Take a moment to read this weeks Iles Formula Hair Talk Featuring Danielle Valiente. Danielle is part of the Iles Formula community and is the contributing writer behind our weekly beauty blogs. Danielle works in her studio boutique salon in Phoenix, Arizona, and travels doing freelance work on set and for Red Carpet, Music Video and Editorial. She is a beauty Influencer and has a YouTube channel with beauty how to videos. She has worked several seasons as on camera hair team for Project Runway, Project Runway All Stars and Project Runway Juniors. Visit her Instagram page to see more from Danielle @hairby_daniellevaliente. Read on to hear what she has to say about the beauty industry.
IF: Tell us what you think is the biggest challenge in hairdressing today?
I really had to sit and think about this question…I think that with social media being so massive right now, and playing such a huge role in the beauty industry, it’s very important to document your work, and post them. This is so important for growing your personal brand. However I have talked to so many hairstylist over the years that say, I’m so bad at keeping up with my social media. I feel like its one of those things that you just have to do, if you don’t know how, you have to learn. I have had new clients text to book with me and say can you send me your Instagram handle. At that point your Instagram better be majority photos of your work and not you and your Saturday night drinking frenzy. Its just a different world of promoting yourself now and you have to keep it professional. Creating a separate account for business is the best solution.
IF: What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?
I really enjoy that I get to create in more than one area of the beauty industry. I have a boutique studio in Phoenix where I work with all of my regular salon guests, but then I get the opportunity to freelance, blog and work with brands for social media and/or education.
IF: Why did you choose the path of hairdressing and was it easy to fall into this work?
I really always knew I would end up a hairdresser. When I was a young girl, I was always playing with hair and makeup, going into my grandmothers “drawer” and playing dress up. I was curling my own hair like Farrah faucet at age 5. I really feel like if you watch what a child gravitates towards for fun, this is usually what path they end up following, to an extent.
IF: If you had not made the decision to be a hairdresser what would you have been?
Well, I went to college and quickly decided after graduation that the corporate world wasn’t for me. I really could not imagine being anything else.
IF: What is your greatest strength?
I feel as though my greatest strength is my willingness to help others grow. When I was a salon owner, I loved to coach a young hairdresser and watch them flourish into a successful hairstylist. Many of the people that have worked with me over the years at my salon have evolved to greatness, and I am very proud to see their successes. I always say, if people leave your salon and don’t do big things, then you did something wrong. As sad and hard as it is to see people go, it’s rewarding to see their accomplishments and know you had something to do with that even if was just a small little piece.
IF: What are your favorite hairdressing tools?
My YS Park combs and dressing brush. Also my Sheila Stotts brush. The first one I ever used was a gift from a friend and I used that thing till the bristles all started falling off. I think I still even have it, I can’t part with it, its touched so many great heads of hair.
IF: Tell us about your relationship with Iles Formula. How you discovered us and which formula is your favorite?
I discovered Iles Formula when I was working on set of Project Runway. Wendy Iles was on set also with Heidi Klum, and she came into our prep room one day and handed all of us some samples to try. From the first use, I was hooked. Im a smell person, and the fragrance of the products are so beautiful, like a lovely French bouquet of flowers. I have used it on set and its a beautiful product. I am so grateful now to be able to work closely with the company and watch the product grow from a simple need on set for Wendy Iles to a necessity when it comes to caring for your hair. My favorite….hmmm, that’s a tough one. I love the Finishing Serum, but equally love the Hair Mask, it’s a game changer. Now the newest Iles Formula Hair Turban is in my fave list too.
IF: What was the most challenging job you ever had?
I was assisting on set of a Katy Perry shoot one day, and the stylist I was working with, asked me to go into Katy’s room and grab his tools and I could begin to put them away. Well, I was walking over to his case and Katy was sitting there having her makeup touched up and right as I was passing by her, the ties on my boots got intertwined and my feet locked. I tripped and slid across the floor, but all I was concerned with was not dropping all of his tools onto the ground. I was successful at that but the fall was pretty bad. Every one on set was gathered around me to make sure I was ok including Katy, it was humiliating, but I lived through it to tell the story and I love telling it to this day. A humbling experience to say the least.
IF: What was your worst hair moment and why….Privately or on set/stage or in the salon?
Although I can be very hard on myself, I try not to look at scenarios like that as a worst hair moment, but yet an opportunity for growth. At the end of the day, we are all humans, we make mistakes. Not that we should brush it under the rug and ignore it, but rather see how we can improve for next time. Every champion was once a beginner.
IF: If you could style anyones hair, who would it be and why?
My Mother’s. She passed away when I was 19 years old from breast cancer. When I was in high school she used to wake me up at 6 am every day to French Braid her hair. It drove me mad and I’d complain the whole time. What I wouldn’t trade now to be able to do it just 1 more time. I tell everyone, it was almost as if she said, “Oh you don’t want to do my hair, I’ll teach you, this is what your career is going to be”. You wish you knew in high school what you know as an adult, thats for sure.
IF: Where do you pull hair inspiration from?
I am inspired by many things. I am always so inspired by traveling. When you travel, you see a world that completely opens up to you. Different colors of landscapes, different shapes of architecture, different cultures. I love to see how women and men translate fashion and beauty in their culture. All of this sparks creativity for me.
IF: Your advice to young hairdressers starting out?
Do not give up! There will be many times while you are establishing yourself that you will want to throw in the towel. Don’t do it! You have gotten yourself to this point, stick it out. If you’re broke, get a second job, do whatever it takes to stay in it, and one day I promise you it will all be worth it. Be a yes person, but protect your worth. Do what you say your going to do, try admit when you are wrong, and be coachable and always learn. If your green you’re growing! I know thats a lot, but being a salon owner at one time I worked with a lot of hairstylists fresh out of school and these are the challenges many face. Just stay in it, you’ve got this!
IF: Thank You Danielle for sharing with all of us!
Follow Danielle on her social media accounts here: