Stylist Wesley O’Meara

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“After a lot of searching I thought back on how I’ve wanted to do hair for most, if not all of my childhood.” Recalls Wesley O’Meara of the moment he realized his dream in life and what he was desperately missing. We first took notice of Wesley after discovering his blog “We Hate Your Hair” a place where he dishes on trends, gives straight up advice to his adoring fans, and by all accounts keeps things real. However, it wasn’t until we began stalking following @wessles that we realized he’s a pretty funny guy.

Naturally, this self-taught talent has a long list of celebrity clientele, who we could rattle off and a roster of magazine covers that would make any stylist drool, but we think his work speaks for itself.

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How did you get started in the industry?
I’ve sort of been in the industry for a long time. I’ve had stints working in fashion PR, model agent, and photo agent. I KNEW I belonged in the fashion industry and tried all of these fields without any success. I knew what I was missing, and that was being creative. After a lot of searching I thought back on how I wanted to do hair for most, if not all of my childhood. I then had an epiphany and realized I could do hair for fashion. Once I made that step I never looked back and here I am today!

Can you tell us a bit about your creative process? Where do draw inspiration from?
I like to draw my inspiration from all over! Mostly I like to study subcultures and different genres and take those trends and reinterpret them into my own. I love looking at the collections every season so I can keep an eye on trends. This way I get an idea of what the magazines are going to want from me. I spend HOURS on Google Image searching really random key words. Its kind of amazing the things you can find doing that!

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A style you’ve mastered and can do in your sleep?
Oh heavens, BEACH HAIR. Partly because I love that look so much, but mostly it is the most requested hair out there. Whether it is from clients or on set there is always room for a beach hair look. I’ve done this hairstyle so much I can probably name off 10 different ways to achieve the look.

What are some up and coming hair trends we should know about?
Hair trends! I love a hair trend. Right now I’m feeling a major push towards 60’s styles with a modern/grunge twist. I’m seeing a lot of women chop their hair off in a rebellious way and I’m also seeing women put more of an effort into their hair styles, thus demanding more of a “look” with their cuts. This is great news on our end, gives us room to play and experiment with our clients.

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How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as effortless. I am self-taught for the most part, so most of my work comes from playing with shapes and working with the model’s hair and trying to figure things out. Most of the work I put out is achieved in very few steps and in a relatively quick process. I think it comes from not being shown how to do things the conventional way, and using passion as my guide.

Any professional tips you could share?
Be professional! Nobody wants a diva on set, nobody wants a troublemaker, and nobody wants someone lazy. Professionalism, solid work, and an easygoing personality are key when dealing with multiple artistic personalities everyday. When it comes to collaborating remember it isn’t always your show, you are part of a team but it is also important to make sure you get your vision across, so learn the right ways to express your ideas to the team. I have started bringing a tablet to set everyday with a VERY extensive reference library, and I have noticed a huge difference in the work I have been able to put out and the trust that has been built up with the teams I work with.

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Can’t live without product on-set?
Texturizing spray!!!!!! I seriously cannot go through a single job without the stuff. It is a great tool for enhancing a natural texture or creating amazing complicated styles and then breaking it down to make it modern, or even just a little grip for elegant updo’s. You can use a little or a lot but there is ALWAYS a need for it. That is why I love AG’s Texture Spray; it is so versatile without leaving the hair looking chalky.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Any advice is the best advice. People give advice because they care and you can’t take anything with a grain of salt. Make sure you absorb information like a sponge, sometimes not all advice applies to you, but you have to break it down and learn from everything. I love advice, and ask for it from everyone.

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Most memorable shoot?
This is so corny, but I would have to say that it is this job I did with Cynthia Rowley! I just remember being a young teen and having this dream of living in NYC and working in fashion. I used to stay up all night and watch Fashion Television, and pay very close attention to the designers and their collections. One of the collections that stuck out to me was from Cynthia Rowley. She showed a menswear collection made entirely out of tie material and it blew my mind. I was obsessed! Keep in mind; this was the mid 90s, lol. Anyhow, I was working with Cynthia to create looks for a TV appearance she was working on and it all hit me. I was sitting in Cynthia’s office with a set of models and at that moment I realized I made it!  It was also VERY early on in my career, maybe within the first year. From that day on I knew I could only move up from there.

What do you love most about being a stylist?
I love being able to create, I love giving advice, and I love the hours! This is also a bit cliché but I love helping people feel better about themselves. It makes me feel so wonderful inside knowing someone is going to ride off of the high of an awesome look I helped them achieve. I love being part of a bigger creative process and working more as a sculptor than a “hairstylist.” I love the life this job has provided; the travel is also the best part. I’ve spent a month in India for work, many trips to Mexico, a wonderful trip to the Maldives, and I JUST got back from a job in South Africa. I mean how awesome is all of that??

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Tell us three things we need to know about NYC:

  1. Save your money! It’s expensive here.
  2. Time FLIES, I’ve been here almost 15 years and it feels like I just got off the boat yesterday. I guess that means I’ve had a lot of fun!
  3. This is the best city in the world (well to me at least).

Wesley O’Meara is represented by Honey Artists.