Jamie DiGrazia is a NAHA winner and owner of Chicago salon Logan Parlor, and recently added Creative Consultant for Wahl 1919 to her list of VIP titles. She fills us in on the many hats she wears, what keeps her going and where it all began.
What's your background, and when did you know you wanted to get into the beauty industry?
I knew from a young age I wanted to “do” hair. When I was young my aunt would come to our home and spend time with us, giving the whole family perms or whatever style was trending at the time. She made us look and feel great with her transforming ways, and I knew then I wanted to do the same for people.
Where did you receive training? Who were your mentors early on?
I fell in love with Wahl and Redken education right out of beauty school and have dedicated myself to both brands over my career. I would go to the hair shows and sit at the booths and soak up all the education I could get! I frequently visit the Redken Exchange in New York for advanced immersive training and will continue to do so in the future. My most impactful mentors have been my aunt Kerry Engberg, and stylists Lauren Hagen, Adina Doss, Sam Villa and Chris Baran. I'm currently under the wings of Lisa Finucane, Wahl Professional’s U.S. Director of Education, and I couldn't be more excited!
Where did you get your start in the industry?
My very first job was at Hair Cuttery and I was so scared and nervous to touch people! I would call my aunt and ask her a million questions. It really helped me get my feet wet. The best thing I did for myself after that job was start an apprenticeship at Milios Hair Studio in Chicago where I had hands-on training and live model workshops and was mentored by really talented artists that were doing the hair I wanted to be able to do.
How did you begin working with Wahl?
I would always visit the Wahl booth at the shows and take any classes they had and would meet people on the team that inspired me. Randomly I was stuck in Long Beach at ISSE last year and ran into the director of education, Lisa Finucane, and told her how much I loved the brand and team. We were both unable to fly home due to a bad winter storm in Chicago so we got to talking and enjoyed each other so much we decided we should collaborate one day—and that day finally came!
When did you open Logan Parlor, and what sets it apart from others?
In 2013 my former business partner and I opened our doors with the intention to create a safe space for stylists and guests alike. We wanted to ensure young professionals could be mentored and LGBTQ folx could have a safe and welcoming environment where they could co-create with their stylists to get the hair they desired! We opened with a gender-free pricing structure so no one was misgendered and the artists earned their income based on the time they were booked instead of someone's gender identity.
What’s your proudest industry moment?
Definitely winning a NAHA award in 2018. I am so proud of the collection. I have it hanging up in the salon and the statement it makes and the thought it provokes to the people who see it is one of the best feelings I could ever imagine having!
Who are your style icons?
I'm not really into celebrities; I'm into pulling inspiration from street art and young queer people expressing themselves. Those kids are my style icons.
What are your go-to tools and products?
My clippers and trimmers are all Wahl and I couldn't create without them. Sam Villa has me using all his ergonomic shears and razors, which I absolutely love. Redken has my back when it comes to high-fashion styling products for photoshoots and working on set. I am excited to be working with Wahl 1919, Wahl’s styling line of products, which is allowing me to get dynamic shapes out of long and short hair!
What are your passion projects?
Creating photo collections has brought me the most joy over the past few years. Working with a team to create a story through the art of hairstyling has been so rewarding and fulfilling in so many ways, personally and professionally.
What kind of impact do you hope to have in your role at Wahl?
My goal is to share with barbers and stylists creative, technical and business knowledge. I want to share the art of short hair sculpting. And I want to help professionals with support in building their business. I believe that tools, both hardware and liquid, can help us create whatever we can imagine. I also want to shine light on how the products we use daily can generate a great income, but in a way that aligns with my own personal belief system. For example, I want to help grow the Wahl Professional Fade It Forward program, which helps our youth-in-need receive barber scholarships and mentorships to support them in becoming the future entrepreneurs in our industry.