20 questions with Chris Appleton
International hair-stylist and London native, Chris Appleton, has gained a significant following in recent years for his work with celebs such as Kim Kardashian West, Ariana Grande and, most recently, Jennifer Lopez, with gravity-defying ponytails and his own frosted tips. Equally important to hair, however, are Appleton’s associations with fashion, family, and physique, with social media accounts motivating individuals to look and feel their best.
Where are you from?
I’m from Leicester, Northern England. It’s a small town just outside of London.
How would you describe yourself to people who don’t know you?
I would describe myself as charismatic, passionate, and loving.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I think people would probably be surprised to know that I’m actually a really kind of, I guess, sensitive guy. Like I have a small group of friends. I keep them very close, and I’m a very loyal person.
At what age did you decide you wanted to become a hairstylist, and what steps did you take to get where you are today?
I decided to become a hairstylist at the age of 10. I started doing my mom’s hair when I was around the age of nine. And I realized that you can really make people look and feel great. And that for me just kind of catapulted me into this kind of career, which has become what it has of making people look and feel good. And I guess it led me to Hollywood.
What was the first job you booked?
The first job I ever booked was the worst ever. It was a commercial, I thought I’d made it, I got an agent and they said, “We have you a job.” And I was like, “Yes.” First job ever. And it was for a flip-flop campaign, and the hair wasn’t even in it. And I was literally thinking to myself, is this what it’s going to be like? And honestly, people don’t know the hustle, they don’t know how you start off. And you really do have to start off small and just keep building.
You’ve created so many of the world’s most famous for now and iconic hairstyles. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from just pretty much all around me, society, culture and what’s going on in the world. What’s going on in society changes everything. For example, COVID has just happened. It’s changed the whole hair game of how people want to style their hair, how they want to be approached with different techniques. And even changed trends, because trends became less about what’s spring/summer, and it’s more about how do I make my hair look good for a Zoom call?
Most memorable career moment that you’ve had so far.
One of my most memorable career moments that I’ve had so far was probably, without doubt, the Super Bowl with J. Lo. One of the most, probably the most nervous I’ve ever been in my whole career. And also probably one of the most grittiest received, I had so much love after that. Just with how much people loved the hair. I was kind of taken back by that, but yeah, that was a really special moment.
What’s the most challenging part of your career?
I would say the most challenging part of my career is the fact that it isn’t a nine to five job. It really is a lifestyle. So you have to be ready to get up and go. And I’d say 80% of my life at the minute is work. And that’s a big commitment, to sort of sacrifice time with family, friends, doing the things you want, but I’m in this momentum at the minute and I genuinely love what I do, and I think that’s why I can give it that much of a commitment.
What is the one word that you live by?
The one word that I live by is loyalty. I think loyalty goes a long way.
What is your favorite hairstyle trend of all time?
My favorite hairstyle trend of all time is just big sexy hair. I don’t know what it is, something about big sexy hair, kind of never goes out of fashion. You know that hair that when you walk, it just moves? It always gets so well received. And I think no matter how often it goes in and out of fashion, it always comes back.
What is the hairstyle trend you hope to never see again?
I’m not a fan of the 80’s perms. It’s just the one thing I really struggle with is that frizzy dry, over-permed short little dos. I kind of hope that trend doesn’t come back.
Any post-quarantine hair advice you’d like to share with us?
Now we’re coming out of quarantine, my advice would be to get to the salon, talk to your hairstylist, embrace a new look, and cut away the last year of 2021. That’s a great thing about hair, it’s like skin, you can shed it off and start a new look. When you look in the mirror you feel fresh. Just kind of forget about the past.
What are some hairstyle trends you’re seeing and creating this season?
I think COVID has really changed the game, as I said, and a lot of people are wanting new looks. They’re wanting to get bangs in, they’re wanting to embrace the new texture. Should I say, natural texture that maybe they’re not used to because they’re kind of used to having it blown out or whatever. In COVID, they couldn’t do that. And also a lot of shorter cuts. People have been cutting their hair and they’re kind of coming out wanting something fresh.
Top three for hair product must-haves.
My top three hair product must-haves are first of all, my Money Mask. It’s a game changer in hair masks. Also the Color Wow Dream Coat, always one of my favorites, creates glass hair, which I’ve kind of become known for. And then I would say, last but not least, probably the Shine spray, the extra Color Wow Shine spray, because it’s literally like diamonds in a can, it polishes off anything really nice.
What is your go-to karaoke song?
Wonderwall by Oasis. I can’t sing it, but it doesn’t stop me trying.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
In my time off, I really enjoy going to the gym, working out, catching up with friends and family, and just kind of laughing, just kind of enjoying life. I think in the small amount of time I have off, I just like to feel alive and have fun.
Top three things on your bucket list.
Actually, I had a bucket list, and I ticked them off. It was bungee jumping, skydiving, and white water rafting, which I’ve now done all three. So I actually need a new bucket list. If anyone has any ideas, let me know. I love adventure. I’m always up for something fun.
How do you define beauty?
I define beauty, I get asked this question a lot, and honestly, I think good beauty comes from the inside out. It doesn’t matter if a hundred people are in the room, so you look amazing. If you don’t feel great, you don’t carry yourself, your shoulders are not going back, your head’s not up, you don’t feel confident. So I really do think that real beauty comes from within and glows on the outside.
What is an emoji that best encapsulates who you are?
The gold star, with a circle around it. Like a little sparkle, just because it’s kind of, it’s cute enough to add to most messages. And it’s not as aggressive enough as a heart to be too much, but I always like to add a little sparkle. I think that’s what I do at my job. I add a little sparkle.
Best advice you’ve ever received.
When I first moved to America, I was really nervous at my first job with Christina Aguilera and I remember ringing my best friend, Katie. And I said, “I don’t know. I’m really nervous. I don’t know if I can do this.” And she said to me, “Think of it this way. If you don’t make this work, you’ll have to come home to England.” And honestly, that was all I needed. I was like, “I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to believe in myself.”
Any special projects you’re working on this year that you can share with us today?
Lots of special products coming up. I have some very cool products coming out. We had so much love from the Money Mask, which I’m so grateful for. And there’s more to come.
What is something you’d like to be remembered for?
I think I would like to be remembered as obviously good at doing hair, but also just someone that’s really passionate about what they do and not afraid to step outside the box, whether that’s just being a hairdresser, but then also going into modeling and TV and education and just being. I guess I’m just wanting to be remembered as someone who always challenged it and never took no as an answer.
What do you love most about Modeliste Magazine?
What I love about Modeliste magazine is the fact that they celebrate fashion, they celebrate celebrity, they celebrate all things in culture, which I think is really, really important. And I think they’re very inclusive.
What would you like to say to your fans about being on the cover?
I would like to say to my fans about being on the cover thank you so much for having me on the cover. I hope you like it. I try my best, and just thank you to everyone that was involved and watch this space, more to come.