James Earnshaw, Wella’s New Global Ambassador, is a hair colorist and stylist based in the UK, but he has a world vision of hairdressing.
Getting to know award-winning hairdresser James Earnshaw shouldn’t be difficult. He has long been an admired and respected figure in the industry. He has also become a popular social media icon thanks to his engaging content and especially due to his passion for color transformations. He also has a knack for creating dynamic online content.
As Wella Professionals Global Ambassador, James will be working exclusively with the brand across color, care and styling. He will also collaborate closely on core strategic areas. This will include partnering with Wella’s R&D team shaping innovation, new services, and the creation of new collections, showcasing Wella at global events, and educating hairdressers around the world.
Getting to know James better in this interview is Estetica’s Gary Kelly. They delved to gain a deeper insight into Jame‘s work, career and, of course, his relationship with Wella Professionals.
How did your journey with Wella begin?
It started when I was 15. I went into a salon to get my haircut, the hairdresser asked me what I wanted to do when I finished school. I said “hair”, so they gave me a job and I started the day after! It was actually a Wella salon, so my first ever experience with color was using Wella. I first got noticed by Wella in 2014 when I got a place on the Generation Now team and earned the bronze in the TrendVision awards.”
Who were your career mentors and positive influencers?
There have been so many, but I think for me working with Michelle Thompson has been amazing. She really has taught me how to best photograph hair and put a collection together as well as how to work on all different hair types. We are still very close today. Also, Renya Xydis from Australia – I have always been so obsessed with her work and aesthetic. I assisted her at fashion week back in 2013 and it really opened my eyes to the editorial world. I recently worked with her on the brand new Wella Color Blocking campaign (see models below), so it was amazing working with her on that level.
Tell us more about your education and training.
I think for me, doing Wella’s Master Color Expert was really pivotal to my professional growth. It helped me grasp such a strong knowledge of color: not just putting hair color on the hair, but also understanding the reasons why. It really has made me an amazing colorist and given me such confidence.
Do you have a go-to hero product?
Wella Shinefinity for sure: with zero lift & zero damage, it is my most used color product! The two shades I use the most are 08/98 & 09/05.
Do you prefer cutting, styling, or coloring?
I love it all! I’m lucky that I do all three, so I can really transform the model I’m working on from start to finish!”
How are you involved in product innovation, research and development?
It’s so interesting being part of this and something that I’m really looking forward to doing more of in my role as Wella Professionals Global Ambassador. What we do is look for gaps in the industry and how can we make hairdressers lives easier. It may be in a new technology a client needs or new ingredients. For example, Blondorplex Toners were a great new addition to our portfolio because it is our fastest developing toning solution! So, it takes just 5 minutes, and delivers amazing color results. People are loving it! Then there’s Ultimate Repair– it’s a total game changer. I use Miracle Hair Rescue on so many clients and models. In just 90 seconds it delivers 99% less hair breakage, so it’s great but also so fast. I love products that perform but don’t take forever!
Tell us more about your stage work.
When I first started, I used to do looks that I thought would make me win or people would like. Then in 2016, I just thought: I’m just going to do hair that I want and that I think is cool. My career grew so much since that point. If you stay true to the work you want to put out there, people can feel when you genuinely love it.
What can hairdressers learn from the TrendVision experience?
TrendVision really opened my eyes on how to critique my work in a brand-new way. So it helped make me a better hairdresser. It’s a great way to next work and showcases your work on such a big stage across the Wella world. So if you’re thinking of doing it, go for it!
Stay true to the work you want to put out there. People can feel when you genuinely love it!James Earnshaw, Wella Global Ambassador
How do you plan to bring Wella brands to life for hairdressers?
Having worked with Wella for the last decade and in recent years as a Digital Color Ambassador for the UK & Ireland, I feel I have a deep understanding of Wella brands and how to bring its diverse product range to life. In doing so, I have been privileged to educate (and hopefully entertain!) in the US, Australia, as well as all over Europe. I have also worked with Wella on a number of standout campaigns including KP:ID and Shinefinity.
In getting to know more about you, tell us what you do when you’re not behind the chair.
I used to be a professional ice skater when I was younger!