CELEBRITY HAIR STYLIST
CELEBRITY HAIR STYLIST
Celebrity Hair Stylist Frankie Payne talks beauty industry, fashion shoots, and gives tips on how to achieve perfectly tousled beach hair
From Paris Fashion Week to the impressing A-list celebrity clientele including Eva Longoria, Elle MacPherson and Michelle Williams, Hair Stylist Frankie Payne loves the challenges and rewards of working hands-on with top-notch talent in the entertainment and fashion industry.
Payne started off in the mid 80’s in a hair salon, then working under the wings of Celebrity Hair Stylist icon, Jose Eber for thirteen years. As his skills and experience picked up, so did his clientele which opened up a new world to photography, fashion and art. “I was really driven by photography, doing hair and being a freelance hair stylist… working in that medium,” says Payne.
As he acquired more bookings on photo shoots outside of his salon work, he caught the attention of Hair Stylist Orlando Pita, to whom he would assist for six years. From there, Payne caught the fashion bug as he accompanied and worked with Pita in Paris on shows such as Chanel and Jean-Paul Gaultier. “We have the entertainment industry here in LA but to go to the fashion capitals in the world and work on supermodels such as Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford – these girls were still doing runway when I was doing this,” says Payne.
These days, Payne can be found literally anywhere – from taking a private jet across the country for a shoot with Desperate Housewives’ Eva Longoria to Atlanta working with Kim Kardashian. Most recently, he just finished working on an episode of America’s Next Top Model where he worked on thirteen models for the first photo shoot of the season. The theme was called “hunting” and each model’s head was mounted on a plaque as if they were an animal being displayed on a wall, or as the show describes it as – “wild animal fierce”. Payne drew his inspiration from “…designers like Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood… I was using a crimping iron a lot, I was doing big pompadours and punk-inspired Mohawk shapes that were kind of modern. And a lot of braiding, corn rowing and different hair braiding techniques that were inspired by the show, Game of Thrones.”
While it can be stressful working on high-pressure shoots, fashion campaigns to TV shows, Payne has acquired a keen sense of what it takes to be a team player and having a good attitude on set. “That’s always been one of my strengths as I feel that I’m a good collaborator, I listen, I don’t bully the team. I try to be a part of it and try to do something that everybody’s going to be happy with,” explains Payne. When he needs to wind down, he religiously visits the European spa, Mariana Chicet, opting for a relaxing facial and stocking up on their products which are all natural and oil-free.
What are his tips for achieving the perfect, beachy summer LA hair? “I wouldn’t use too much product on your hair. Maybe let the hair dry naturally, apply a little TRESemmé Smoothing Creme to lock in moisture and prevent frizz, then spritz some Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray on damp hair. Depending on how it dries naturally, I would take a big curling iron, maybe a 1-inch curling iron, and wrap the base around it and twist it around the curling iron. Then just finger combing it, to smooth it out and give it a little bit more of a prettier wave so that it eliminates the frizz.” And the one styling tool that he doesn’t leave home without? His Solana hair dryer.
With a busy schedule and positive attitude, Payne hopes to someday work on his dream fashion shoot for one of his favourite designers such as Dolce and Gabbana, Prada or Miu Miu with photographers such as Steven Meisel or Mario Testino. And for anyone who wants to follow in his footsteps, his advice: “Work as much as you can. Learn, watch, listen, experience, network and research.”
His full portfolio is featured on the Opus Beauty website.
-as told to Lorna Umphrey