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LAUREN BELL – A PASSION FOR INDIVIDUALITY

The session stylist on pay transparency and proving a point

Lauren Bell

London-based Lauren Bell spent years honing her craft before going freelance in January 2020; she is self-represented and her published highlights include prestigious publications such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle.

Artistic by nature, Lauren immersed herself in the beauty industry at a very young age. Her introduction to the fashion world in 2015 led her to work backstage at runway shows with some of the biggest names in the industry. This experience sparked a passion for individualism as expressed through fashion and beauty.

Lauren’s natural talent in hairstyling has allowed her to build an extensive portfolio and clientele, working with all hair types and capable of achieving any desired look. “Building relationships with muses, artists, and brands to bring their vision to life is the most fulfilling part of my job,” she says

Lauren Bell

London-based Lauren Bell spent years honing her craft before going freelance in January 2020; she is self-represented and her published highlights include prestigious publications such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle.

Artistic by nature, Lauren immersed herself in the beauty industry at a very young age. Her introduction to the fashion world in 2015 led her to work backstage at runway shows with some of the biggest names in the industry. This experience sparked a passion for individualism as expressed through fashion and beauty.

Lauren’s natural talent in hairstyling has allowed her to build an extensive portfolio and clientele, working with all hair types and capable of achieving any desired look. “Building relationships with muses, artists, and brands to bring their vision to life is the most fulfilling part of my job,” she says

What would you say are your strongest points as a hair artist?

My strongest points are my eye and my fearlessness towards styling hair. I’ve always had the courage to try out different approaches to applying products and techniques. It’s my art, an opportunity for me not to think and just do, go with the feeling, and it’s one of the few times I actually allow myself to get out my head. I also believe my communication skills and being at ease around other people allow me to create a rapport with models and build the trust that’s needed for me to create.

What is important to you, as a hair professional? In other words, what do you want to offer your clients?

Comfort, safety, hair integrity, an opportunity to express themselves, enhance themselves, build trust, not worry about how they look so they can speak their truth or tell their story. It’s become very important for me to work with people who have something to say so I can support them to do this.

The last three months: where have you been, who have you worked with, and what have you been planning?

Since the beginning of the year I’ve been working in Europe for hair brands. I’ve been to Berlin for fashion week and worked fashion week in London with Bimini. I’ve been to fancy hotels with clients, location shoots with Self Esteem, the Brits and worked in London studios with brands like Sephora and Juicy Couture. I’ve also created content and collaborated on editorials, so there’s been a real variety.

Looking back, who/what has got you to this point in your career?

My determination to prove a point! I recently gave a talk at college for Careers Week and it reminded me how determined I had to be to prove that I CHOSE this path to become a hairdresser, that it wasn’t a last resort. I think my need to prove that has definitely played a part in how successful I am now. Also, it goes without saying that I’m here because of my love for this craft and the amazing people I get to work with and the mentors that have helped me direct my path and encourage my growth as a stylist and as a human being.

Your ultimate creative collaboration – what would that look like? Who would be in it?

Oh, wow… Somewhere hot, at dusk, with warm sea air blowing through the hair, all the supermodels, activists and iconic actresses of the past and present on set… It’s really hard for me to answer who would actually be as there are too many people I admire. I see it being a day shoot by the pool and then taking to the coast for the celebration runway. Err, do you think I need a holiday? Lol.

What excites you about hairdressing right now?

There are so many new paths in this industry for people to explore and find out what works for them. I love that about my own journey. My career has been very explorative and full of variation; I don’t know if hairdressing can be beaten in this sense. As someone who has an innate curiosity for people and places, I sometimes have to take a minute to celebrate all the different locations I have had the opportunity to travel to for work and all the different kinds of people I get to meet along the way. The variation and freedom really excite me. 

I love this image from a Juicy Couture campaign. The model, Vix, had beautiful hair and I really like the shine I created with product.

