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Spilling His Secrets: Edwin Candelaria, Celebrity Hairstylist

celebrity hairstylist easy hair Fashion Week Hairstyles hairstyling interview Q&A

Fresh fruit bowl - Check. Two glasses of water - Check. My phone buzzes and he will be here in two minutes.

I was so excited to be reunited with Edwin Candelaria that every passing minute felt like eternity. We had made plans to meet at noon in my sister’s UES studio both for an interview and a haircut.

Edwin and I met four years ago on a production set and he’s been my hairstylist since. A year ago he told me he was moving back to NY and even though I was proud of his success and his future in NY, I couldn’t help but feel sad. My dear friend would be 3,000 miles away and who will I ever trust again to cut my hair?! Well, a year later I moved to NY and here we are - catching up like old times. Gosh it is nice to see a familiar face in this crazy, busy city.

As a celebrity hairstylist, I had the luxury to interview him and get all the good secrets for strong, beautiful and healthy hair. Every woman’s fantasy - beautiful, gorgeous locks just like the models on the runway.

IVChic: Congrats on Style Fashion Week in NY. How was your experience behind the scenes?
EC: Hectic and chaotic. Style Fashion Week is my version of a reality television show. . . Bring on the drama! As beauty coordinator it is my job that chaos is kept at a minimal. I enjoy it because I perform my best when under pressure. The adrenaline rush kicks in and I’m unstoppable. It is my job to make sure my section, my area is not effected in any way or behind schedule and it is handled carefully and seamlessly.

IVChic: You mentioned you walked the runway too for Eddie Eddie by Billy Tommy, did you get stage fright?
EC: I did not get stage fright, but I was nervous. It was my first “Brawn” model experience. I nailed it! It was a total last minute surprise. The designer was amazing and totally cool and hopefully I will be able to experience it again.

IVChic: Tell me your top three favorite hair products/brands that every woman should add to their beauty routine.

  1. Wella products are amazing and I am obsessed with their Glam Mist which hides flyaway. The product is non-greasy, calms the hair without flattening the hair. Works on all hair types.
  2. Sexy Hair Hairspray has an amazing hold time. A little of the hairspray goes a long way.
  3. Shea Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner - I personally use these two products and I think men should take care of their hair just as much as women. Using the right products to take care of your roots/root follicle is crucial for healthy hair.

IVChic: What’s your favorite hairstyle?
EC: A sexy, sleek ponytail. I love that hairstyle because it’s totally perfection. It’s something easy for every one to accomplish. But it definitely has to be smooth and texture free.

IVChic: What is the best career advice you’ve received from another professional?
EC: Early on in my career, I was chatting with another hairstylist that was so passionate about hair. He told me the moment you realize you have chosen the right career path for yourself is the moment you wake up every morning feeling grateful. And on those days that are extremely stressful, the passion for creating different hairstyles and continuously working with various clients hasn’t changed (even after a 14 hour work day). Keep exploring new things all the time.

That’s when it clicked for me. I can’t just be a hairstylist - I have to be more and explore. I continuously test my boundaries and abilities. That is why everyone loves to see me work because they see the passion, the excitement, yet after 10 years I still haven’t lost myself.

IVChic: Any hair myths that need to be debunked?
EC: The myth that when you cut your hair it will grow faster. When you cut your hair it keeps your hair healthy and gives you style. When you give yourself a nice scalp massage that’s when hair actually grows because it helps stimulate the blood flow.

IVChic: What are necessary daily routines women should follow to have beautiful, shiny, and healthy hair?
EC: Scalp massage the moment you wake up. Wash your hair with products that are sulfate free. Keep heat to a minimal.

IVChic: Ya right - try telling that to my straightener. 
EC: (Laughs) Heat shouldn’t be higher than 350 degrees. And if you are using heat products, be quick and always use a heat protectant.

IVChic: I workout 6 days a week. How often should I wash my hair?
EC: I don’t recommend washing your hair everyday because you are washing away your natural oils. Instead rinse your hair with cold water. It keeps the hair more intact and your follicles stronger. Shampoo and condition every third day.

IVChic: You and I met in LA and now we are both in NY.  Which city matches your personality?
EC: New York because of the constant action in this city and chaotic lifestyle. I am originally from New York and it has always been an environment I’m used to so #sorryLA. LA/NY are similar and yet so different.

IVChic: After you head to Los Angeles for Style Fashion Week, any vacation plans for some much needed R&R?
EC: I wish! Palm Springs is next for work and after that I’ll have a mini break but I will continue to see my clients and work with designers on photoshoots.  I am well overdue for a vacation so I am thinking Puerto Rico in December.

Best of luck Edwin! I am so grateful you and I crossed paths in LA on that production set. It’s not easy finding a fabulous hairdresser and a good friend. We kiss and hug and Edwin is on his way to his next photoshoot in Central Park. #EmpireStateofMind.


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