11 Jul Kardashians Stylist | Philip Wolff
In Beverly Hills, when you hear “Celebrity Hair Stylist”, ideas of grandeur and exaggerated personalities come to mind. Individuals that have created a “larger than life” persona of themselves in one of the most glamorous cities in California.
As co-owner of Shades Natural Hair Color Studio and with a client list that includes the Kardashians, Halle Berry, Brooke Burke, and Quentin Tarantino, just to name a few, Philip Wolff has earned his spot as one of the largest in the industry with the celebrity list to match. What makes Philip so unique is that regardless of his success and fame in this industry, his humility and desire to give back puts him in a league of his own.
by Sarah Ollenburger and Alessandra Brus
Cutting hair was never on Philip’s radar as a child. He had never been to a salon as his mother was always doing hair and would be the one to cut Philip’s. Over time he learned to cut hair and would provide favors for friends but it was a position in a computer company that was his first profession. Here he was, a young professional making great money when suddenly, in 1998, he was laid off and had no idea where he should go from there. While looking for a job he would cut his friends’ hair, and one day someone suggested he look into becoming a stylist. He showed up at a Toni and Guy studio in a quiet suburb of Washington D.C. with no formal training in the art of hair design or experience, looking for an apprenticeship. The opportunity he received that day would change the course of his life and career.
Given a chance by the owner, Wolff began learning everything there was to know about cutting and coloring hair. He attended hair shows and absorbed all the knowledge he could. He felt at home in the salon and began to truly feel like himself.
He had found his niche.
Earning $187 a week at Toni & Guy, doing everything he could to climb his way up, his skills continued to develop and his instincts kicked in. Wolff began to set his eyes on larger markets as he pursued a position at the UK-based company PR & Partners in Washington D.C. He has always valued the education he had been given in Maryland and soon became an Educator and Artistic Director of the Chevy Chase location and began to help those who were learning the craft. After six years of success in D.C., Philip was ready for his next stop: Los Angeles.
In 2004, Wolff was offered a chair at Privé, the premier Beverly Hills salon. At that time, Privé was looking for someone to go to Korea to help open the salon in the newest W hotel in the world. This was an incredible opportunity for Philip and he took it. After 9 months in Korea he returned to Beverly Hills, and over the next few years he built an incredible book working with celebrity clients, styling runway shows and high profile fashion events. In 2011 Philip left Privé and arrived at Shades Natural Hair Salon, where he is now a partner and co-owner.
When he was learning the art of hair, Philip’s mentor gave him four keys to success; learn as much as you can as fast as you can, always remain teachable, follow the cause and the money will follow and never hoard your knowledge. Philip has always believed that education is key in keeping the hair and styling industry relevant. He has made educating others his way of giving back to an industry that has given him so much. He loves to inspire people and continues to be inspired by others. LDF50 Hair & Co was created by Wolff and longtime friend Chief Behr to share this education. As Wolff says, “Our mission at LD50 Hair & Co is to connect with fellow hairstylists worldwide and to provide them with an alternative choice in education to help take their inner artist to the next level and beyond. We are not here to reinvent education but rather allow hairstylists to take our method of education to further their creative career and use it on a daily basis, whether it be in a salon behind the chair, during a photo shoot, on set, runway or on themselves.” They are bringing the balance of celebrity stylists and well-known industry stylists together to teach the trends and positively influence the industry. Their goal? To teach instinct in a technical way. It is a new way of doing things in an industry that has become comfortable in their ways. And shaking things up is exactly what Wolff intends to do.
When Wolff is not in the studio he loves spending time with his wife, 3-year-old son and 15-month-old daughter. He is a huge fan of Korean Barbecue and is a regular at Dong Il Jang (3455 W. 8th Street) and Chosun Galbee (3330 W. Olympic Blvd.).
Wolff’s three tips for keeping your hair healthy this summer:
- Drink tons of water. Hydrate!
- Use a serum once a day in the morning. Wolff recommends the Wolff Behr Serum as it provides hydration, weightlessness and anti-aging benefits.
- Free yourself from your thermal styling. Don’t blow-dry or curl every day.
There is no doubt Philip Wolff is an artistic genius when it comes to the technique of cutting and styling hair. He just gets it. His passion and authenticity makes him a diamond in the rough.
About the author: Sarah Ollenburger is the editor of Juggling in Heels, a lifestyle blog for the modern day woman who juggles career, motherhood, and marriage while still maintaining her identity and style. jugglinginheels.com