MANE MASTER: MARSHALL LIN
06 . 14 . 16
I first met Marshall last season during fashion week backstage at the Alice and Olivia show. Creating gorgeous bombshell Bardot inspired waves, he had nailed the cool eccentric vibe of Alice and Olivia. His personality was infectious and you could see a real artistry in his work. With over 2o years of industry experience, it’s his work with Fekkai (which began in 2003) that really set him on the map. Working today as the key hair stylist behind major industry shows and campaigns, he’s also known to quoff the hair of major Victoria’s Secret models and celebs on the red carpet (think Kate Bosworth and Olivia Palermo to name a few). We had a chance to chat with the Mane Master about the makings of a coveted career.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I was just looking for summer work when I was about 15 years old (nearly twenty years ago) and a salon seemed like a cool place to work. I ended up falling in love with making people beautiful and creating a cool style. I’ll always remember one moment when was 16, I was drying someone’s hair and I was like, ‘I love this! I can do it for my whole life!’ It was like a calling from God.
What was one of your biggest career challenges and how did you overcome it?
When I joined my present company [Fekkai], I needed to start assistant again after 10 years experience. There were many frustrations about ego, race, and fairness, but when you choose to do something, finish it and finish it good! I learned to be patient, how to communicate with people better, and to learn the business side of this industry. Challenge is like breaking a wall. It’s hard and sometimes painful, but after you’ll have better and bigger views.
Who are some role models who have inspired you?
I’m a lucky person. I’ve learned so much by working with different talented people. One person is Anthony Mascolo. He has many salons, has created an education system to help a new generation of hairdressers, and he continues to work editorial. Everything he does is exactly what I dream to do it . Another is Kim Robinson from Hong Kong. I’ve never worked in a more competitive place. From the way I stand to the socks I wear, everything counts with her. It made me become not just a hair stylist, but an expensive, presentable hair stylist.
The next is Michel Aleman. He made my work and specially my eye become a microscope. All the details, every angle, even every shadow, are perfectly precise.
Do you have a signature look or style that you are known for?
As a hair designer, I just keep on reaching for my favorite signature look each day. I never feel 100% satisfied about my work and I always feel like I can do better. I think that’s called perfection. If I’d have to pick a favorite moment it would be the hair I did for Kate Bosworth at the CFDA awards about 7 or 8 years ago. It was an updo and the texture was fizzy and dry but in perfect proportion. Back then, we really didn’t see a lot of frizz on the red carpet, so it was a good statement.
What was your last major makeover that you’ve done?
I cut off Selita Ebanks hair. It’s wild to chop off a Victoria’s Secret Angel’s hair, but it came out awesome. She is my girl. She always gives me full trust. But I feel like every person who sits in my hair is major, not matter what kind of transformation that we do.
Which hair products or tools are always in your kit?
What is your favorite Instagram account to follow?
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Ten years ago I was pretty sure and confident about all I did, but I would tell myself to eat healthier and on time. I have a huge stomach problem now. Young stylists often skip meals and never feel it, but if you want to continue your career over a long period of time, you need to take care of yourself.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? What advice would you give to new stylists?
The best advice I’ve received and I will give is from the hairstylist who brought me in in this industry. His name is Frankie and he is an amazing hairstyle from Hong Kong. He said, ‘when you have choices, you can choose. But when you have no choices, don’t choose.’ This means you have to take whatever opportunity come to you for your work. Never say no. It’s not about only just saying yes, but grab what you can. When you are lucky enough to have many choices for work, then you have the freedom to choose.
My advice for the new generation is to focus on what you can do, not on what you can be. We are in the industry where we can make things happen with hard work. No successful hairstylist sits back and waits for things to happen. Also, never stop learning or receiving new ideas. The day you stop learning is the day you’ve retired from this industry.
What is the next chapter for you?
Continuing to work harder and harder in every area. I want to create education, development for youth, new styles, making more and more people beautiful, and hopefully my work can inspire more people.
Follow @marshalllinstyle for more #manespiration.
