Glass meets creative director and session stylist Jason Collier

Glass meets creative director and session stylist to the fashion and arts world Jason Collier and talks hair and philanthropy

Yet only 30, Jason Collier has trailed his own unique blaze in the hairstyling world. Having started out at 14, sweeping the floors in a local hairdressers in Cardiff, he has now set up two salons, one in his native Wales, the other in east London, the sensitive and thoughtful Collier also has a highly successful career as a session stylist, having recently worked backstage at last season’s LFW for Pringle, Sibling, Emilia Wickstead, JW Anderson and Giles and at other times for Tom Ford, Mary Katrantzou and Vivienne Westwood shows, among others.

Collier has a growing roster of private clients, as well, working for actors such as Sienna Miller, Helen McCrory, and Damian Lewis and also fashion luminaries like Victoria Beckham as well as having styled hair on campaigns for Net-a-Porter and Selfridges.

For all his success, Collier is modest and self-effacing – more interested in concentrating on the client – whoever they are – than talking about himself and his achievements, which he plays down. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why these big names like to work with him – he is sympatico.

Admitting he “can’t say no” to work or any challenge offered to him, which often sees him traveling the globe, Collier is also involved in the Sir Hubert von Herkomer Arts Foundation, which was established by Helen McCrory which aims “to aid and inspire a new generation of artists, actors and musicians from deprived and inner city backgrounds”. This it does by funding after- and out-of-school classes to help provide“ children with the tools and inspiration to help develop a lifelong passion for the arts”. Jason is very involved in fundraising and mentoring young people assisted by the foundation.

Jason married his Israeli partner last year.

Glass caught up with Jason in east London.

What inspired you to become a hairdresser?
I was not inspired to become a hairdresser, it felt like more of a calling, it was something I always wanted to be and just can naturally to me.

You have achieved a lot in your career at a young age. You own a salon in Wales and are the creative director at Smooth You Town Spa in east London, as well as having a thriving private clientele, how have you achieved so much in such a short time?
A lot of hard work, not much sleep and the fact that I don’t understand the word “no”.

Jason Collier. Photographed by Justin Van ViletJason Collier. Photograph: Justin Van Vliet

Have you faced any challenges professionally? If so, how did you overcome them?
There are always lots of challenges, but you need to take a step back and evaluate the situation, then of course develop a plan, once you have a clear plan and believe in yourself almost anything is possible.

What would you say has been the high point of your career so far?
I would not necessarily say I have a high point as I am always trying to be or do better than the last project I did, but if there was to be a high point so far, it would probably be opening my first salon and launching my own product range.

Jason Collier. Photographed by Justin Van ViletJason Collier. Photograph: Justin Van Vliet

What advice would you give anyone who hopes to work in the beauty/hairdressing industry?
The only advice I would give is that nothing comes for free and be prepared to work and forget that the word no exists.

How do you see the hair and beauty industry developing in the future?
Like any industry it always evolves and changes and develops. The products we use are being better developed, social media is now a massive part of the industry, education is massively improving, so while all this is always developing and improving, the relationship between hairdresser/client will never change, clients now own knowledge about latest trends and products as it is all at the touch of our fingertips thanks to the internet.

Jason Collier3Jason Collier

Can you tell us about the charity you support (The Sir Hubert von Herkomer Arts Foundation)? Did you set it up? If not, how did you come to be involved in it? What is its next project?
No I didn’t set it up, a very good friend of mine Debbie Clark – who is an amazing women –  set the charity up. It’s a wonderful charity that helps children learn new skills or just to develop existing talents, I don’t really know how I came to be involved, it just happened. Debbie believed in me and asked if I wanted to get on board and of course – I couldn’t say no! We are still talking about what to do next and are currently working on a few other projects.

Who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by everyone and everything, from maybe the way someone acts or moves, dresses, their personality – it could be anything really and of course I am inspired by the classics, from Vidal Sassoon, TONI&GUY, Prada, Gucci, Victoria Beckham, Valentino …

Celebrity hair stylist @Jasoncollier working his magic on the beautiful new face of Caron BrandajsJason Collier styles the hair of artist Caron Brandajs

What advice would you give someone who wants great hair?
To always spend a bit more on good quality hair products and to listen to your hairdresser.

What is your own hair-care/beauty routine?
My own hair-care beauty routine, of course I keep my hair very tidy, it’s freshly blowdried every two days. I use a lot of oil to keep it smooth and shiny which I always add before I wash my hair, I have an Epicuren facial every month. I also use their products daily.

What product can’t you live without?
Hairspray – it is a must for everyone!

Can you share with Glass readers your plans for the future?
I have so many plans for the future. I am currently looking into a second salon and I would love to launch a more affordable at home hair-care range.

by Caroline Simpson

Smooth You Town Spa, Dalston Square, 
London, E8 3GW
Tel: +44 20 7014 7700

Jason Collier is on twitter and instagram