Scrolling down his Instagram profile you come across so many models and celebrities that you lose your mind. Owen Gould is young, but he has already worked with the best names in the industry. Hair stylist based in New York, he travels a lot for his job, sees new places and gets inspired in order to translate everything into his work later, on the red carpet and photo shooting. His works appeared in many glossy magazines.
We like him for many reasons, first of all the awareness and attention he shows to women, their characteristics and their natural beauty. His passion is genuine and sincere, so delicate that it makes feeling good, not only those who are lucky enough to work with him, but also us spectators. This spontaneous approach to the world is also reflected in the answers he gave us during the interview. Impossible not to smile.
How did You start as an hairstylist and how did success eventually come? Was there a turning point in your career?
I stared as a hairdresser after graduating from High School. But I spent most of my childhood playing with dolls and experimenting on my friends and family. A turning point for me was moving to New York City when I was 24 to pursue a career in editorial.
What was Your plan B, in case becoming one of the best hair stylist in the industry did not work?
I never really had a plan B. I probably should have but I was young and it never really occurred to me that it wouldn’t happen. Sometimes i think it would have been fun to go to school for psycologist. I’m fascinated by the human brain.
How was Your first approach to the celebrities’ world? Have You ever been particularly excited or nervous about working with a specific celebrity, such as Jessica Alba or Bella Hadid?
I started out doing more fashion editorial and over the years have made a slow transition into the celebrity world of hair styling. I remember I would get butterflies in my stomach when I would have to show up to an actress’s hotel room the first time. Jessica Alba was one of the first big names I worked with. I remember she wasn’t feeling well and her mother was in the room with her. She was very gracious though and we went on to work together many more times.
How much time do you usually spend studying your clients? I’m not thinking about hair only, but also face’s shape, contours, proportions, colours and so on.
I like to look at photographs of my clients and see what sort of hairstyles they have worn in the past. That gives me a good idea of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to creating a look. You also have to take into consideration what they’ll be wearing, how the makeup will be and the event they are going to.
Looking at your creations, it is clear that you’re always trying to gain a very natural look. This is a sort of trend-mark: it seems You want to stay true to Your clients’ essence, highlighting their natural beauty, without excess, isn’t it? A sort of hymn to one’s idiosyncrasies.
Absolutely, I find I do my best work when I go in without having a clear idea of what the end result will be. While I prep the hair I start to move and play around with it creating different shapes and silhouettes.
This is also extremely important today, where being natural and “without filter” is what we all want.
There is a big trend in fashion right now for hair to look and feel effortless regardless of how long it actually takes to make it look as such.
What is your strategy to stay on top of your game? Is it all about staying true to your signature style, as we said before, or is it more about trends?
I’m aware of trends and occasionally will incorporate them but in general I always stay pretty true to what I find beautiful. Hair Accessories have made a big comeback so I’ve had some fun with those. Most notably on Barbara Palvin at this years Venice Film Festival.
In fact, how important are trends?
For me it’s fun to watch and see what the latest trends are but I’m never overly influenced by them. At the end of the day it’s what looks and feels the best on my clients that really matters.
Actually, what’s going to be trendy in the following season? Is long hair having a comeback or bob hairstyle is still the most wanted?
I see a lot of women cutting their hair short again. Not so much chin length but just around the collar bone. It’s pretty flattering on just about anyone and still allows you to pull it back off your face.
And what is your personal preference?
I love all lengths. If my client has short hair and is feeling like a quick change I’ll use extensions to give her long hair for the night. It’s also fun to take a client with long hair and give her a Bob for the night. All of this can be done again without cutting but using extensions. There’s a great brand I found called Hidden Crown Hair. They make incredible quality hair pieces in every color, so I always make sure I have those on hand.
Hair, we all know pretty well, is fundamental. A “bad hair day” can drastically spoil our attitude and we feel immediately down if our hair is out of shape. Do You consider this psychological aspect of your work while doing it?
Absolutely. My favorite thing about being a hairdresser is watching my clients entire demeanor change when I’m done. It’s a literal transformation that not only can you see but you can feel it too. Being a part of that is one of the best parts of my job. I love making women feel confident.
You travel a lot, I guess. Is it heavy? How is your routine and how do you manage your private
Traveling is a wonderful perk of what I do. I’ve been lucky to see so many parts of the world that I might have missed had a chosen a different career. It can be hard at times on your partner but that’s why it’s also important to find someone who supports you and is encouraging.
Do you have fun on the set? You seem very close to some celebrities, like Kirsten Dunst and Barbara Palvin.
I have a blast on set! I love to goof around and make my clients laugh. It’s important to remember life is short and fashion should be fun.
Words by Giulia Greco