Interview with... Celebrity Stylist Aaron Carlo
For over 18 years Stylist Aaron Carlo has been a recognised industry leader when it comes to creating beautiful hair. From his stint as art director at Headmasters to his own commercial and editorial freelance work styling the likes of Little Mix, Maya Jama, Anne Marie and even Hair Rehab London's CEO Lauren Pope. His work has graced some of the most enviable magazine pages and he has acted as lead stylist for a wealth of amazing and exciting gigs including X-Factor and numerous Little Mix tours.
We had a long overdue catch up with gorgeous Aaron to find out how he ended up in such a coveted position and to see whether Covid-19 had impacted on his work. We also took the opportunity to get his hair trend predictions for the coming months.
HRL: "You’ve been the celeb go to for innovative, beautiful styling for years. I know you’ve told us before that it wasn’t your lifelong ambition but can you tell us how you got into the Industry?"
Aaron: "I literally just got a Saturday job in a local salon, and did an NVQ apprenticeship…personally I think it’s the best way as there’s only so much they can show you before you need to be on the salon floor experiencing clients."
HRL: "Do you need any specific qualifications or is it more about experience?"
Aaron: "I personally didn’t feel like my NVQ training was anywhere near enough to actually get me ready for the real world and I was lucky to be able to do lots of courses with L'Oreal and be part of industry training programmes like Project X which opened up my skill set."
HRL: "How much experience do you need before the industry will take you seriously?"
Aaron: "All areas of the hair industry are different but I think if you’re trying to enter the session/styling world you really need to know how to work with EVERY hair type and you need a vast knowledge of trends/eras/icons to reference and that’s something basic training won’t give you."
Whilst we know that Aaron loves working with celebrities, we also know that the creative part of his job is what truly fuels him. We’ve all seen some of his truly iconic looks created on the likes of Maya Jama and Little Mix so we asked him if there was any one look he's created over the years that stands out as his favourite.
Aaron: "Oh my god there’s so bloody many…this answer changes every time I’m asked coz I don’t really look back much to be honest. I think at the moment I’m still loving the braided look we did for Leigh Anne’s baby shower"
HRL: "Why did you enjoy creating it so much?"
Aaron: "I LOVE working with Leigh coz if I have an idea in my head and I can’t find references to show her, she trusts me enough to just let me go with it. And that's the dream."
Aaron also has a background in modelling we wondered if that, along with his experience as an art director helped him to understand what would and wouldn’t work on camera?
Aaron: "Yeah 100%…. Being on sets early not only let me know how it all works but actually gave me contacts in the industry to approach when I was begging to work for free….and I think being art director helped me have a focus on the total look that everyone’s trying to achieve rather than just focusing on the hair."
HRL: "And has the increase in the likes of Insta Reels and Tik Toks made your job easier or harder?"
Aaron: "Oh god, you know me when it comes to socials I’m absolutely useless"
Just one look at Aaron's beautiful Insta page will tell you he underestimates himself here!
Aaron: "I don’t really see them as a huge part of my job to be honest ….it’s nice to share and all but I’m very much a hairstylist first and if there’s some social content to share at the end then great."
Hair Rehab London has had the pleasure of working with Aaron on most of our photo and video shoots but we imagine he gets the opportunity of travelling considerably with his career (covid restrictions aside).
HRL: "Is there a particular shoot location that stands out for you over the years?"
Aaron: "The 'Shout out to my Ex' video shoot is always memorable to me because it’s when the airport lost my kit bag with EVERYTHING I needed for the shoot…all my tools, all the extensions…it was an absolute nightmare…but also it was scorching hot and I was shooting in the desert with my mates so it could’ve been worse haha"
We ran a feature on styling fine and thin hair recently and our CEO Lauren has been very open on her own socials on her own fine hair battles having suffered post partum hair loss. As Lauren's stylist we asked Aaron what his styling and product tips are for creating lasting volume in fine hair. I
Aaron: "I mean there’s honestly lots you can do….obviously I rely on extensions a lot to add volume and thickness…coz why wouldn’t ya? But also... get ready now...CLEAN hair will keep volume longer so start with a really good clarification shampoo and light conditioner just on the ends. Blow drying the top section with a product like Colour Wows ‘Ultimate Volume’ for grip and leaving in a Velcro roller to cool will help hold volume. I LOVE dry volume products like living proof dry volume boost spray to stop hair falling flat and if you’re really serious then L'Oreal Tecni Art Super dust is an absolute winner. Backcombing is still very much a thing but people are doing it with actual combs and you’ll get a much softer cushion if you use a teasing brush."
HRL: "We know you love a good party so are no doubt looking forward to socialising more as the Covid restrictions lift. What are your festival hair predictions for this year? Any tips for keeping hair TikTok worthy whilst camping in a field?"
Aaron: "I have no idea what the people on TikTok are looking for haha…but I think for festivals I’m seeing most people embracing finally getting to style their hair for a social life and actually wearing their hair down and wavy but adding accent braids and hair jewellery."
HRL: "What’s next for Aaron Carlo? We know your product range of gorgeous hair accessories has been super successful, but what do you think 2022 will bring for you?"
Aaron: "I honestly have absolutely no idea, I think for a lot of freelancers like me, Covid really shattered any kind of financial safety nets we had, so I’m just focused on working as much as possible and getting back to normal."