10 Minutes With: Dennis Stokely

Celebrity Hairstylist

How did you end up in your profession?
It was serendipity! As a child, I was always mesmerized by gorgeous hairstyles. In college, I would carry hot-rollers in my backpack and sneak into co-ed dorms and style hair for $5. I moved to New York City in my early 20's, was a model for a few years and got bit by the fashion bug. My first big break in the world of celebrity hair styling was being hired as a receptionist at the Kenneth Salon inside the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. 

Kenneth was famous for styling Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy and so many other celebs. I once remember, glancing over my shoulder from the front desk and seeing Kenneth cut the perfect bob for Gloria Vanderbilt. It gave me chills. Kenneth is my favorite hairdresser of all time and the biggest influence of my career. I later trained in the assistant's program at the Frederic Fekkai Salon. My ride had begun!

What is the best part of your job?
I love seeing the transformation in confidence and the happiness on the faces of clients when I create hairstyles.

What is your favorite trend right now?
Multiple Hairstyles! Last summer, I worked with a bride that couldn't decide on a hairstyle. So I suggested that we do them ALL! We did big-sexy-hair for a pre-ceremony photo shoot, a half-up hairstyle for the rehearsal, a very chic up-do for the ceremony and for the reception we took her hair down and added a stunning headband with bling! Just wait, "multiple bridal hairstyles" will be the next big thing!

Who, what and where inspires you?
WHO: My mother, old Hollywood screen sirens and the work of two celebrity hairstylists from today, Garren and Oribe.

WHAT: Up-do's from the 1950's & 60's, Egyptian hairstyles and braids from hundreds of years ago and any challenging hairstyle request.

WHERE: The red-carpet. I love collaborating with amazing make-up artists, designers and celebrities to create show stopping, red carpet hairstyles. And I absolutely love taking those looks and making them work for a bride.

What do you love about brides?
I love the innocence that radiates from her being in love. I love that I get to be a part of her fairy tale day. I love the energy, excitement and tears of joy when she sees herself in the mirror after she is ready. What can I say, I love my job!

What is the one thing every bride needs?
Every bride needs to be surrounded by a team of professionals that understand and see her vision of the big day.

Can you give us a bridal hair DO?
Do change hairstyles between the ceremony and reception. I love sophisticated up-do's for the walk down the aisle and loose, flowing curls with lots of volume for the reception. It always thrills the groom when his new bride shows up at the reception rocking a Victoria's Secret hairstyle.

Can you give us a bridal DON'T?
Don't wear your hair down for an outdoor wedding. The wind and natural elements are always uninvited guests at any outdoor ceremony. I hear from so many brides that are unhappy with their wedding day photos because the wind was blowing their hair in their favorite photograph. A messy hairstyle can ruin the overall look. 

What's next?
Awards Season is in full swing and I am always looking for my next muse to style for the red carpet. I am developing my Hollywood inspired line of hair care products and I continue to travel and teach my "Master Class in the Art and Business of the Beauty Industry." I am also gearing up for an incredible year of bridal hairstyles. Life is good!

Finally, tell us a style secret that can make a bride look magical! (We promise we don't tell)
Embellish the hair with an amazing hair accessory: headbands embellished with jewels, crystals, feathers, sequins,French-lace or satin-ribbons are my favorites.

-Melissa Hammam, Dennis Stokely

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