Summer Parham’s career is definitely on an upward trajectory. In a short time, she’s mastered the art of haircolor, perfected her hairpainting technique, and emerged as one of the go-to stylists for trendsetting styles and makeup in New York City. As if that weren’t enough, Parham has garnered experience working backstage at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week with fellow Cutler Salon team members. “Accolades aside, the things I derive the greatest pleasure from are making clients feel like a million bucks and seeing those lightbulbs go off when sharing helpful information,” Parham says. “There’s no better feeling.” ✂ —Kelley Donahue
What inspires you?
Art museums, nature and music.
Hair is in my genes. My mother and grandmother are hairdressers, and I grew up in the industry. I pursued art school for a bit, but hair always beckoned.
After beauty school, I became a sales consultant for RDA ProMart Beauty Supply in Texas. While there, I read about Rodney Cutler in American Salon. It took me seven years, but I made it to New York City and I’m living my dream.
Right now, I’m a huge fan of 1910 to 1920s-era beauty and classic coifs that are very Downton Abbey-ish.
Redken Guts 10, Powder Grip 03 and Move Ability 05, and Pureology Colour Stylist Nourishing Nectar
First and foremost, my mentors are my mother, father and stepfather, closely followed by the late Vidal Sassoon, Redken’s Carolyn O’Connor and Angelo Seminara.
Conquering two of my biggest dreams—creating my own brand and opening my own salon
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I EVER GOT
“When you think you have really got it, practice again.” Redken Education Artistic Director Chris Baran said that to me after I asked him how he consistently achieves such perfect, well-executed techniques onstage. I’ve held that thought close and tried to pass it along since.
The day I learned that being a hairdresser means so much more than just doing hair; I was working in my first salon when a lady who’d been diagnosed with cancer came in. I used Shades EQ on her hair. The service lifted her spirits, and she cried in my chair, thanking me over and over for making her feel more like herself.
In addition to refining my craft as an educator for Redken and a colorist at Cutler Salon, I’m on a quest to create new hue trends and techniques that inspire hairdressers to step out of the box, stand on it and look at haircolor in different ways.