Iles Formula Hair Talk Featuring Corey Powell of Salon Benjamin West Hollywood is one you won’t want to miss. Corey Powell is an industry balayage kind of legend. He has been hairdressing for over 30 years and can be found when not out doing celebrity photo shoots, on the floor at Salon Benjamin in Melrose, West Hollywood. His first job was assisting Jose Eber, which had Corey maintaining the Farah Fawcett locks that Jose created on the set of Charlies Angels. What a recipe to have in your pocket? Those Farah locks are legendary and still copied a mass in the streets today. Corey has been featured as an expert in Elle, Allure, In Style, Daily Candy LA, W Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, People, In Touch and Us Weekly. His work has been photographed by Annie Leibowitz, Mario Testino and the late Helmut Newton. His client listing includes Hilary Swank, Reese Witherspoon, Toni Colette, Kate Hudson, Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, Cameron Diaz and Rene Zellweger. See more work of Corey here and read more from his workspace Salon Benjamin in Melrose West Hollywood.
IF: Tell us what you think is the biggest challenge in hairdressing today?
Remembering, that a client is only a client while in your chair. In this world of Instagram, there are a lot of Insta-experts, clients are more fluid (ebb and flow) less loyal.
IF: What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?
The smile, the joy on their face, on a well-done job. Seeing your loyal clients evolve through the years, have kids, get married, grow old together.
IF: Why did you choose the path of hairdressing and was it easy to fall into this work?
I tried college for a year, was not easy for me, not great study habits. Beauty School was easy, I was doing hair before I went to school for it, it was second nature.
IF: If you had not made the decision to be a hairdresser what would you have been?
A Lawyer or Oceanographer (like Jaques Cousteau)
IF: What is your greatest strength?
My yearning to grow, and challenge myself creatively and personally.
IF: Your favorite hairdressing tools?
I’d have to say the Dyson hair dryer, years of using the same type of dryer, a new fresh tool. You can change an attitude by giving a client a good fluff, also amazing diffused heat for processing highlights.
IF: Tell us about your relationship with Iles Formula. How you discovered us and which formula is your favorite?
The packaging attracted me, I tried the Finishing Serum, LOVE LOVE! I don’t shampoo my hair much, I suggested it to my clients, all with rave reviews. My assistant uses it at the bowl on a regular basis, says it’s GENIUS!
IF: What was the most challenging job you ever made?
I need to take Cameron Diaz back to very, very blonde from colored brunette, for Charlie’s Angeles two, after the second day, six hours, she started to cry realizing we would have to cut some hair off. She apologized knowing it was not my fault, she also liked being brunette, because she could be anonymous, no one recognized her.
IF: What was your worst hair moment and why…. privately or on set/stage or in the salon?
Drew Barrymore, My assistant and I opened the salon on Sunday evening say 5:00, she made us wait over an hour while she was on her phone in the car (I was frustrated) I was creating a new look for a movie, things are going along, not sure we gelled. Then she insisted I wash off some of the highlights before I knew they were done, we got into it a bit. I told her I did not think we were a match, washed her hair, sent her home. YEEKS
IF: If you could style anyone’s hair, who would it be and why?
Julia Roberts, so freakin cool, amazing hair and beautiful smile, she is GorgiGorg!
IF: Where do you pull hair inspiration from?
Instagram for the most part, I like European fashion magazines, less perfect, sexier, not so airbrushed.
IF: Your advice to young hairdressers starting out?
Find a hair colorist/stylist / freelancer, focus on one thing at first. ASSIST, ASSIST, ASSIST. Don’t give up on the place, or the area of hair you want to work in.
IF: Thank you Corey for sharing with all of us!
INSTA – @coreypowellhair