10 December 2022

Estetica’s Exclusive Interview: FHI Heat’s Gregory Patterson

FHI Heat spokesperson, hairstylist, baseball player… Is there anything Gregory Patterson can’t do? Here are some things you need to know.

As the FHI Heat spokesperson, celebrity stylist Gregory Patterson has promoted the brand in various media outlets and has been instrumental in educating up and coming stylists. Estetica was able to sit down with Gregory to find out some things you may not know about this hard working hairstylist.

How did your collaboration with FHI Heat and Shauky Gulamani begin?
You know it was kind of serendipitous. When the brand I was working for was purchased by a much larger company, I opted to take some time off and find some new inspiration. I received a call from a woman who said, “I know this really great brand and I think you would be a perfect fit for them.” When she said it was FHI Heat I was really excited, because I had always been such a fan of their tools and who they are. When we finally met up, I was impressed by Shauky’s innovations and I realized that everything that FHI Heat stands for is very much a part of who I am – not only as a stylist but as a human being, so it was a no brainer.”

Shauky is one of the greatest innovators of our time. What’s it like working with him?
His kindness and humility immediately come to mind. It is really a cool experience being with him, traveling with him, being in meetings with him. He is just the sweetest human being and it is so refreshing, because someone at that level of genius could wear a more arrogant hat. Instead, there is an energy about Shauky that is magical.

What’s on FHI Heat agenda for this year?
Right now our main focus is Shauky’s new creation, STYLUS By FHI Heat. There isn’t anything like it on the market right now, so we intend to demonstrate how fantastic it is and build some steam with that throughout the year.”

Tell us about your background and career growth in hairdressing.
I grew up playing baseball in a ranching town. I never knew that I wanted to do hair until I started working at Banana Republic during college. I would just find myself in front of salons in a mall, watching stylists doing hair, thinking, “Wow!” So I went to hairdressing school. The day I graduated, I packed my car and moved to Los Angeles, where I got a job working with two celebrity hairdressers. I don’t know how the universe brought us together, but a week after beauty school I was assisting them with Britney Spears. It was so crazy. My mentor was a Sassoon educator who encouraged me to further my education and perfect my craft. I started assisting him in San Francisco, gradually growing my own little business in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Arizona. After working with Ted Gibson in New York, I became the Global Creative Director for Blowpro, helping to build their brand nationally and in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway. I’ve had a fun little career.

Which hairstylists would you say you idolize?
I would say my idols are Serge Normant and Jen Atkin. I go to their Instagram every single day to get some words of wisdom or to see some hairstyles and be inspired by them. They are always on trend and fashion forward. Being inspired by other greats in this industry is so important.”

Has coming from such a different background given you an original perspective?
I am often asked, “How did you become so happy? How did you become so successful?” I’d say it’s because happiness is a choice. The reason for my success is because of my hard work and dedication. I always say yes to anything and everything, I can always say no once I get there, but I never shut the door on an experience prior. That mental focus comes from my upbringing on a ranch where you have to get up at 4:00 a.m. and do all your chores. And playing baseball means being a team player, showing up, and pulling your own weight. Such responsibility at a young age conditioned my mind and trained me to be prepared for the job at hand.”

Tell us about your work with the Charity Water campaign.
While working on a television series called, “Marie TV” shortly before my 33rd birthday, I happened to meet Scott Harrison, the creator of Charity Water. He explained the Charity Water birthday pledge campaigns where, instead of receiving gifts, you can ask friends to donate to your birthday campaign. I was turning 33 and the campaign ran for 3 months, so I set what seemed to be an impossible goal of $3,333.33. But by the end of the day I had exceeded $5,000.00! So when Charity Water asked how I had done it, because the average birthday campaign raises only $359.00, that set me on fire. In the end, thanks to the generosity of everyone I know, I raised over $21,000.00 and was able to fund two wells in Ethiopia. It gives me chills just talking about it. I’m going to say this selfishly but also selflessly: it is one of the greatest birthdays I’ve experienced in my life – and it was so simple. I just donated my birthday!

What is the best advice you have ever got?
Stay true to who you are.” It has always been a motto in my life as a hairdresser. I am not a cool, punk, rock hairdresser. If I tried to be that, I would not be true to my heart and my talent. For years people would say to me, “Oh, are you just a blow drying stylist?” Instead, what I did was find a niche and perfect my craft. I’ve been recognized by Allure Magazine as the best blow dryer in the industry. I’ve had years of television and press coverage. I’ve literally traveled the world doing blow dries. So sure I can cut hair, I style hair, I use to do color – but that’s not my passion. I stayed true to who I am and I didn’t try to become something I was not.

What do you love or hate in current trends?
Well, I like most all trends to be honest with you. What I’m seeing now, especially at Fashion Week, is everything is so low. Ponytails have dropped and are a lot cleaner. Texture is more of that 90s grunge. I like to call it ‘glam grunge’ because you see it on the red carpet a lot. There is that beachy boho wave, it looks more undone. The technique involved in that is so involved yet it looks effortless.”

Which celebrity would you like to work with again and a new one you’d like to work with.
Instantly Meryl Streep and Edward Norton pop into mind. I’ve worked with Edward Norton quite a bit. He and his wife Shauna are just great people. But I would die to get my hands into Sofia Vergara’s hair!

What is down time for you?
I really don’t have many days off. To clear my head, I shut everything out. No TV. I’m in a space by myself. I love to walk around New York, just to feel the heartbeat of the sidewalk. I just put on some country music that reminds me of home and who I am. It keeps me grounded. I don’t have time for baseball anymore, but if there is a baseball game on, I’ll watch it for sure.”

The ideal candidate
President Shauky Gulamani announced the addition of Gregory Patterson as the new FHI Heat spokesperson last September. Shauky said: “We needed someone with exciting, fresh and youthful energy. Gregory’s level of international success along with his creativity and dedication to produce the very best in the hair industry made him the ideal candidate.”

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