Eight things to know about Marshall Lin



Marshall Lin talks about his childhood, approach to hair, and dreams.

As a child, friends wanted him to style their hair

“I was about eight when I started fiddling around with my hair, and it must have looked really good because all my guy friends started asking me to style their hair (grunge was in and we all had our hair kinda long and styled messy). Physical appearances are very important to me, it’s something that I got from my grandfather, who always looked impeccable even when he was just going to the grocery store.”

Call him a beauty creator

“I’d rather be known as a beauty creator than just a hairstylist. It’s a term that motivates me. For all of us in the beauty industry, we strive to help people maximize their beauty.”



A good haircut starts from observing the bone structure

“Before starting a haircut, I’ll always look at the client’s bone structure first. It helps me determine the best length and angles for that person. Then I’ll move on to looking at the shadows that each haircut would potentially create. That’s not all. When you’re in my chair, be prepared for a lot of questions about your lifestyle. It’s not that I want to pry, but knowing things like, whether you get your eyebrows done professionally, if you usually wear make-up, or if you wear glasses, helps me decide what styles would suit you.

Punk will never die

“Edgy style defines me. I spent the earlier years of my life in Hong Kong, which was heavily influenced by British culture – punk was a big part of it. I was born way after the wave, but punk never dies.”



Even the way people talk inspires him

I can find inspiration in just about anything – the color of the sky, architecture, books, news, and even in the way people’s hair move when they talk excitedly.

Everyone should get a luxury haircut

“People always ask why my haircuts are so expensive. They’ll ask: ‘How good can it be?’. What you’re paying for are the little details – perfect angles, flattering shadows that your hair will create on your face, and I’ll know what hair concerns you have even before you’ve realized it. But I’m not just providing a haircut,  I’m also giving you impeccable service – I’ll remember how you like your coffee, the magazines that you like to read, and provide a listening ear. You’ll feel completely relaxed when you’re in the salon with me. I understand not everyone can afford my service that easily, but it will be worth it.”

2000 people get their hair cut by him every year

“It’s like falling in love with 2,000 people every year – each encounter is a beautiful and sweet experience. I believe that to be successful in this job you need to get to know the people who go to you in a deep and genuine way, only then can you bring out their best.”


He’ll never be satisfied with his work

“To me, success is measured by the number of people I can impact, and there will always be so many more people out there for me to work my magic on.”

Interview with Beauty Gazette

Original article from Singapore-based beauty website Beauty Gazette


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Marshall Lin’s story is the kind of story that makes you believe dreams do come true in the Big Apple.

Like so many others, he moved to NYC from Hong Kong with his family when he was 14.

At 15, he found himself apprenticing in a salon. He lied that he was 16 – afterall, age is just a number to be manipulated – just so that he would seem old enough.

“I was young, wild, active, creative; I love to meet girls. All the right elements to be a good hairstylist,” he says.

And meet girls he did.

Today, Lin has a long waiting list; and has groomed and styled A-listers such as Kate Bosworth, Olivia Palmero, Christina Aguilera and Coco Rocha.

With more than two decades of experience backstage and on editorial shoots, Lin is now known for his signature effortless #wokeuplikethis #coolgirl cuts.

Lin talks all things hair with The Beauty Gazette.

What, in your opinion, does a good hairstyle look like?

A good haircut should show off and frame your bone structure, this includes the bone around the eye socket, the cheek bones, jaw line and collar bones. The angle of the cut should highlight and flatter the contours of your face. A good cut can also strategically soften the features you like less. For instance, the shadow of a mid-length fringe can hide a razor-sharp cheek bone, while a bob that ends at the jaw line can make a round face look more defined.

A good hairstyle and a good haircut are two different things. A good hairstyle makes you feel confident with the way your hair looks so you’re not afraid to show it off.





Which is better? Sticking to a signature hairstyle that defines you? Or experiment all the time?

Always try to have fun with your hair.

As a professional hairstylist, I always keep two things in mind – beauty and trends.

I always consider what looks good on the person sitting in my chair because not all trends are suitable for everyone. With that said, trendy elements can be important to help one look fresh and fun.

Any tips on how one can get a good hair day, everyday, but without too much fuss?

Many people apply tons of haircare products, but still complain that they don’t see any results. One reason is the condition of their hair cuticles. Think about the pores on your face, and how you would apply an astringent toner to tighten them after you’ve washed it.

Similarly, after you’ve washed your hair in the shower, rinse your locks with cold water to seal the cuticles, so that your hair will retain whatever conditioning products that you’ve used. I guarantee that you’ll notice silkier hair.

Also, find a styling product that works for you. If you hair needs more texture, find some good light wax for that extra touch. If you want more volume, look for a good dry shampoo or light hairspray for more lift.

That said, less is more. If you have a good haircut, you don’t have to fuss too much over your hair. So be loyal to a good hairstylist. And love the natural texture of your hair.

As Diane von Furstenberg once said: “What makes you attractive is being yourself, being natural, being unaware.”



Who are some of your best celebrity clients? And why do you think they have stuck with you when there are so many good hairstylists in NYC?

This is a tough question because I love all my clients. But I’ve developed a really deep relationship with model Selita Ebanks. I’ve been cutting her hair for many years, and she never lets anyone else near her hair.

A good hairstylist has mad skills, including people skills. Each time you see them, you’ve got to make it seem like it’s the first time you are meeting them. Keep them informed about what you’re doing with their hair. Also, listen and remember everything that they’ve told you about themselves. It’s all about the connection and trust. I would even go so far as to say that one’s relationship with a good hairstylist is as important as their own marriage. Because they can ensure that you will never have another bad hair day.



Which are some of your favorite hair care and hairstyling products?

I love my products to feel clean and fresh, never heavy; products that create a lot of movement and texture without too much build-up.

Frederic Fekkai – Blowout Hair Refresher Dry Shampoo, and Full Volume Mousse.
Oribe – Dry Texturizing Spray, and Rough Luxury Soft Molding Paste.
L’Oreal – Elnett Satin Hairspray



Summer breeze makes me feel fine

As summer comes to an end, we reminisce about the exhilarating projects the season has brought. Here, the Sirin Bloom Electric Blooms collection campaign, which truly captures the essence of a cool, (not cruel), cool summer. Sexy beach waves we will miss you and your effortless spirit.

Hair: Marshall Lin

Model: Magdalena Martynowizc

Photography: Kenneth Sim

Make-up: Janet Liu