INTERVIEW WITH... RENOWNED SESSION STYLIST ALAN KITRELL
We were delighted to get much in demand session stylist & MUA Alan Kitrell on board as one of our Brand Ambassadors. Having followed his career we fell in love with his strong editorial looks and easy to recreate styles for the likes of ASOS, Nike, Noctis Magazine and Julien Macdonald to name a few.Can you tell us how you got into the Industry? "I started as an apprentice in a salon learning everything from colour, cutting and fitting hair extensions, then moved to a blow dry bar in Dublin which is where I found my love for styling hair. I loved learning everything about cutting and colouring but I just felt it wasn’t the path for me."
You work with some really notable brands creating a plethora of looks. Is there any one look you’ve created over the years that stands out as your favourite - what was it and why did you enjoy creating it so much?
"Over the years I have done countless looks and it is so hard to pick a favourite, but one I really enjoyed recently was a shoot I did in ASOS for 'AsYou' I just loved how the whole look came together perfectly and I really enjoy doing this style of shoot."
We absolutely love your insta grid and reels. Do you have any tips for our salon owners and freelance extensionists on how to give their own Insta grid a glow up?
"I think the biggest thing I’ve learnt recently is the power of reels. They seem to get a lot more engagement and are fun to make you once get the hang of it. Another thing I have been trying to do is quality over quantity I feel, as freelancers, we feel the need to post everything we do to show we are busy and working rather than focusing on the quality of work and what you want your work to say. My advice is ti think long term. If there is a specific route you want to go down follow that. It’s also great to engage with other accounts may that be hair or makeup or fashion, we must support each other!"
Has the increase in the popularity of Insta Reels and Tik Toks made your job easier or harder?
"I think it's 50/50, time is precious on a shoot so it can be hard to get good quality content for myself. It's such a fast paced environment, and I always respect I'm on the brands time, so do my best to get content in any down time. On the positive side, I feel like once you get the hang of making reels (which I’m still learning lol) it gives you a different sense of pride because it give you the power to display your work your own way."
You are in constant demand for photo shoots. We imagine you get the opportunity of travelling with your career (covid restrictions aside), but is there a particular shoot location that stands out for you over the years? What made it so memorable?
"One of my more recent shoots was an editorial I was a makeup artist for and was actually based in the UK at Seven Sisters Cliffs. The location was so beautiful, the weather was perfect and the team were like family, so that was a special one for me."
Not only a hair / session stylist, we also understand you model. Does experience on both sides of the camera help you with the creative process on a photoshoot?
"I definitely think having experience on both sides of the camera helps by knowing how certain angles will effect how the hair will look and what movement works best for the hair to move the way I imagine it to. Having been a model myself has also given me the confidence direct the model with movement and head placement."
What are the top three hair-styling products in your kit bag right now that you could not be without?
"Ok this question I can answer easily, I have my go-to products I use pretty much everyday which are" -
What’s next for Alan Kitrell? You are smashing it at the moment, but what does the future hold?
"Firstly thank you for your kind words! I have been working so hard on my career and am finally starting to see it pay off! I have a few goals I am working towards like moving to Los Angeles and building a strong celebrity clientele. I would love to do a tour with an artist which would also give me the opportunity to travel more, but I feel like I’m a person who will always be striving for more and working on the next project but I’m excited to see future achievements and dreams come true."
To see Alan in action and get some inspiration from his gorgeous editorial shoots, follow @hairbykitrell over on Instagram, or see his Reels for Hair Rehab London.