"Inside the Hair" with Hair Stylist/MUA, Stacey Khuu
We are so lucky to do a special interview with Style Creative, Stacey Khuu!
We've been following Stacey Khuu's work for many years now and every year she is breaking ground in the creative hair industry.
Originally from the Bay Area, CA, Stacey has a proven track record from being a Tearsheet Artist and working alongside Rodney Cutler’s salon during New York Fashion Week. Some of the designers she has helped create styles for are Betsey Johnson, Guo Pei for Miss Universe 2013, Taoray Wang, Michael Costello, Greg Lauren, Zana Bayne, Dion Lee, Juan Carlos Obando, Parsons Fashion school, and many more.
So let's get to know this Girl Boss for the next couple of minutes and maybe you will be thrilled enough to contact or meet her in person for some style love soon!
How did you get started doing hair?
It started when my mom wanted me to touch up her greys with box color back in high school. I can remember my mom just telling me to just color the grays and nothing else. I think seeing my mom change her hair color from a box made me want to put it in my hair. I first attempted my first color change in my freshmen year of high school. I was always picky with my own hair and loved playing with makeup, but haven’t played with anyone else’s hair back then. I changed my hair a lot throughout my teenage years. It was a fun way to express myself without getting a piercing. As a first generation, my parents did not condone going into a trade when education was affordable in America. They didn’t want me to struggle with a trade they didn’t see as redeeming. It was fast and easy money to them. They saw how much my aunts had struggled doing nails and didn’t want that for me. I totally understand and appreciate that. When I figured I was not enjoying college, I knew it was time for a change. I was going to college to become a tax accountant and hoping to become a tax lawyer from there. When I was so bored with all the paperwork, I knew I wanted to do something completely creative and fun. That’s when I remembered how much I enjoyed playing with my hair. I wanted to try to learn how to do hair the right way and to do it well. I figured that if I failed at beauty school I can always go back to college and finish my degree.
What do you love about it?
Everything. What’s not to love? I love the chemistry of the hair color and other treatments for hair. I love the art of avant garde hair. I love the science of knowing the hair anatomy and understanding the textures to best treat it well. I love seeing other artists treat the head as a canvas to paint different patterns and shape different structure through cutting hair to best suit each person’s needs. The fact that it is universal and I can go anywhere and find a hair artist who can appreciate hair and all things about it. I am such a hair nerd that everything that has to do with hair fascinates me.
What is one of your most memorable experiences doing hair? Since you've worked with a lot of amazing people!
I have had many honors to work amongst the best of the best in the industry. I have so many to account for. One of the many blessings I have is becoming a Tearsheet Artist in New York back in 2013. Through Tearsheet, I have met many like minded artists who have opened doors for me to be in the presence of great figures. One of my first experiences was to work amongst Giovanni Giuntoli and his team in NYFW in September of 2013. There I met Rodney Cutler (one of the most elite trend setting hair artist's) in NY. I got to assist behind Betsey Johnson’s Fashion show with his team. I was with my hair bestie Timka Tremouille who knew Rodney from Redken Symposium 2013. That same season I was asked to assist the wonderful Elin Nyberg after doing a Juan Carlos Obando Show in the meat packing district. I met the talented designer Guo Pei and was working with Fadil Berisha. Thanks to super talented makeup Guru Wendi Miyake (I met at a Tearsheet workshop) who thought of me when I was in New York at that time and wanted me to be a part of her team. It was in that fashion season that I knew I wanted to sharpen my skills and expand my knowledge even more as a hair artist.
What are some easy hair tips to looking flawless for the everyday girl or something of that nature. What would you say are Top 5 tips?
- Moisturize your hair! But you must fInd the right product for YOUR hair. Not all products are created equal. What works for fine hair won’t be enough for a lady with coarse to medium hair. Ask your hairstylist what would be best for you.
- Please get those tresses trimmed every 3 to 6 months. If you want Mermaid hair that is strong and healthy, those ends need to be maintained.
- Minimize wearing those hair ties. Instead, use bobby pins or pins to pin in your top buns or attach 2 pins to each end of a hair tie to minimize the tension you are putting on your hair. Doing so will help your hair from breaking.
- Do you have curly or big wavy hair? Use a satin pillowcase and oil down your tresses and braid that hair down into two braids. This helps with waking up with unruly hair.
- Did you just curl your long, beautiful hair and are afraid of losing them while you sleep? I like to wear a really high top bun and pinning it down with 3 hair pins (making a triangle) to sleep. This way when you wake up, your hair is still neatly wrapped in curls and you can sleep wildly at peace.
Stacey, you are amazing for everything you just shared with us and we know you have more goals to accomplish. You told us that you want to start your own salon someday. What are the feelings (excitement and insecurities) and the steps you are taking to get you there?
Yes, this is a grand dream of mine that I am slowly working towards. It is most definitely my biggest adventure yet. I am so excited for the idea, but I need to do my research before I get ahead of myself. I am looking into locations and places where I would want to see my salon. With the economy slowly rising and housing market is going up, I am expecting rent to be high. So, I have to make sure I am financially organized and find a place that can fit my budget. I have also sought advice from mentors and to see what they have done in taking the steps to achieve their salon. It has been really inspiring to hear and take notes of what can work and what doesn’t. Right now, I know that I want to sharpen my skills as an artist. Social media has been a great platform for many artists and I want to start having a stronger presence there as well. It is hard to do this alone, since I haven’t approached this before. I do occasionally worry that it is too grand of a dream, but I know that if I set it up and start working towards it, it will come. Maybe not this year, but in the near future.