30 Under 30: The Next Generation of Colorists You Need To Know About

Our 4th annual 30 Under 30 spotlight highlights the next generation of promising colorists — all under age 30 — who are poised to take their careers to the next level. Recognized by salon owners, manufacturers and clients for their talent and drive, these are the 30 colorists you need to know about now!

See each winning image (in order as listed) in the slideshow below!

Ashley Eryn Acklin
Age: 24
Salon/company name; location: Soda Salon, Roswell, GA
Title: Level 3 Stylist
Color line/s used: Eufora
Instagram: @f_ash_ion
 
What inspired you to become a colorist?
“Life imitates art, and art imitates life" — a statement I have paralleled with having the opportunity to travel many parts of the world. At a young age, I was immersed in different cultures and lifestyles, and found through these experiences the exposure and my passion for the fashion hair industry.

Michelle Aileen
Age: 29
Salon/company name; location: Studio B NYC, New York, NY
Title: Senior Colorist
Color line/s used: Beth Minardi Signature
Instagram: @michelleaileenhair
 
Who would you consider to be your mentors/role models, and why?
My mentor is Beth Minardi. She is an industry icon, and has completely revolutionized the way we color hair. Her desire to "elevate hair color to an art form" has been my passion. She has taught me that it is important that we take care of ourselves, and how to deliver world class customer service to each and every client in my chair. Her passion, talent, creativity, and drive have resonated with me since I first sat in one of her classes ten years ago. I also look up to Nancy Braun, who I believe is the queen of balayage. She creates gorgeous and flawless hair color. Another inspiring colorist that I have had the pleasure of meeting is Christel Lundqvist. Her work is impeccable. She has taught me a lot about professionalism, and the importance of following our dreams.

Josie Blanks
Age: 26
Salon/company name; location: JB Hair Studio, San Antonio, TX
Title: Owner/Operator
Color line/s used: Aloxxi
Instagram: @josieblankshair

Any accomplishments so far in your career you’re proud of?
Yes! I was published for the first time just this summer — I had a small feature in Aloxxi’s brand magazine! I am also proud of my position as an educator. I feel so blessed to be able to work with so many stylists and teams; I am a better educator and stylist because of it. Lastly, I am proud of being a female small business owner! Girl power!

Jess Brown
Age: 29
Salon/company name; location: Chris McMillan the Salon, Beverly Hills, CA
Title: Colorist
Color line/s used: PRAVANA
Instagram: @jb_ and @colorbyjb

What is your favorite color trend/technique of the moment?
I love that boys are having a hair color moment right now!!

Heather Butterworth
Age: 29
Salon/company name; location: Monroe's Salon and Spa, Putnam, CT
Title: Affinage Salon Professional Manager/National Educator
Color line/s used: Affinage
Instagram: @butterworth526

What inspired you to become a colorist?
I am an incredibly technical person, but I am also creative at the same time. Being a colorist allows me to explore the technical side of all things color, while being able to create art!

Lizeth Carbono
Age: 23
Salon/company name; location: Depasquale the Spa, Morris Plains, NJ
Title: Hairstyist Designer II
Color line/s used: LAKMÉ
Instagram: @lcarbono

What are your specialties?
I definitely enjoy blondes — whether it's hair painting, highlighting, or a double process.

Ashley Lemaster
Age: 27
Salon/company name; location: Salon Bordeaux, San Diego, CA
Title: Master Colorist/ Redken Artist
Color line/s used: Redken
Instagram: @Ashlemaster_Redken

What inspired you to become a colorist?
From a very young age, all I wanted to do was color my hair. I was raised with two older sisters and my mom. Everyone had highlights in their hair and I used to help my mom foil cap her hair every 6 weeks. Finally, at age 11, my mom allowed me to have TWO highlights right in front! Big, blocked pieces of the ugliest "blorange" highlights I have ever seen. I thought I was the coolest kid… until I looked back 15 years later. I have always been the creative kid in class and the one always pushing the boundaries. I have loved art and color ever since I used to dip-dye my Barbie's hair in Kool-Aid. Chemistry was just something that came to me naturally, and using hair and people’s faces as my canvas was how I best expressed myself. The colorful world around me inspired me to become a colorist.

