The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

September 29, 2013

Sebastian Design Team Artist Joshua Wagner teaches the latest haircuts

Staff Writer

ASHTABULA — When 23-year-old Megan Betts walked into Ultimate Appearance Tuesday, her hair felt heavy.

An hour later, the Geneva resident said her hair felt “more airy.”

Stylist and salon owner, Jane Haines, didn’t cut much off, but did something different to give Betts a new look.

That difference was part of a two-day, in-house, education package provided by Sebastian Design Team Artist Joshua Wagner, of New York City. Wagner travels all over the world, including Thailand and Malaysia, teaching hairdressers how to cut and style hair.

“Sometimes cutting hair gets boring, so I re-inspire so they are always doing something different,” he said. “It’s a creative industry in which you must balance business and creativity.”

Wagner started his career as a barber in the U.S. Navy, then attended Michael’s College of Hair Design in Florence, Ky.

To further his skills, he continued his advance training with Vidal Sassoon, Redken 5th Ave., Wella Studios in Milan, Italy and New York City. He has been a Sebastian Design team member for five years.

He believes in education and creativity, he said. He’s worked backstage at New York City fashion on many occasions.

At Ultimate Appearance Tuesday, he worked with 12 volunteer female models from the community.

Brittnay Bradnan, 26, of Conneaut, said she didn’t mind being a “guinea pig,” and allowing stylist Amber Cook to cut five inches of hair off.

“It feels lighter and shorter,” she said.

Cook said the idea of the cut is to make it have more movement.

Wagner said today’s look is more natural, more “lived in.” The same with hair color — natural texture, versatile hair styles, he said.

Stylist Mariella Platano said her client, Crystal Wilson, 33, of Ashtabula, wanted a more natural look.

On Monday, area men volunteered to get their locks trimmed

 There was little fear, however, because Wagner has developed a men’s haircutting curriculum that he uses at the NYC and LA Wella studios.

“Education is big for Ultimate Appearance,” he said. “That’s when you are a successful  salon.”

Haines said her goal is to take all of her stylists to The Doves Studio in Santa Monica, Calif., home of Christopher and Sonya Dove, who are widely recognized as the hair industry’s most sought-after stylists.