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A beautiful, rounded bob created by @ivanaspicer with clever placement of colour to accentuate the curved lines.@im.salon.academy#hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #bob #shorthair #curvedbob #haircutting #precisioncutting #hairstylist #precisioncut
A beautiful, rounded bob created by @ivanaspicer with clever placement of colour to accentuate the curved lines. @im.salon.academy #hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #bob #shorthair #curvedbob #haircutting #precisioncutting #hairstylist #precisioncut
5 hours ago
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From creating  in-house collections and marketing campaigns to brand redesigns and press engagements, they're leading the way when it comes to the creative direction of a hairdressing business. Meet the 2024 Most Wanted Creative Talent finalists 💫These five fabulous faces are all in with a chance of taking home a Most Wanted trophy at the Grand Final on 2 September. Get to know the tremendous talents who could join us on stage at Beams...✨ @adrianodastolto of @radiohairsalon✨ Steph Gamble of @ashleygamblehair✨ @danilogiangreco_hair of @danilohairboutique✨ @marlonjhawkins of @brookshair✨ @richardphillipart of @the_boutique_atelierFor more on our finalists across all Most Wanted categories, head to creativeheadmag.com/mostwanted. #hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #mwit24 #hairart #creativetalent #hairstylist #hairstylist #editorialhairdresser #sessionstylist #haircolourist
From creating  in-house collections and marketing campaigns to brand redesigns and press engagements, they're leading the way when it comes to the creative direction of a hairdressing business. Meet the 2024 Most Wanted Creative Talent finalists 💫These five fabulous faces are all in with a chance of taking home a Most Wanted trophy at the Grand Final on 2 September. Get to know the tremendous talents who could join us on stage at Beams...✨ @adrianodastolto of @radiohairsalon✨ Steph Gamble of @ashleygamblehair✨ @danilogiangreco_hair of @danilohairboutique✨ @marlonjhawkins of @brookshair✨ @richardphillipart of @the_boutique_atelierFor more on our finalists across all Most Wanted categories, head to creativeheadmag.com/mostwanted. #hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #mwit24 #hairart #creativetalent #hairstylist #hairstylist #editorialhairdresser #sessionstylist #haircolourist
From creating  in-house collections and marketing campaigns to brand redesigns and press engagements, they're leading the way when it comes to the creative direction of a hairdressing business. Meet the 2024 Most Wanted Creative Talent finalists 💫These five fabulous faces are all in with a chance of taking home a Most Wanted trophy at the Grand Final on 2 September. Get to know the tremendous talents who could join us on stage at Beams...✨ @adrianodastolto of @radiohairsalon✨ Steph Gamble of @ashleygamblehair✨ @danilogiangreco_hair of @danilohairboutique✨ @marlonjhawkins of @brookshair✨ @richardphillipart of @the_boutique_atelierFor more on our finalists across all Most Wanted categories, head to creativeheadmag.com/mostwanted. #hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #mwit24 #hairart #creativetalent #hairstylist #hairstylist #editorialhairdresser #sessionstylist #haircolourist
From creating  in-house collections and marketing campaigns to brand redesigns and press engagements, they're leading the way when it comes to the creative direction of a hairdressing business. Meet the 2024 Most Wanted Creative Talent finalists 💫These five fabulous faces are all in with a chance of taking home a Most Wanted trophy at the Grand Final on 2 September. Get to know the tremendous talents who could join us on stage at Beams...✨ @adrianodastolto of @radiohairsalon✨ Steph Gamble of @ashleygamblehair✨ @danilogiangreco_hair of @danilohairboutique✨ @marlonjhawkins of @brookshair✨ @richardphillipart of @the_boutique_atelierFor more on our finalists across all Most Wanted categories, head to creativeheadmag.com/mostwanted. #hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #mwit24 #hairart #creativetalent #hairstylist #hairstylist #editorialhairdresser #sessionstylist #haircolourist
From creating  in-house collections and marketing campaigns to brand redesigns and press engagements, they're leading the way when it comes to the creative direction of a hairdressing business. Meet the 2024 Most Wanted Creative Talent finalists 💫These five fabulous faces are all in with a chance of taking home a Most Wanted trophy at the Grand Final on 2 September. Get to know the tremendous talents who could join us on stage at Beams...✨ @adrianodastolto of @radiohairsalon✨ Steph Gamble of @ashleygamblehair✨ @danilogiangreco_hair of @danilohairboutique✨ @marlonjhawkins of @brookshair✨ @richardphillipart of @the_boutique_atelierFor more on our finalists across all Most Wanted categories, head to creativeheadmag.com/mostwanted. #hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #mwit24 #hairart #creativetalent #hairstylist #hairstylist #editorialhairdresser #sessionstylist #haircolourist