Victoria Ceccio
Age: 23
Salon/company name; location: Katherine Jon Salon, Port Jefferson Station, NY
Title: Eufora International Educator
Color line/s used: Eufora
Instagram: @victoriaceccio

Who would you consider to be your mentors/role models, and why?
Dana Hodges Caschetta is my mentor because of her work ethic, ability to adapt to anything that gets thrown at her, her passion for education and because I can trust her to always give me honest feedback or to just hear me if I need someone to talk to. Cynthia Smith is also a mentor of mine because of her tremendous amount of color knowledge and care she gives to anyone she meets. Her kindness, humbleness and drive inspire me to be my best self. Don Bewley is my role model. The way he built Eufora with integrity to who he was, which was to me transparent (nothing to hide). His ability to stay connected with so many people is something I admire and am working on acquiring myself. The power he had to inspire and motivate others to take off their masks and just be themselves is one of my favorite things about Don. He freed me from fears that held me back from my potential and that is what I hope to instill in others.

Carly Rae Coady
Age: 27
Salon/company name; location: Harlow Salon, Nashville, TN
Title: Stylist/TIGI Collective Educator
Color line/s used: TIGI
Instagram: @carlyraecoady

What do you love most about being a colorist?
I love how you can complement and show off a person's skin tone, eye color, and face shape through the tone, placement, and level of color. Cutting obviously can alter or complement the shape of the face, but what's great about color is you can emphasize or accentuate skin tone and eyes with the perfect tone and variation in color! That's why I believe you can't have a great color without a great cut and visa-versa!

Kacey Creech
Age: 27
Salon/company name; location: Envy Salon Studio, Moultrie, GA
Title: Master Cosmetologist
Color line/s used: Tressa
Instagram: @Kecreech

What is your favorite color trend/technique of the moment?
My favorite technique right now is my version of a "shadow rooting", or just "rooting". After I highlight and process my client to their desired blonde, I remove the foils, rinse, and towel-dry the hair. I then apply toner I selected (about 2 levels darker than the highlights or, for a more dramatic effect, you could even choose the natural root color) to the root only, lightly comb through with a wide tooth comb to blend, and process that for a around 10-15 minutes (perform strand test for accuracy). I then apply a higher shade of toner to the rest of hair to remove residual pigment contribution, and process until ready. A shampoo and style reveals the illusion of a shadow root, but still lightens naturally on its own and lifts back out easily on the next highlight appointment.

Breck Csicsai
Age: 27
Salon/company name; location: Salon Glo, Valencia, CA
Title: Hairstylist
Color line/s used: Matrix
Instagram: @brecksicsaihairphd

What are your goals?
My goals within the hair industry range from short to long-term. I am continuing to elevate my editorial work and to enter into NAHA — one day to be nominated would be amazing. I dream of combining my love for travel and passion for educating into becoming a platform artist for Matrix. My clients behind the chair are my bread and butter, and I value and appreciate every one of them. To have them all feeling happier and more beautiful from the inside out is my goal every day in the salon. As the daughter of a salon owner, my goal is to help perpetuate the team atmosphere in our salon, building each other up as stylists and continuing to work together to create the strongest and most passionate team of stylists we can be. As a result, we will continue to provide quality experiences for our clients.

Hailey Davis
Age: 28
Salon/company name; location: Kadus Professional, USA/Soul Reflections Artistry, San Diego,CA/Bellus Academy, San Diego, CA
Title: Kadus Professional: Brand Educator; Soul Reflections Artistry: Owner/Stylist; Bellus Academy: Educator
Color line/s used: Kadus
Instagram: @soulreflectionsartistry

Please share a hair color, prep or color care tip:
Use a post-color treatment that assists in closing the cuticle down to lock in fresh deposited color molecules and stop oxidation from persisting.

Kelsey Deuel
Age: 25
Salon/company name; location: Studio Covert, Beverly Hills, CA
Title: Hair Artist
Color line/s used: Manic Panic
Instagram: @kelseydeuel

What do you love most about being a colorist?
The ability to enhance someone's beauty and confidence; making someone say, “I look amazing!” Because, let's be real: we all don't give ourselves enough credit. Self LOVE!

John Erickson
Age: 29
Salon/company name; location: Angelo Mendi Boutique, Tacoma, WA
Title: Stylist
Color line/s used: Matrix
Instagram: @hairbyjohnerickson

What inspired you to become a colorist?
Punk Rock hair was a symbol that identified that individual’s personality. I thought it was creative, rebellious, and just plain cool, and I knew I wanted to be the person who gave [someone] the look that made them feel that confident in being who they are or want to be.  

