Joe Charlton, 25, is a new stylist to Nashville and to Local Honey East; bringing with him four years of work experience from Cincinnati, OH. He has a distinct signature throughout a variety of hair textures and styles that will be explored in this interview.
What was your hair like growing up? It was buzzed! I got annoyed with it when it would get even half an inch long.
What originally drew you to the hair industry? Seeing my peers growing up with generally cool hair. My friend Cydnie used to cut her own layers with a razor and it was BOMB on her. She also used to cut my curly haired friend, Kasey, with a razor and it was just so perfect on her.
Do you incorporate a lot of razor work in your haircuts behind the chair? Yeah, I actually do. I never really would of thought as that as an influence but probably, it was.
What is your favorite service to perform? Haircuts.
Do you color hair as well? I do! I really like to do both because I think that the whole look needs to be there, but I am not someone who likes color in the way of giant transformations. I would rather transform someone with a haircut and make the color take a back seat. It’s more about shape and making sure there is nothing distracting in the color.
Would you consider yourself to notice more line in design in the world around you? Yeah, for sure. I think that plays into my spatial orientation for everything.
What is it about haircutting that you prefer? I prefer that it’s immediate and you don’t have to wait for results. I’ve also really liked the idea that it is creation by destruction. Michelangelo said “I saw an angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” I feel it’s the same with haircutting, the angel is in the hair, and it just needs set free.
So there’s the topic of as being a stylist, we have to be able to distinguish ourselves creatively. How would you describe your signature approach to hair? My signature approach to hair is an attempt to make sure that everything is as versatile as it can be, while keeping the desires of whoever will be wearing the style in mind. I like thinking they could do so many things with the style that they wouldn’t be tired of it. I think versatility is really important in a modern haircut because people need to be able to switch looks on a dime.
How did you come about your approach? I guess trial and error. I think that a lot of haircuts that I see people not loving are something that when styled any different way, it’s lacking. If someone doesn’t style their hair to be perfect, it should still be able to look amazing.
It sounds almost like your referencing effortless design. I do think there is an idea of effortless design in my work but I find “effortless” to be a very misleading marketing term. Like, fully iron pressed curls that are brushed out and perfectly put into place is not effortless to me. I have a tendency to prefer more layered haircuts, because you can work more texture into the shape with less styling work. A lot of stuff falls flat for me when there’s not enough texture in the shape.
What inspired this approach of versatility? I think that my own experience with how I like my hair to be, especially as someone with a lot of hair, I’ve noticed the more texture created into my hair allows me to style so many ways. I also think that my first mentor, Jessie Hoffman, is a big influence to me as for having an eye for precise texture.
Would you say that most of your references are from blogs, instagram, or other sources? I think a lot of my references come from other stylists because that’s who’s making trends, and that’s who is deciding ultimately. So many of my peers in the hair industry are amazing.
Are there any certain products that you love for hair styling? I find that I’m drawn to more oils and gels for prepping the hair. I like the control and slip they offer. I also have an affinity for finishing products like a paste for thicker hair, a powder for finer hair and a texturizing spray for medium hair.
What brought you to Local Honey? A friend of mine took me there to visit on my first trip to Nashville. I knew that the staff at Local Honey did a lot of interesting work with photo styling and I wanted to be a part of it.
Where do you see yourself in the future in the industry? Who knows! I started hair school within a weeks notice!
Do you have any goals that you would like to achieve? I think education in some capacity. I think that a lot of people who spend time behind the chair and are passionate about different ways of doing things in their own head and work environment have something to offer. I think that I’m still developing a perspective that I hope to arrive at something I feel other people can benefit from.
You can see more of Joe’s work on his Instagram: @hairbyjoec
*This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity by Andy Judd (@Andy_DoesYourHair).