Jamal Hammadi’s celebrity portfolio list includes Sharon Stone, Lisa Marie Presley, and Meg Ryan. In this interview Jamal talks about doing Linda Evangelista’s hair for the cover of British Vogue, his inspiration behind his own haircare line: Hamadi Beauty, and how his Parisian background influence Jamal today.
When did your interest in hair design begin?
I started hair in the early 90’s. I’m dating myself! Once I started doing hair I knew I wanted to create a product line. I had a tough time growing up with my own hair and realized there was a huge gap in the market. I started to research and write down notes. From there, it took me several years to actually make it a reality. Hamadi beauty began in 2004.
What was your biggest break as a professional hair stylist?
When Louis Licar introduced me to Linda Evangelista in the early 90’s, Linda flew me to London to do the cover of British Vogue. Simultaneously, Lisa Marie Presley asked if I would do her hair for an interview. She didn’t mention it was the Diane Sawyer interview with her and Michael Jackson. At the time I think that was the most viewed interview. Shortly after that, Sharon Stone flew me to Paris to do the cover of Vanity Fair. It was lovely.
Your parents emigrated from Paris to California in the 1950’s. How does your Parisian background influence you today?
I think my mom’s good taste and my father’s talent as a wonderful chef influenced me a lot. We ate very healthy. Everything was very fresh in our house and my dad was great in our garden. It really helped shape my design and tastes.
“When Louis Licar introduced me to Linda Evangelista in the early 90’s, Linda flew me to London to do the cover of British Vogue. Simultaneously, Lisa Marie Presley asked if I would do her hair for an interview. She didn’t mention it was the Diane Sawyer interview with her and Michael Jackson. At the time I think that was the most viewed interview..”
How was the concept for Hamadi Beauty born?
It began very early in my career. Once I understood how ingredients actually affected the hair, I realized that most of the hair products that professionals in high-end salons used weren’t natural. The one exception was Aveda, which was so revolutionary and inspiring! It really made me think. I started to research different ingredients like shea butter and learning about the properties of essential oils.
Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I was doing color corrections and most of my clients were complaining about how dry their hair was. That’s when I started mixing up my own conditioners and creating my own formulas. I realized then that there was a huge gap in the market. Not only were there not enough natural products but the styles were a bit stiff and rigid. There were no natural soft creams or light hair conditioning styling sprays that actually smelled good or that contributed to the overall health of the hair.
The Hamadi Beauty product line is not loaded with too many products. Why do you insist on such simplicity?
Because it works, and it makes sense, we are such a wasteful society, and I think its time to be conscious. Simplicity to me is the most functional and beautiful.
One of the main ingredients in Hamadi Beauty is Shea Butter. Why is this ingredient so good for our hair?
It’s all about moisture. Adding the right amount of nutrients into your hair shaft instead of silicone is important in adding a natural sheen. Shea Butter has a natural sunscreen to protect your hair from the sun as well. It contains vitamins A and E to balance which are particularly beneficial for dry and sun exposed skin and hair, helping to keep it clear and healthy. Vitamin A smoothes and has hydrating properties while vitamin E improves scalp circulation as well as helping to decrease grayness. The list goes on…!
What’s new this year with Hamadi Beauty?
We have just developed our newest addition – the Healing Serum.
Where do you find the inspiration for a new hairstyle?
People, nature, fashion and architecture inspire me. Whatever moves me or draws my attention.
What is your number one hair care tip?
What have been some of your most memorable celebrity collaborations?
There are have been many. My latest is with working with Meg Ryan to establish a look for a film she was working on over the summer.
What other passions do you have besides your work?
I love photography. I take pictures of nature and architecture. There are so many passions, where do I begin? I am very into the arts.
What’s next for Jamal Hammadi?
Creating awareness around the world – beauty with a conscience. On a larger scale, being more environmentally involved.
It was a pleasure to interview Jamal you can find out more about him and his salon and products by visting : www.hamadibeauty.com