There's no debate to the saying that a woman’s hair is her crowning glory, and as for celebrity royalties like Teen Queen Kathryn Bernardo and Pop Star Princess Sarah Geronimo, you’d understand how they won’t easily entrust their shiny tresses to just anyone in the industry. That said, let’s zoom in on one of today’s most in-demand hair stylists whom they do trust. With famous clientele under his belt after only a little more than four years in the business, celebrity hair stylist Jay Wee is already making big waves in the hair department (and we mean literally!).
Scroll down and get to know more about this witty and talented hair stylist.
So what’s been keeping you busy?
I’ve been focusing more on TV and print advertising work with celebrity clients this year. At the same time, trying to have a life where I can still spend time with my family and friends as much as I can.
How did you start as a hair stylist? Has it always been your dream? Please share with us your journey.
For starters, I've always been fascinated with hair and hair styling but never really thought of making it as a profession when I was growing up. After graduating college and working in the corporate world for about two years, I decided to take up fashion Design at Fashion Institute of the Philippines. That’s where I've come to get involved in photo shoots and did hair styling stints for fun. Then I came up with my portfolio and presented it to a publishing company which at that time was looking for new artists. I was very fortunate that they liked my work and that got me started contributing for fashion and beauty editorials. Eventually, it led me to meet the celebrities and creative team that I work with up to these days.
Andi Eigenman for Black Sheep, hair styling by Jay Wee
And now you handle celebrities like Kathryn Bernardo, Erich Gonzales, Julia Barretto, and Angel Locsin to name a few. That’s a lot on your plate. How do you manage your time? Are there particular projects/clients that you prioritize?
Well, I do try to accommodate these celebrity clients' requests as much as my schedule permits. My rule is, I always prioritize which/whoever booked me first. If it occurs though that I'd want to do a certain project, I try to discuss it with the celeb and work around something. I’m just so fortunate that at this point, they've become not only people I work with but I've also established friendship among these wonderful people who always understand the work I do.
Would you mind letting us in on a beauty secret? What’s a hair care advice you normally give out to your celebrity clients?
I always tell not only my clients but also my friends to get a trim every other month to get rid of damaged or split ends that prevent hair's healthy growth.
Cosmopolitan Magazine April 2013 beauty editorial. Hair styling by Jay Wee.
There are other hair stylists who do both hair and makeup. How about you? Have you ever thought of learning to apply makeup?
Sadly, I never came to like makeup as much as I love doing hair styles. I find it very tedious work, which I often hear from makeup artists I work with also. I believe each person has that one craft that he/she is really good at. And I guess I excel more in hair styling and I chose to focus on it and try hard to keep on learning new ways to improve my work.
We’re actually following you on Instagram and if I may say, you change your hair color a lot! We’re so curious to know the reason behind this. Is there?
I guess like a stylist who expresses his mood or personality through clothes, and like a makeup artist with how they wear their makeup; I do the same with different hair styles and hair colors. I grew my hair out so I can play around with it. I cut it short when I just want to wash and wear 'em. When it’s summer, I feel like it’s more fun to be blonde. Or, when I want to be bolder, I dye it blue or pink. Or, I go for neutral colors during the rainy season. It’s funny though as I say this, because I’m realizing that I’ve actually done almost all of it!
Jay Wee's most recent work with Preview Magazine was April 2014 issue with cover girl Sam Pinto.
We also hear you make it a point to travel to South Korea every year. So if we are to ask you for a tour, where would you take us to? Please name five places and why.
Hongdae, this has a very special place in my heart. I just love the surroundings and the people. It is very young and hip and I get a lot of hair inspiration there. Garuso-gil, probably one of the most chic streets in the world. It’s a bit high-end but it still has that young and hip vibe. Edae, it is the best place to shop and hoard on (cheap but quality) clothes, accessories and makeup! Namdaemun, if you're into night markets and good food. Cheongggyecheon Stream, a personal favorite, it is one of the most relaxing places to hang out at the heart of the city!
We notice how you are very fond of the Korean culture, like K-pop in particular. Can you tell us more about it? What started this fascination?
I am really into pop music ever since but it all started when I saw this really cute dance from a K-pop group in 2009 and I went on and checked the other songs released around that season. I was fascinated by how visually captivating the music videos are in K-pop and how they conceptualize everything from the clothes to the makeup and hair and the dance moves to each lyric. And I guess even without understanding every word of a K-pop song, just the overall vibe it gives me makes me feel so happy inside.
How does your love for K-pop influence your work? Do you try on different looks for your clients? Or do you keep it to yourself?
When I started appreciating the Korean pop culture, I realized that my taste and aesthetic when it comes to beauty, makeup and hair (and even fashion) is similar to Koreans. And I guess I came to adapt that cutesy charm and quirkiness to a lot of my work. I do get to do some of the Korean-inspired hair styles to my celebrity clients, but I keep it wearable and true to their personality as an artist. I get to play more though when I do magazine covers and editorials.
KFC Philippines 2014 TVC starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. Kath's hair styling by Jay Wee
So, what’s next for Jay Wee?
Even in my past interviews, I mentioned my desire to get formal training in hair styling and yes, I want to study in Seoul! I am working on it and hopefully, I will be able to pursue it as soon as my schedule allows me.
For booking inquiries, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call or send SMS at 0917.794.5933
Photos by @jayweehair on Instagram