From creating  in-house collections and marketing campaigns to brand redesigns and press engagements, they're leading the way when it comes to the creative direction of a hairdressing business. Meet the 2024 Most Wanted Creative Talent finalists 💫These five fabulous faces are all in with a chance of taking home a Most Wanted trophy at the Grand Final on 2 September. Get to know the tremendous talents who could join us on stage at Beams...✨ @adrianodastolto of @radiohairsalon✨ Steph Gamble of @ashleygamblehair✨ @danilogiangreco_hair of @danilohairboutique✨ @marlonjhawkins of @brookshair✨ @richardphillipart of @the_boutique_atelierFor more on our finalists across all Most Wanted categories, head to creativeheadmag.com/mostwanted. #hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #mwit24 #hairart #creativetalent #hairstylist #hairstylist #editorialhairdresser #sessionstylist #haircolourist
From creating in-house collections and marketing campaigns to brand redesigns and press engagements, they're leading the way when it comes to the creative direction of a hairdressing business. Meet the 2024 Most Wanted Creative Talent finalists 💫 These five fabulous faces are all in with a chance of taking home a Most Wanted trophy at the Grand Final on 2 September. Get to know the tremendous talents who could join us on stage at Beams... ✨ @adrianodastolto of @radiohairsalon ✨ Steph Gamble of @ashleygamblehair ✨ @danilogiangreco_hair of @danilohairboutique ✨ @marlonjhawkins of @brookshair ✨ @richardphillipart of @the_boutique_atelier For more on our finalists across all Most Wanted categories, head to creativeheadmag.com/mostwanted. #hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #mwit24 #hairart #creativetalent #hairstylist #hairstylist #editorialhairdresser #sessionstylist #haircolourist
21 hours ago
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2/9
A flicky bob that’s bang on trend? Say less 💁‍♀️@jackmead_stylist shares the process and result behind his latest viral video of Natalie’s new ‘do. Jack’s top tip? Give chance to perfect the front of the client’s hair and start with the fringe and then the shaping around the face, after all this is what they’ll be seeing every day!#hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #hairstylist #bob #shorthair #hairtransformation #flickybob
A flicky bob that’s bang on trend? Say less 💁‍♀️ @jackmead_stylist shares the process and result behind his latest viral video of Natalie’s new ‘do. Jack’s top tip? Give chance to perfect the front of the client’s hair and start with the fringe and then the shaping around the face, after all this is what they’ll be seeing every day! #hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #hairstylist #bob #shorthair #hairtransformation #flickybob
23 hours ago
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Welcome to the dark side 🖤Forget frosted tips, @gucciqueef  of @bluetitlondon Clapham has gone one better with a bleach base and contrasting jet-black ends. #hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #bleach #blondehair #haircolourist #creativehaircolour #haircolorist
Welcome to the dark side 🖤Forget frosted tips, @gucciqueef  of @bluetitlondon Clapham has gone one better with a bleach base and contrasting jet-black ends. #hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #bleach #blondehair #haircolourist #creativehaircolour #haircolorist
Welcome to the dark side 🖤 Forget frosted tips, @gucciqueef of @bluetitlondon Clapham has gone one better with a bleach base and contrasting jet-black ends. #hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #bleach #blondehair #haircolourist #creativehaircolour #haircolorist
1 day ago
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4/9
Want to kickstart your business on TikTok but unsure where to start? 🤔Grab your pen and paper because the School of Social Media is back in session, and this time it's @charlottepaintshair dishing out the top tips!If you're a complete beginner on the clock app, Charlotte has five pearls of wisdom to help your content get seen for the right reasons. Head to the link in our bio to read more.#hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #creativehead #hairbusiness #salonowner #barbering #barber #newissue #salonbusiness #salonmanager #haircolourist #socialmedia #socialmediaadvice