April Godwin
Age: 29
Salon/company name; location: VskiSalon & VskiCosmetology School; Charleston, SC
Title: Co-Manager/Stylist/Instructor
Color line/s used: Scruples
Instagram: @aprilgodwinhair

What are your specialties?
Foiling! First off, it is my favorite thing to do. Second, I specialize in being able to give my clients the most seamless-looking dimensional color, whether it is natural or intense, just by the way I place foils.

Taylor Herbermann-Sellers
Age: 23
Salon/company name; location: Salon 124 Inc., Duluth, GA
Title: Master Hair Designer and Keune Educator
Color line/s used: Keune
Instagram: @taylorniellehair_

Who would you consider to be your mentors/role models, and why?
Chris Sulimay, Keune Academy and Technical Director — he's always a listening ear and gives great advice. I learn from him in many ways, not just through hair. His book has changed my life, his knowledge and experience is incredible and his personality is contagious to be around! Casey Mims, General Manager/Education Director, The 124 Group, has changed my life. She keeps me grounded and on my toes, not to mention her technical abilities are out of this world. She's the biggest motivator and has the best heart.

Megan Lenton
Age: 28
Salon/company name; location: Salon Del Sol, Torrance CA
Title: Hairstylist
Color line/s used: Artease
Instagram: @megan_me and #HairByMeganLenton

Please share a hair color, prep or color care tip:
I love using Artease 11 series (level 10 or 12) with 0/81 and 006 or 001 boosters for all my blonde toning/base bumping. The combo of the three creates magic in the shampoo bowl and is absolute perfection when it's blow-dried. And sending [clients] home with a silver conditioner ensures they'll come back to the salon happy and not brassy.

Kristen Linares
Age: 29
Salon/company name; location: 13th and Washington Salon & Barber Shop, St. Louis, MO
Title: Owner/Colorist
Color line/s used: Product Club
Instagram: @kristenlinares

What is your favorite color trend/technique of the moment?
I love all the color melting that is happening right now. For fall and winter this is the perfect way to create that shimmer every girl wants.

Moriah Mansour
Age: 20
Salon/company name; location: Happy Hollow Salon, Corvallis, OR
Title: Hairstylist/Barber
Color line/s used: OYA
Instagram: @hairbymoriah

Any accomplishments so far in your career you’re proud of?
I am proud of the independence I have established in the short amount of time I have been working. At 20 years old, I have been able to meet several goals because of the strong support from my clients. I aimed to start my career in a leasing position in order to have the freedom to make my salon experience my own. Two weeks after completing school at the age of 19, I began leasing from Happy Hollow Salon. While leasing was more of a risk than working as an apprentice or in a commission/salary position, the choice to branch out has pushed me to develop my own style and skills as a colorist.

Selina McManus
Age: 29
Salon/company name; location: Native Studio Salon, Fremont, CA
Title: Owner/Hairstylist/Makeup Artist/Matrix Artistic Educator
Color line/s used: Matrix
Instagram: @_beautynative

Who would you consider to be your mentors/role models, and why?
My grandmother has always been number one in my life. She has been through so much and despite it all, she treats everyone with respect and dignity, all with a smile on her face. I can only hope to be a fraction of the woman she is.

Whitney Parr
Age: 29
Salon/company name; location: Wonderlove Salon, Grapevine, TX
Title: Owner/Lead Stylist
Color line/s used: Wella
Instagram: @wmparr

What are your specialties?
I absolutely love redheads. I believe there is a fiery siren in everyone and it just takes the right tone of red to bring it out. What is red to me as a colorist usually looks so different to my client. I love creating mixed tones of warm and cool. My redheads are a way I get to use every tool in my toolbox. My other specialty would be taking someone who has been a brunette and bringing them to the right natural blonde for them. A blonde that doesn’t look over-processed and looks healthy is so coveted where I am at. It is so hard because warmth tends to be a negative here in Dallas, but slowly and surely I am bringing my clients over to the bright side of blondes!

Jamie Pierce
Age: 27
Salon/company name; location: The Doves by DNA, Santa Monica, CA
Title: Senior Hairstylist and Colorist
Color line/s used: Wella
Instagram: @mizzj_at_play

Any accomplishments so far in your career you’re proud of?
I won at the regional What’s Next Awards last year. I have been to Korea, Japan and soon, Malyasia with my boss, Aubrey Loots to do a creative presentation. Honestly my career as a whole is amazing. I started as an assistant, then lead assistant, progressed to assistant manager and also head manager at the salon I still work at, all while building my clientele. In that time, I also joined the Wella family as a Brand Educator. And, most recently, I was nominated for Educator of the Year at Connect 2016. AMAZING!

