As Editor in Chief of American Salon, Kelley Donahue reports on all aspects of the professional beauty industry, including salon business-building strategies, seasonal hair and fashion trends, salon services and techniques, and timely issues impacting manufacturers, schools, salons and distributor principals. In addition to conducting photo shoots--one of which was the recipient of an ABBIES Award for Best Magazine Cover--Donahue also travels extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad, sourcing out new trends and representing American Salon at major industry functions and educational events.
6 a.m. Rise and shine and time to work out! I like to start off every morning with a jog through my Beverly Hills, CA neighborhood. A good run can get me through any long day. 7:30 a.m. Once home, I stretch, shower and whip up a fruit smoothie replete with protein powder, which helps me to stay focused. 9 a.m. Shortly after breakfast, I jump in the car and drive to Macadamia’s San Fernando Valley headquarters in Southern California for a meeting with the education team. 9:45 a.m. Once there, it’s time to share my go-to styling techniques with global artists at the Macadamia Studio. I’m prepping them for our upcoming photo shoot at Milk Studios in New York City the following week. Noon Once my job is done, I take one of the canyon routes back to Beverly Hills, dropping by Il Pastaio—my favorite Italian restaurant in the city—for a salad before heading to Naomi Watts’ house to prep her for a red carpet appearance later that evening. 12:30 p.m. I meet with Watts’ wardrobe stylist and makeup artist to discuss final looks. This season, we’ve been doing sleeker, more sophisticated styles reminiscent of the one I created for her appearance at the Academy Awards. 1 p.m. I prep and style Watts’ hair, then wait for the makeup artist and wardrobe stylist to finish up so I can make any last-minute enhancements to her style before she’s off to the red carpet. 3:30 p.m. After completing the final hair touches on Watts, she’s ready for her red carpet moment. 5 p.m. I stop by The Hair Shop on Wilshire Boulevard for a few essentials. During this visit, I pick up some extensions for an editorial shoot I’ve been booked for with GQ Italia the next day. 6:30 p.m. I arrive at Emmy Rossum’s home to style her hair for a Hollywood party she’s attending later. 8 p.m. Home sweet home—after a long day away, I prefer to stay in and cook dinner for my girlfriend. Typically it’s a traditional Italian meal. 10 p.m. Time for this busy man to get to bed. The next day’s schedule takes me on location for a shoot in the California desert. Getting those glamorous hair shots at sunrise requires me to be on set at 5 a.m.
✂ As told to Kelley Donahue