When the New York Times called Jen Atkin “the most influential hair arbiter of our time,” the celebrity hairstylist recalls the surreal moment as one that has changed her life.
“I get goosebumps every time anybody talks about it. It’s so crazy, I don’t even know how that happened. It was so weird, it happened right before OUAI launched and honestly that changed my life. You are talking about all of the major moments in my life. It’s totally something I’ll never forget and one of those things you have to frame and have in your office,” Atkin told AOL exclusively during an NYFW Disney celebration for Minnie Mouse’s 90th year anniversary.
Jen Atkin has come a long way since growing up in a Mormon household in Hawaii and fleeing to L.A. at age 19 with just $300. Before launching her best-selling haircare brand, OUAI, Atkin was working in a hair salon which eventually led her to John Galliano through the people she met.
“So, I started doing hair for John Galliano when he was at the head of the house of Dior. It was incredible. I got to go to Shanghai and actually be there for Paris Fashion Week and be in his VIP tent with Kate Moss and Anna Wintour. I learned so much from him and his partner, Alexis Roche, they are amazing! Oh, my god, that was eleven years ago and that was my first entryway into the fashion world.”
From Met Galas to Cannes to global Vogue covers, Jen Atkin has been an essential part of modern-day’s most iconic beauty moments. Her roster includes every member of the Kardashian/Jenner clan, Kaia Gerber, Chrissy Teigen, the Hadid sisters and Adelle, and she is constantly expanding with Hollywood’s elite. Atkin’s career has brought her around the world and back but her busy schedule and world-tour lifestyle don’t necessarily give her time to reflect on all of her accomplishments.
“I swear to god; I do not remember anything if it’s before two or three days ago. I just took a staycation and my husband forced me to sit and just go through photos. I don’t have time to ever really stop and really reflect. That for me was actually amazing because it’s weird, I don’t think we ever stop to think about the big things that got us to where we are now.”
One of the most impressive elements of Atkin’s success is her fan-base and massive Instagram following of 2.5 million. Jen has become a celebrity in her own right and even counts Adelle as a fan of hers.
“I remember going to cut her hair and she was like “why do you have this cape with ‘OUAI’ written on it,” and I said “that’s my brand!” and she goes ‘shut up!’ and had our products in her bathroom. I’m the biggest [Adelle] fan, she’s so cool and her makeup artist is the greatest. She’s the ultimate goals and her concerts are so fun, she’s so funny!’