Roxie Darling

Produced with  Cool Hunting

Roxie Darling is featured in Cool Hunting 25, a showcase, presented in partnership with Cadillac, of 25 creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Hair is one of the biggest (or at least most obvious) expressions of personal style. Coloring it makes a statement, showing how daring we can—or who we want to—be. While many go with natural shades, increasingly others opt for bright, adventurous hues, as evidenced by Manic Panic’s resurgence. For the visionary hair colorist at NYC’s Hairstory, Roxie Darling, everything around her is inspiration. The 27-year-old draws from what she sees in nature, on the train or in everyday life. While she shuns trends, Darling does see a “go big or go home” attitude emerging around hair color. Of her own philosophy, she explains, “I’d like to see people taking serious risks with neon shades done well (yes neon can be sophisticated) or keep it calm and beautiful with natural hues.”

What best illustrates how powerfully this simple strategy translates into life-changing personal style is how her transformative looks help people define who they are. One of her most impactful experiences as a hair colorist did just that, and served to further solidify her commitment to her work.

A transgender friend, on the brink of coming out, was inspired by the film “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” to change her hair from dark chestnut to processed platinum. Darling describes the moment when her friend first saw herself in the mirror “as a catalyst for her to be who she wanted to be. That moment will stay with me the rest of my life, and when I question what I’m doing with my life to make the world better (which I do often) I come back to that moment: I am helping people get on to the next chapter. Hair can be integral to that.”

Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft.

This inspiring episode belies the incredible technical detail that Darling also has from her decade of experience learning how hair lives. “Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft,” she explains which helps her clients trust her as the expert. She feels liberated and able to push the limits of bleach and color with advances in hair product like the un-shampoo, Definitely Purely Perfect Cleansing Crème. Currently working with a startup focused on making as few pure and simple hair products as possible, Darling’s influence is poised to extend far beyond the salon.

For more, read Roxie Darling’s interview with Cool Hunting where she talks about “Color and Psychology.”

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