In Los Angeles, the beauty standards are high. And when it comes to hair, where and who does your hair says a lot about you. Home to many of the famed celebrity hair stylists, Los Angeles is known as the birthplace for many prestigious hair stylists. But for up-and-coming stylist Jason Hermiz, coming to Los Angeles would be a journey of self-discovery, where he would realize his passion and skill for the art of doing hair. After learning by way of an apprenticeship in New York, Chicago and Toronto, Hermiz has more than 17 years of experience, now as one of the lead stylists at Martinez-Samuel Salon.
While today, Hermiz does hair for celebrities and some of the city’s biggest film and entertainment executives, still he remains humble and grounded by his passion for the industry. With a genuine love for his work, the blossoming stylist looks ahead with confidence to one day own his own salon. We recently sat down to discuss his life and career as a stylist and the adversity he overcame to get where he is today.
Q: When and how did you get into doing hair?
Jason Hermiz: In my early 20’s, I knew I needed to figure out my career path. I was struggling and had no money. But when I used to go to the hair salon, I realized how much I loved the vibe and energy. So I approached a stylist that I looked up to and he let me do an apprenticeship with him. I really enjoyed it. I did four years of apprenticeship, going to people’s homes, experimenting and really finetuning my craft.
Q: What is your specialty/strength?
Jason Hermiz: My specialty is doing women’s blonde, Balayage, highlights and men’s haircuts. I do women’s haircuts as well. I love doing women’s hair, but I enjoy doing blonde the best. Blondes and men’s haircuts are my favorites.
Q: What are some of the most rewarding experiences that styling hair has given you? Any noteworthy clients you can share/mention?
Jason Hermiz: I get to meet some amazing people and build some invaluable relationships. When doing hair, I’m able to really know a person, so in a way we become each other’s therapists. I get to know their problems and they listen to mine. I get to make them smile, but the best feeling that I get from my job is when they leave my chair feeling super confident, like they can own the world, thanks to a haircut or coloring by me, which is so rewarding especially in the challenging times we’ve had over the last year.
Q: What do you love most about what you do?
Jason Hermiz: I love everything about my work, but I especially love how creative I get to be. I can honestly say it’s my passion. I never go to work and feel like, ‘ugh I have to work today,’ because it’s such a passion of mine and I love to see my clients.
Q: What is a misconception or something that people would be surprised to learn about being a hair stylist and colorist?
Jason Hermiz: From my experience, when people meet me, they think that doing hair is something I’ve always wanted to do my whole life, but as I mentioned before, it’s only something I started doing in my 20’s. I never thought about it before that, but I think once I got into it, I discovered that I really had a gift for it.
Q: Being in the industry as long as you have, what are some of your goals? What are you hoping to achieve next in your career?
Jason Hermiz: Some of my goals are to expand my clientele and business. Ultimately, I do want to have my own salon, but I’m not just motivated by having my name on the wall. Instead, I want to create a space for clients to come and relax where there’s not a pretentious feel or ego. Right now, I have a great thing going with the salon I currently work at, but some day down the line, my own salon would be a dream.
Q: What is one hair tip that you live by?
Jason Hermiz: A lot of people don’t know this, especially men but it’s not good to shampoo your hair every day. It’s good to have a little bit of build up because it will give you that next-day look. So, I tell a lot of my male clients to shampoo their hair every other day and even if they get it wet, they don’t need to shampoo it.
Q: What advice would you give to someone aspiring to get into the industry?
Jason Hermiz: Do not give up! I know for myself, when I was doing the apprenticeship, I felt discouraged so many times because I felt like it was taking so long and I was worried about building my clientele. But then as I really put my heart into it, I really developed a passion for it. I just tell people who are new in the industry, if you really love doing hair, stick with it and it’ll happen but you have to really want it and hustle for it.