Want to kickstart your business on TikTok but unsure where to start? 🤔 Grab your pen and paper because the School of Social Media is back in session, and this time it's @charlottepaintshair dishing out the top tips! If you're a complete beginner on the clock app, Charlotte has five pearls of wisdom to help your content get seen for the right reasons. Head to the link in our bio to read more. #hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #creativehead #hairbusiness #salonowner #barbering #barber #newissue #salonbusiness #salonmanager #haircolourist #socialmedia #socialmediaadvice
2 days ago
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@artistic.aestheticss serving up a touch of colour magic with the hidden rainbow colour block 🌈Alejandro created hidden rainbow panels on both sides so whenever the client does a side part you’ll see the full impact of the rainbow. @saloncentric#hairtransformation #haireducation #colorblock #saloncentricpartner #rainbowhair #colourblock #haircolourist
@artistic.aestheticss serving up a touch of colour magic with the hidden rainbow colour block 🌈 Alejandro created hidden rainbow panels on both sides so whenever the client does a side part you’ll see the full impact of the rainbow. @saloncentric #hairtransformation #haireducation #colorblock #saloncentricpartner #rainbowhair #colourblock #haircolourist
2 days ago
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6/9
Boxed off 🔳Inspired by texture, @morgangrahamhair has shared a glimpse at her upcoming micro collection and it's fair to say we are OBSESSED. We can't wait to see more of the finished looks!Hair: @morgangrahamhairStyling: @morgangrahamhairPhotographer: @morgangrahamhairAssisting team: @mgthestudio @hairbyty_x @hairbystevie_x @darciexholtRetouching: @toriabrightside#hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #haircollection #texturedhair #hairtexture #hairart #microcollection #photoshoot #unconventionalbeauty
Boxed off 🔳 Inspired by texture, @morgangrahamhair has shared a glimpse at her upcoming micro collection and it's fair to say we are OBSESSED. We can't wait to see more of the finished looks! Hair: @morgangrahamhair Styling: @morgangrahamhair Photographer: @morgangrahamhair Assisting team: @mgthestudio @hairbyty_x @hairbystevie_x @darciexholt Retouching: @toriabrightside #hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #haircollection #texturedhair #hairtexture #hairart #microcollection #photoshoot #unconventionalbeauty
2 days ago
View on Instagram |
7/9
Treat curly hair with care with three new Pre:Curl products from @fforhair 🧡⁠The new additions to the much loved Pre:Curl range are rich in vitamins and minerals, to help nourish and deeply moisturise every level of curl from wavy to coiled. Delivering a natural, bouncy finish, without weighing the hair down, the trio of products will slot in perfectly to the haircare routines of clients, for added cleansing, conditioning, and styling.⁠Formulated with⁠:✨️Argan oil to improve shine, manageability & volume⁠✨️Aloe vera juice which contains vitamins A,C & E to help reduce excess oil and frizz and to soothe & promote healthy curls⁠✨️Sunflowerseed oil to protect against humidity & free radical damage⁠ Offer clients a good curl day every day with FFØR. Head to fforhair.com to find out more. #AD #ffor #curlyhair #curls #curlyhair #precurl #haircareroutine #hairdressing #hairdresser #curldefinition #curlyhaircare
Treat curly hair with care with three new Pre:Curl products from @fforhair 🧡 ⁠ The new additions to the much loved Pre:Curl range are rich in vitamins and minerals, to help nourish and deeply moisturise every level of curl from wavy to coiled. Delivering a natural, bouncy finish, without weighing the hair down, the trio of products will slot in perfectly to the haircare routines of clients, for added cleansing, conditioning, and styling. ⁠ Formulated with⁠: ✨️Argan oil to improve shine, manageability & volume⁠ ✨️Aloe vera juice which contains vitamins A,C & E to help reduce excess oil and frizz and to soothe & promote healthy curls⁠ ✨️Sunflowerseed oil to protect against humidity & free radical damage⁠ Offer clients a good curl day every day with FFØR. Head to fforhair.com to find out more. #AD #ffor #curlyhair #curls #curlyhair #precurl #haircareroutine #hairdressing #hairdresser #curldefinition #curlyhaircare
2 days ago
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8/9
Fabulous finishing to an asymmetrical bob from @ciprianvaidahair at  @salonportre 👏#hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #bob #asymmetricalbob #haircutting #hairstylist #satisfyinghair #shorthair
Fabulous finishing to an asymmetrical bob from @ciprianvaidahair at @salonportre 👏 #hair #hairdressing #hairdresser #bob #asymmetricalbob #haircutting #hairstylist #satisfyinghair #shorthair
3 days ago
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9/9

