Young Americans: Madison Spencer

Industry icon Ginger Boyle calls color specialist Madison Spencer a natural,who needs to be challenged so she won’t become bored. ✂ —Kelsey Murray

as0415-YA_1-rev_C2101__fmt_0_0_0_0.jpegAt age 7, Madison Spencer got her first updo at Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon in New York City. “My stylist’s name was Chuckie, and I felt so beautiful,” says Spencer. “I fell in love with the beauty industry that day.” Now, the 23-year-old is busy behind the chair as a haircolor specialist at Planet Salon in Los Angeles and is teaching her first color class at Diva Studio in Las Vegas in February. Spencer’s interest in both art and science was the reason she chose to specialize in color. She describes her technique as “free-flowing” and “virginesque,” and strays from techniques that are too structured, preferring color melting and balayage instead.

The Malibu, CA, native attended the John Paul Mitchell School in Sherman Oaks, CA at 17. Industry icon Ginger Boyle, who owns Planet Salon, recruited Spencer right out of beauty school. “Madison is a natural talent,” as0415-YA_1-rev_C2101__fmt_1_0.jpegsays Boyle, who Spencer calls a mentor. “Everything comes easily for her, so I have to continue to challenge her or she’ll get bored.” Still, Boyle allows that while Spencer is a quick study, she has to keep her on track so she doesn’t lose focus.

Boyle doesn’t see Spencer’s age as a drawback. Rather, she lets her know that it’s okay to have new ideas and opinions, though she also stresses the importance of knowing your history. “Young people need to know who Vidal Sassoon was,” says Boyle, “but it’s also important to let the new generation know that they’re being heard.”

Spencer admits that new clients don’t always take her seriously. “Sometimes they take one look at me and tell me I’m too young to be a color specialist,” she says. “But that usually changes after they have their first appointment and they leave extremely happy.”

Although her talent comes naturally, Spencer says her biggest fear is boredom; she never wants life to become too easy. “If that happens, it means you’re plateauing, and it’s not okay,” she says. “You should always push to become better.”

Photography: Robert Lynden/Sole Icon Productions