Ryan Cromer- Kasho National Educator
What is the story behind the founding of Kasho?
The history of Kasho lies in the city of Seki Japan. This city has been the central hub for Japanese Samurai Sword making for the last 700 years and have been the finest craftsmen of Japanese steel since then. That history and spirit of the craftsman has been passed down in a direct line to Kasho through Kai, Kasho’s parent company. Kai is one of the finest steel makers in the world, with such prestigious companies like Kershaw Hunting Knives, Shun Cutlery, as well as Kasho Shears.
Marshall Lin’s Scissor- Limited edition Black millennium series
–How do Kasho shear relate to hairstylist?
Kasho shears relate directly to hairstylists through the steel and craftsmanship that go into every single shear. For instance, a cheaper shear is made with very poor materials and steel which will only stay sharp for a hairstylists maybe 2-4 months. Kasho shears are made with a very high end steel, VG-10, which will stay incredibly sharp for up to a year if properly maintained, and even longer for some of the higher end models, like the Kasho Millennium. This saves time and money in the long run, and provides an incredible shear to work with throughout the lifetime of the shear.
–There are so many scissor brands on the market, what is so special about Kasho?
The biggest difference lies in the high quality of our steel, which keeps a sharp edge longer than many scissors on the market. This is a huge advantage to a stylist because they can cut more accurately much, much longer and saves about $30 a quarter on sharpening. If properly oiled and tensioned regularly, they will keep their edge for up to a year. We use 100% Japanese steel that is hand crafted in Japan with an edge that is much sharper than most on the market.
–What is your advice to new hairstylist when it comes to choosing a good pair of scissors?
Do your research! Find out from the companies not only what kind of steel they use, but where they are made. Japanese steel is regarded to be some of the best steel in the world, but there also different grades of steel, just like there are different grades of meat. Make sure you get something that will last you a lifetime, because form and functionality will serve you more than a scissor with jewels in it. But more than anything, buy nice things. It might take time for a new stylist, but it will serve you greatly in the long run.
learn More info about Kasho Scissor. Please visit http://www.kasho-usa.com/default.asp
Article by JUSTINE MARJAN
I first met Marshall Lin backstage during New York Fashion Week where he was creating beautiful brushed waves for Alice and Olivia’s AW 2016 show. The way we saw him set and brush the model’s hair was just as enchanting as his warm and inviting personality. A stylist at Frederick Fekkai for nearly 10 years, Marshall has made a name for himself in the industry amongst the fashion elite, styling stars such as Kate Bosworth, Olivia Palmero, Christina Aguilera, Owen Wilson and Coco Rocha as well as working shows for Rachel Zoe, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Diane Von Faustenberg, Proenza Schouler, Vera Wang, Thakoon, Rag and Bone, and Rachel Roy. While he was using Fekkai products when we met him, we had to wonder what else the Mane Master swears by. Take a look inside Marshall Lin’s bag…
- Solano Supersolano Blow Dryer “I love the tension this dryer gives hair. When you turn on the slow mode, it’s so soft and mild.”
- BaByliss Pro Curling Iron and Straightening Iron “provide the perfect heat and the metal is so smooth. Hair changes shape right away, there’s no need to redo or go over it.”
- Olivia Garden Brush “So smooth and locks the hair really well.”
- YS Park Brush “It creates the best tension. The quality is awesome.”
- Kasha Scissors (Black Edition) “Just like the Rolex of scissors. Guaranteed quality.”
- Moroccan Oil Styling Comb “It combs hair the best. Right in between—not too strong and not too weak. Plus, very easy to control.”
- Toni&Guy Cutting Comb Anti Static “One tool I can’t live without. It comes everything perfectly.”
- All the products I use create that no-product-used effect, for hair that looks beautiful and seemingly free of any styling products.
- Frederic Fekkai Full Blown Volume Lightweight Styling Whip “It gives hair a strong hold, but also a soft touch, allowing many textures to be created. Not sticky at all. It’s like a revolution for the mousse.”
Hair by Marshall Lin . Make up by Anya Sinclair Frankenberg
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