Milk + Blush Meets...Hairstylist Erickson Arrunategui
He’s worked with the likes of Beyonce and styled at New York Fashion Week, extension specialist and industry favourite, Erickson Arrunategui, shares with us his top hints and tips so you can slay your hair game in 2020.
How long have you been working in the hair industry and what was your first big break?
I have been in the industry for 10 years, but have always had an interest in hair since I was a kid. I would say my “first big break” was working on Beyoncé’s “Party” music video. I guess it wasn’t necessarily my big break, as such, because I wasn’t credited for it, but it was definitely the experience that made me realise my potential and what I could achieve if I set my mind to it.
You work a lot of shows at New York Fashion Week, what’s that process like and how do you prepare for fashion week as a stylist?
Fashion week is a lot of work. It’s a lot of running around. One minute you’re at a show, the next you’re in a cab rushing to the next show or hair test. I usually assist the lead hairstylist so I have to be up earlier than everyone. I also have to make sure I am at all hair tests and ready to work with positive energy and a smile.
I prepare by cleaning up my kit and restocking all my products and hairpins. I think the most important thing is coming prepared, and being a team player.
The French girl haircut on Taylor LaShae is so effortlessly cool. If we were looking to take the plunge, what's the easiest way to style it every day?
When I think of the typical French girl, she’s effortless. She has natural movement in her hair and she’s not worried about every hair being perfectly placed. My advice would be, less is more, don’t over style it, and use products to help enhance your natural texture.
A lot of the styling I do on Taylor doesn’t even involve a hairbrush! Her look is created with my hands and a blowdryer (and amazing products of course!)
What's your main source of inspiration when you’re working on new hairstyles?
I am inspired by everything. It can be a picture I see, an idea and of course fashion weeks, both old and new. I don’t know if other stylist are the same, but for me, it’s all about “that feeling;” I can’t stop cutting or creating until I have that butterfly feeling in my stomach. I have the same approach when I take photos.
Is there a hair mistake you see all your clients making that you wish they would stop?
I think clients are scared to use products; they want one product that does everything, but, in reality, I use between 3-5 products on everyone. I would recommend asking your stylist for a routine you can follow and experiment with products as much as you can. Once you find the perfect balance, your hair will thank you.
Do you have any expert tips and tricks for using hair extensions that we can copy at home?
When using hair extensions, I always use two shades. I feel it gives a more natural look if it’s not just one pack of extensions. I also switch hairspray for a texture spray when styling as it allows the hair to feel more lived in. Also, back brushing! I’m sure you all know this by now, but you want to really velcro the extensions to your natural hair, so back brushing helps to camouflage any separation between lengths.
Are there any pro tools in your kit that we could incorporate into our daily hair routines?
The Mason Pearson flat brush goes everywhere with me. It’s the perfect amount of tension and is great for every look. I even use it to create a beachy blowdry.
What are the key hair colours and cuts for 2020 that we should be trying out?
Shorter hair is not going anywhere, but I think we will see shorter shags and cute shaggy pixies. And, of course, French girl bobs. I don’t do color but I have seen a lot of 90s references when it comes to color - think Dua Lipa or classic chunkier highlights like Jennifer Lopez.
Instagram has become such a big part of the industry, what advice would you give to stylists who want to get more work from their social media pages?
Take lots of photos! Train your eye first so you can create good content that you are proud of, and that people will respond to. Then, figure out what is it that you love to do. Do you prefer updos? Or Maybe doing a balayage hair painting? Think about what clients you want to attract, and then post content that will appeal to that clientele. Finally, be consistent! Instagram is such an amazing tool for hairstylists at any point in their career. It’s not about how many followers or likes you have, that will come naturally once you find who you are as a stylist.