Artists You Need To Know About
One To Watch: Megan Bassett, L'Oréal Professionnel Artist
31 October 2018
Megan Bassett has never been content to stand quietly and just cut hair. In fact, the New York-born stylist is building a career that’s wholly based on her inability to settle.
Bassett, who’s currently based in Washington state, has hopped from salon to salon and education program to education program in hopes of finding the brightest and most ambitious hair artists to learn from.
To find out what makes this avant-garde hair artist tick and where she’s headed next, keep reading.
Like so many creatives, Bassett grew up in the suburbs and spent her free time styling the hair of any friend who’d sit still long enough. Desperate for a creative outlet, Bassett planned to move away for college.
“I actually went to school originally for composing,” she remembers.
Life rarely agrees with the longterm plans we’ve made. In Bassett’s case, an early brush with illness forced her to return home. Instead of giving in to suburban boredom, she decided to monetize the hair styling hobby she’d been fostering for years. The artist briefly picked up a job at a salon, considering re-enrolling in school full time.
However, the salon wasn’t a fit for Bassett. True to her creative core, Bassett decided to change life direction entirely. A move to Washington meant a fresh start as both a hair stylist and an adult.
“The first salon I ended up in Washington, it was a small town salon—which is fine—but I had bigger dreams,” she says. “For me, it’s not just a job. It’s actually my passion and so to be around people who don’t feel the same way just didn’t really work for me.”
As a young, impassioned artist, Bassett struggled to find a role behind the chair that didn’t feel like the average 9-to-5. Feeling out of options and desperate to find a job that was a fit, she took an unlikely step and enrolled in a two-year apprenticeship at a new salon. It was there that her real education took off.
For Bassett, the real joy of hair styling lies in learning. At her last salon, a monthly education class on color became the catalyst that led to her auditioning for a role as a L’Oréal Professionnel platform artist. Finally, she’s able to connect with the top tier of hair stylists.
“I feel so empowered by everyone that I meet. Everyone is so welcoming. I feel like I can never ask a wrong question,” Bassett says.
Behind the chair, Bassett focuses on using thinking outside the normal color spectrum. Her clients love the bold, flattering colors she uses.
“I tend to be more of a bold person, so I think that I attract that kind of client as well,” she says. “A lot of stylists, in my experience, tend to stick with a few shades. A lot of their clients look the same. And for me, if I look at a color book, there are just all these different options to make every single one of my clients their own look.”
It isn’t just hair that drives Bassett, either. In her free time, Bassett explores the world of dramatic makeup. Her understanding of the color wheel and steady hand comes in handy when it comes to an eyeshadow palette.
“It all comes down to color and shades and making something different out of what you have,” she says. “I’m just not the type of person who’s afraid to push the envelope.”
In the process of pushing herself to learn more, expand her craft, and teach other artists, it turns out Bassett has learned a few handy life lessons.
Bassett may be just a handful of years into her career, but she’s already thinking about launching her own salon. There, she hopes to foster the kind of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking she wanted so badly in her first years at work.
“I decided finally to go out on my own, which is great because it allows me to be an educator whereas a lot of salons think that that’s a conflict of interest,” Bassett explains.
Business in its nascent stages, Bassett is looking ahead to a career built on fostering the kind of passion for hair she’s always had. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to push the boundaries of what’s comfortable or expected—after all, look where it’s gotten her.
Megan Bassett is based in Kent, WA. Book an appointment with her on Facebook.
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