Stephanie Paschke
Age: 30
Salon/company name; location: COLOR.ME by KEVIN.MURPHY & Savante Salon, Gilbert, AZ
Title: COLOR.MASTER for COLOR.ME by KEVIN.MURPHY and Owner of Savante Salon
Color line/s used: KEVIN.MURPHY
Instagram: @stephpaschke

What is your favorite color trend/technique of the moment?
My favorite color trend at the moment is balayage in brunettes. As a brunette, I understand the need and want for beautiful, seamless highlights. It’s so nice to see the “striped” highlights retire and transition into a soft, blended effect by using a balayage technique. FREE.STYLE LIGHTENER by COLOR.ME is a new exciting product which I used to create this look.

Alicia Prinz
Age: 22
Salon/company name; location: Shear Convenience
Title: GKhair National Educator
Color line/s used: GKhair
Instagram: @aliciaprinz

What do you love most about being a colorist?
What I love most about being a colorist is the difference I can make in people's lives. It is truly fulfilling for me to see someone who arrives in my chair frustrated and unhappy with their current color or style and having the ability to truly transform their hair color into something they love. The joy and happiness having beautiful hair can bring someone while impacting their lives on them inside and out makes me very proud of my profession.

Jordyn Shipley
Age: 29
Salon/company name; location: Aveda
Title: Stylist/ Hair Color Purefessional
Color line/s used: Aveda
Instagram: @JordynShipley

Please share a hair color, prep or color care tip:
Beautiful hair color goes hand in hand with the hair's condition. It is paramount to get regularly scheduled trims and treatments, protect your hair from heat damage, and use salon quality products. "Without the proper canvas, the proper technique is nothing."

Cassie Siskovic
Age: 24
Salon/company name; location: Kenra Professional, Indianapolis, IN
Title: Regional Education Manager
Color line/s used: Kenra
Instagram: @cassieliz_hair

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
One of the first things I always love telling people is that I have grown up in the industry. I'm proud to say mom is a salon owner and has been for more than half my life. Additionally, I have a bachelor’s degree in marketing from The University of Mount Union, which has supported my passion for beauty with knowledge on the business and administrative side of the industry. The beauty industry isn't just my career; it is my passion. A past manager once told me that I captivate people with my confidence and my absolute contagious passion for hair, inspiring and motivating everyone I meet. Beauty is my life! I love, and am so proud of that.

Jes Victor
Age: 26
Salon/company name; location: Wildfire Hair Studio, Crown Point, IN
Title: Owner/Hairstylist
Color line/s used: Redken
Instagram: @jesvictor

What are your goals?
I hope to own a 10 chair Summit Salon in the next few years and help grow new hairstylists in a supportive environment. Two huge goals of mine are to win a NAHA award and to be an International Redken Artist.

Kaila Ward
Age: 28
Salon/company name; location: Kaila Ward Hair, DE
Title: Hairstylist
Color line/s used: Organic Way
Instagram: @kailawardhair

What is your favorite color trend/technique of the moment?
My favorite color trend is the natural look. I’m more drawn to that look because I favor “kid hair” in all it’s naturally-highlighted glory. That’s my biggest inspiration and I think will always be on trend.

Allison Wildy-Rodgers
Age: 29
Salon/company name; location: Pinup Jordan's Mermaid Lounge, Schenectady, NY
Title: Blonding and Color Correction Specialist
Color line/s used: Schwarzkopf Professional
Instagram: @allie.style

What are your specialties?
I am a huge blonder! I do a ton of balayage and highlighting. Color corrections are always my favorite because I love mixing the science and chemistry of what's going on in the hair with the creativity of the finished look. I have many "secret mermaids" where the top and sides of the hair is done with traditional color, but the underneath from the occipital down is mermaid colors. This lets the client play up or play down the colorful section as they wish.

Alexa Winkler
Age: 28
Salon/company name; location: Salon Heavener, Laguna Hills, CA
Title: Lead Stylist
Color line/s used: OYA
Instagram: @hairbyalexa26

What inspired you to become a colorist?
My very good friend Desirae got me interested in the hair industry when I was 20. I did not think in a million years that I would be doing hair for a living. She believed in me, even when I did not think that I could make it in the industry.