In The Cut With Issac Poleon
Stuck in a hair rut? Issac Poleon is here to help. The hairstylist extraordinaire has a roster of clients that reads like a who’s who of fashion, with the likes of Jorja Smith, Jourdan Dunn, Adwoa Aboah and brands such as Gucci, Burberry, Calvin Klein and Fenty all relying on his expert techniques for the best hair in the business. (Not to mention masterminding the looks for our 50th anniversary, Homecoming 2020 and Maximilian's Browns Focus campaign...)
Arriving at Browns Brook Street for an exclusive two week Residency in The Parlour, Issac will be on hand to transform your hair via a roster of bespoke bookings, offering everything from cuts to consultations to wig fittings and more. Book now to avoid disappointment, and read on to discover what to expect from a tailor-made Issac Poleon encounter...
Can you tell us how you began your journey into hair and hairstyling?
I started hairstyling through a friend who was getting her hair done by this barber. I was at a point of change - I was a dancer and I was ready to do something different. He recommended I start working at the salon, and I ended up training there, and that’s how I got into it! It was really just out of the blue and unexpected.
Was there anyone or anything in your youth who really influenced you?
I was a massive fan of the Maybelline commercials in the 90s - I loved that type of cinematography and advertising. Once I started hairstyling, I realised that there would be these avenues which I could venture into. My peers at the salon, the seniors at the time, they were quite inspirational. Also Chuck Amos (@chuckielovehair) and Vernon Francois (@vernonfrancois) - he was quite influential back then, and even moreso now. I love what he’s doing at the moment.
Can you tell us your most hair-raising story from your career thus far?
It was more of a “pinch me” moment, but I worked with Jourdan Dunn for a Charlotte Tilbury campaign, and it really brought the 90s Maybelline style out! There were flashing lights and music; it was loud and pumping, I had my wind machine blowing in her hair… it was gorgeous! I was in awe of her that day. That’s probably one of my most recent hair-raising stories because it was an incredible experience.
What makes your hair stand on end? (In a good way!)
(Laughing) I love clean partings! I love sleek, beautiful, polished hair. That stuff makes my hair stand on end - I love to see it. I love a finished look, you know?
Hair today, gone tomorrow. Can you tell us the story of your most dramatic hair transformation, or one you performed for someone else?
A few of my friends have shaved their hair out of liberation, because they’ve realised how attached they were to it. In terms of dramatic, it was more melodrama. I think that there’s something beautiful in a woman - who has always seen beauty through their hair - shaving it. I find that quite a dramatic hair transformation... the most dramatic one!
Who has the best hair?
This is a difficult question to answer. I don’t think anyone’s got the best hair! I think that there are people that are born with beautiful hair all over the world. Maybe Beyoncé! Let’s say Beyoncé.
And what about the worst…?
Hyenas have the worst hair! (Laughs.)
Whose hair would you most like to do and why?
I hate this question because I think I’m so blessed, because I could probably work with any of these people. I’ve worked with all different types of artists from all different realms - it really desensitizes you to that kind of “I’d really love to work with X.” Actually I tell a lie - there’s an American artist called Tanerélle - I’d really love to work with her.
Talk us through your Browns Residency. What services will you be offering and what can clients expect?
I think that I’m quite a chill hairstylist, so the client can definitely expect a relaxed environment. I consider myself a consultant and counsellor, so there’s going to be some reassuring moments, some real fun. I really want to push the creative with the clients and see what we can do differently.
I think that they can expect to talk about their hair in an in-depth way that a lot of people tell me that they don’t generally have. I think that the world of hairdressing is undernourished with information and inclusivity, so they can be assured that I am proficient in all hair textures and styles and varied requirements. I’ll be offering consultations, wig styling, blow drying, hair styling, a treatment service - all totally personalised experiences.
What are you most excited about for the Residency?
I’m excited to work with the Browns team in this way, because this is a new level of our relationship. It’s really nice to actually be somewhere and have some stability for two weekends in a row, as it’s been years since I’ve had that kind of structure. I’m excited to be part of a team that’s really fun, and also just being in the Browns Brook Street store! It’s a really beautiful store, and I’m excited to see what kind of clientele they have that I’ll be meeting. I’m excited about the Services and what we’re going to provide, as it’s never been done before at Browns.
How would you describe the Issac Poleon signature?
It’s more like “Issac energy” as opposed to a signature. My ethos is considered; it’s acute and personalised; it’s a perfectionist view of imperfection; it’s an amalgamation of expertise and execution. But also - clean partings and edges!
What do you and Browns have in common?
Finish this sentence. When the hair is good…
… life is great!
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