on how Instagram became toxic to his creativity, the best advice he's ever gotten from Giselle and his definition of beauty
Ten years ago, I sat in Harry Josh's chair at the Gansevoort Hotel in the Meat Packing District and had the please having him styling my hair right before he had to get Lindsay Lohan ready for a party in the room next door. I'll never forget how my hair looked when he was done as the wave pattern was one I'd never be able to create myself and it was the first time a celeb stylist ever touched my hair. Since, I've worked with him and watched his career flourish. As someone in the industry that I truly admire, I'm excited to share more so you too, can get to know the man behind Giselle Bundchen's bombshell waves.
I noticed you've been using your Instagram account to promote happiness and gratitude a lot lately. What's up?
I put myself in Instagram rehab. End of July I was realizing my creative juices were not flowing, I was obsessed with the app, I would spend hours a day on it, looking at everyone’s pictures, trying to find inspiration. It started out as a good thing and then it became toxic. The sources, I used to look for things, I’d go into bookstore, old album covers, old movies…I was starting to find everything through Pinterest or apps or I no longer left my room. I felt sad. I know you can do it that way, but I felt robbed. My creativity felt robbed. In between that, when I would see everyone’s posts, my feed was so full and it really got to a place I’d buy books and wouldn’t read them, would want to watch a documentary and wouldn’t, my boyfriend was like who are you? I miss out on everything.
So what did you do?
I had a bit of a meltdown, I was following 2,700 people—all brands, anyone who was on a set, producers, and never wanted anyone to feel left out. People would be exchanging Instagrams and I would go up to the props guy and be like “sure I’ll follow you!” It became a job to just like pictures. I thought the only way to do this was to go cold turkey. So I deleted everyone.
And how has your creativity and life improved since?
Since then I have read three books, watched two documentaries, more quality time with my man and life is better. Since that epiphany in the summer I took it to a whole new level, I decided to have a summer of looking inwards. I have a great career, life is amazing but I don’t want that to define my soul. This kind of exterior, I don’t want to be defined by my Instagram or what clients I have worked on. Because what if I don’t have that? Does that mean I’m nothing? If I lose this, does that mean I lose all of my intention? I wanted to work on me and I hope my personality, my joy, my authentic love of life…I feel like this is where my heads at, and I would rather be known as this guy who’s really open and loves life, and wants everyone else to love life as much as he does and these are things he does.
How do you plan on using your audience moving forward?
I want to feed someone’s soul. I want someone to feel inspired by what I do. I love what I do, there’s no question about it. But if I could give someone else a nugget of hope, things that I know that I have gone through, be vulnerable and share with everyone that. That’s where I find joy from. Do I really want to post that? Sure it will get a lot of likes, but that’s just my ego talking.
What got you into this whole transformation?
It’s always the way I was, but I got lost. Social media took me away, but now I’m back.
Besides your Instagram account, how else to you practice living a beautiful life?
I meditate everyday.
What kind of meditation do you do?
I learned transcendental meditation from David Lynch Foundation about two years ago. I have evolved, a little bit, I still have the discipline that they set up. Twenty minutes, twice a day. But now I do these vibrational sounds, its an app that I have, called binaural brain waves, and I do that sound during my meditation because I feel like getting to a deeper place, I really love it. I commit myself to reading at least a half hour of some kind of self-help thing every day, so whether it’s a book, even if it’s a book I’ve already read, Eckart Tolle (Power of Now, A New Earth—book) is like my guru of all gurus. I read a lot of his books because he encompasses so much. I just realized in my life I have a lot of joy, a lot of happiness, and it does not always come from what people think it comes from. I know that I’m working on what I call inner power. And what inner power to me means is that nothing can be taken away from you—if I lose my looks, my fame, my apartment, I know when I look in the mirror, even if I’m a homeless person, you’re a good person, you have nothing but good things to say about people, you don’t have a bad bone in your body. And that’s what I work on, because I don’t want to live in any other inauthentic place. And I love all of those things, but I don’t want to be defined by that. I love my job, I love doing hair, I’m so inspired by it, by beauty, creativity. But I want something deep down that’s not going to be pulled away from me ever.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever gotten and who is it from?
Giselle has been my sage for the last twenty years. She has lived the life that I aspire to be.
She delights the world with her grace, kindness and compassion. She’s just one of those people who has it all, but has no interest in it all. She says “I could care less if I was the most famous model in the world, I could care less if I was the richest girl in the world, I don’t care about any of those things, they’ve just been given to me, I didn’t make this body, my parents gave me these genes.” She’s a hard working girl. She taught me that being authentic to the core will only make you happier and bring more to you. I learn from her.
Beauty is having inner confidence and radiance so that no matter what trend, or hip thing that’s out there, it’s irrelevant to you because your energy is so transparent to anyone. It’s like when you meet someone who’s not necessarily attractive but when you talk to them for ten minutes your like “I love them,” and that to me is what everyone should be striving for, and no longer striving for a certain type of look, certain type of body or certain type of skin tone or certain type of haircut, it’s great, it’s your soul. I think if you can go through that, it’s so much more authentic. Beauty is just icing on the cake. That’s great, the exterior is great, it’s fun, it’s changeable. The real deal is inside. I think if you can find the beauty within you and love yourself enough to not feel that you need to change the exterior constantly in order to be liked, appreciated or loved, then you are really going to win more people over. And then the rest of stuff becomes more fun and not detrimental, like ‘oh my God, I’m not skinny enough, I’m not tall enough, my hair’s not thick enough, I’m not blonde enough, I don’t have enough lashes…” Whatever your soft spot is, it falls by the waist side, and you have this inner-confidence. All of a sudden when you do rock a look you don’t feel insecure anymore. “I’m going to wear my hair in a bun and not wear any makeup today and I feel great about it.” I think that’s a really important thing that women need to remember because we are in a world where everything is just thrust and it just makes us feel less than we really are. Not good enough, not popular enough, or were not cool enough. Everyone’s way cooler than us. It’s all smoke in mirrors. Everything. And I just think it’s so important for women and men, human beings, to just check in with yourself, who are we? Let go of your ego and just learn to live from an authentic place and hope that’s enough to carry you through. Everything else is just icing on the cake. Everything else is just fun, it comes back to what it was for me in the beginning, fun, I love to create and with that you are going to become more creative.