This was a super-fun shoot with stylist @izzymoriartythompson and photographer @ulas_merve. I love how we captured movement through the braids I created and embellished with wooden beads.

This is a look I created for [performer and drag artist] Bimini at LFW. I got creative and made a pony out of gaffer tape. It’s always exciting using different materials in place of hair.

I love this look I created using a coloured wax in place of a root – it works so well with the rest of the texture. I’d smashed a pot of the same colour that morning, which gave me the initial inspiration. It’s similar to [ceramics process] kintsugi and techniques used by Cyndia Harvey at Diesel. This was shot in my flat by my friend and make-up artist, Aimee Twist.

Shot by Morgan Roberts, with make-up by Aimee Twist. I love the simplicity of this beauty shot, and how I used small details of hair to complement the make-up.

I love this BTS image from a shoot I worked on. I used so much gel to create the high-shine effect, the hair looks unreal – like it’s set in resin.

What frustrates you about hairdressing right now?

As a self-represented freelance stylist, I find myself getting frustrated with the rates and budget dance that I have to do. I have noticed a big shift in how I am approached for work and how ‘shopping around’ for the cheapest rate has become very noticeable in discussions – I’d hardly call them negotiations. It concerns me that we don’t know how much we should be charging (it isn’t easy to find out, either, believe me) and with clients being able to reach out directly to people via social media platforms, it’s creating so much variation in rates that it has the potential to devalue everyone. I think there needs to be more education on the fee aspect of our job, more honest communication around it. Maybe even a union? A dedicated, pre-scripted rate education platform? While I respect that there is a journey to be had with regards to experience, skill base and our own personal worth, I worry that we are very vulnerable to being taken advantage of, especially compared to other creative fields in the fashion industry.

 What’s your opinion on why so many hair pros work for free backstage and on set, and how do you think hair pros can establish more value for the work they do?

I think assisting for free has a value if you know what you want and choose a stylist that you admire – then it’s like a free education course. Do I think it should be totally free? No, it shouldn’t come at a cost to the individual, as it so often does. But when you’re starting out, it’s vital to learn on-set etiquette and how to create hair in that field, and assisting for free is often ‘sold’ as an opportunity to network, which it can be. I was lucky enough to work with people who cared about my career, so I was encouraged to network with the photographer’s assistants, to collaborate with them and build my own portfolio. However, it’s important to manage expectations.

Working for free was a huge part of the beginning of my career. Coming from a working class family, I did not have the resources to sign up for bootcamps or education programmes, and nor could I afford to work solely for free. This meant I had to work triple time so I could eventually afford to go self-employed. I have no regrets, because it takes time to learn, reflect, explore, educate yourself and find your style/ethos. However, I can’t help but wonder whether my career could have gone faster, and I would have had more energy for my creativity if those early financial barriers hadn’t been there.

It’s a shame that some of the most creative aspects of our industry are considered low- to no-pay. Should there be a small fee to make it more affordable? It’s a difficult one to get your head around when the stylist you’re assisting isn’t get paid either. And that’s a problem, especially when the other people on set are getting paid. I don’t have the answers for how things will change, but in an ideal world none of us should be working for free in the first place.

This was a super-cool creative look that we worked on for the episode of Drag Race where musician Self Esteem was a judge. It includes a nod to Betty Boop as our reference for glamour.

This was a BTS shot that Aimee took on her digital camera. I love the hair details into the model’s face.

This is a wig that I have which worked perfectly with some wax to create the texture I wanted.

A campaign for a jewellery brand. I love how clean this look is. It was so cool seeing it on posters plastered on walls all around Berlin!

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