color trends can we look forward to this season?
One of the biggest upcoming trends right now is unconventional color placement techniques. This past year was all about face-framing highlights, balayage, and beach waves. The newest trends right now are definitely leaning more toward subtlety and natural, lived-in looks.