American Salon June 2012 : Page 56

Sheila Stotts Extensions guru Sheila Stotts has reached what some might deem the pinnacle of success, but the tireless beauty pro is still aiming higher. With 37 years and counting on her résumé; a slew of celebrity clients including Celine Dion, Halle Berry and Faith Hill; and styling credits on hundreds of movies and TV shows, it’s safe to say Sheila Stotts is one of the most accomplished professionals in the beauty industry. Over the course of her impressive career, Stotts has mastered virtually every aspect of hairdressing, from the extensions work she’s become best known for to men’s grooming, haircolor, cutting and styling, in addition to owning two salons, and launching a namesake line of more than 30 extension and styling tools. Stotts’ late mother, Wanda Burton, rst witnessed her daughter’s af nity for hairdressing when she discovered her at age 3 cutting up her wigs and attempting to attach the pieces to her Barbie’s head. By age 8, Stotts was bleaching her mother’s hair and soon after, she enrolled in the cosmetology program at Glendale High in Southern California. After graduating from high school at 16, Stotts entered cosmetology school, and although she had to make up the rst 600 hours because of her young age, she found herself captivated by all there was to learn and quickly rose to the top of her class. “I loved learning things like how haircolor processes and how the cuticle affects the cortex,” Stotts says. “I wanted to know the why behind it all. Consequently, by the time I had nished 450 hours, the teacher had me teaching the freshmen practical class.” Stotts opened her rst salon, Hair We Are, at the age of 19. She opened her second salon, an Aveda Concept Salon called Sheila Stotts Salon, at age 28. “The rst 15 years of my career were about mastering all the different parts of our industry,” Stotts says. “I learned every aspect to the point of then teaching it, and I realized when you’re educating you have to dissect it so much to get it across to somebody else that you understand it even more.” By age 36, Stotts had closed her last salon and re-focused her direction. She began developing her own product line, started only seeing clients referred to her by other hairdressers and took jobs on location SHEILA STOTTS wherever her skills were needed. Although Stotts still sees a few of her elite clients in her private studio, she travels all over the world for movies, TV and editorial jobs, and works with many of her top clients in their own homes. She’s responsible for transforming the looks of celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Kate Beckinsale for movie roles, and is currently making new wigs and hairpieces for Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey. Far from adhering to a typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday schedule, Stotts has been known to work as many as 21 days straight. Her detail-oriented work involves lengthy consultations and months spent sourcing specialized hair for clients from exclusive providers like Great Lengths. Her business has grown so much that she now relies on a team of seven professional stylists she has rigorously trained—“my ladies,” she calls them—who also perform consultations and extensions, color, cut, style and relaxing services under her direction. “Being educated, skilled and prepared for anything have been some of the keys to our success,” Stotts says. “I am the visionary and work very hard, but my ladies are artists in their own right as well.” With all of these accomplishments, some beauty pros might think they’d reached their peak, but Stotts continues to nd new mountains to climb. She’s currently developing an affordable ready-to-wear extensions line, as well as working on concepts for several books and an educational six-part DVD series. The most rewarding and exciting project Stotts says she’s now embarked on, however, is donating her time and resources to making wigs for philanthropic causes. After seeing Barbara Walters’ 20/20 special “7 Going on 70,” which focused on two girls facing progeria, a rare and fatal disease that speeds up the body’s aging process and results in drastic hair loss, Stotts decided she wanted to help. She created a custom wig for progeria patient Kaylee Halko, and ew out to personally deliver the wig and show the 7-year-old girl and her mother how to wear, style and care for it. “This is my most exciting, ful lling project to date,” Stotts says. (To learn more about Halko and her disease, visit sweetkaylee.com .) Stotts says what makes her love her job isn’t the glamorous environment she works in every day but instead, the happiness she feels after ful lling someone’s deepest wish to feel beautiful. “The most rewarding part happens when I see clients cry because they’re overwhelmed with joy and they tell me they didn’t think it was possible that they could look that pretty or feel that con dent,” Stotts says. “It’s the healing power of feeling beautiful.” To see some of Stotts’ celebrity transformations, visit blog.americansalon.com . ✂ —Aja Edwards CLOCKWISE, FROM ABOVE: Celine Dion is one of Sheila Stotts’ longtime clients; Cameron Diaz’s December 2006 W cover showcased the hair artist’s transformative skills; the extension removal tool from Stotts’ line. 56 American Salon June 2012

Headmasters

Aja Edwards

Sheila Stotts<br /> Extensions guru Sheila Stotts has reached what some might deem the pinnacle of success, but the tireless beauty pro is still aiming higher.<br /> <br /> With 37 years and counting on her résumé; a slew of celebrity clients including Celine Dion, Halle Berry and Faith Hill; and styling credits on hundreds of movies and TV shows, it’s safe to say Sheila Stotts is one of the most accomplished professionals in the beauty industry. Over the course of her impressive career, Stotts has mastered virtually every aspect of hairdressing, from the extensions work she’s become best known for to men’s grooming, haircolor, cutting and styling, in addition to owning two salons, and launching a namesake line of more than 30 extension and styling tools.<br /> Stotts’ late mother, Wanda Burton, first witnessed her daughter’s affinity for hairdressing when she discovered her at age 3 cutting up her wigs and attempting to attach the pieces to her Barbie’s head. By age 8, Stotts was bleaching her mother’s hair and soon after, she enrolled in the cosmetology program at Glendale High in Southern California. After graduating from high school at 16, Stotts entered cosmetology school, and although she had to make up the first 600 hours because of her young age, she found herself captivated by all there was to learn and quickly rose to the top of her class. <br /> “I loved learning things like how haircolor processes and how the cuticle affects the cortex,” Stotts says. “I wanted to know the why behind it all. Consequently, by the time I had finished 450 hours, the teacher had me teaching the freshmen practical class.” <br /> Stotts opened her first salon, Hair We Are, at the age of 19. She opened her second salon, an Aveda Concept Salon called Sheila Stotts Salon, at age 28. “The first 15 years of my career were about mastering all the different parts of our industry,” Stotts says. “I learned every aspect to the point of then teaching it, and I realized when you’re educating you have to dissect it so much to get it across to somebody else that you understand it even more.”<br /> By age 36, Stotts had closed her last salon and re-focused her direction. She began developing her own product line, started only seeing clients referred to her by other hairdressers and took jobs on location wherever her skills were needed. Although Stotts still sees a few of her elite clients in her private studio, she travels all over the world for movies, TV and editorial jobs, and works with many of her top clients in their own homes. She’s responsible for transforming the looks of celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Kate Beckinsale for movie roles, and is currently making new wigs and hairpieces for Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey. Far from adhering to a typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday schedule, Stotts has been known to work as many as 21 days straight. Her detail-oriented work involves lengthy consultations and months spent sourcing specialized hair for clients from exclusive providers like Great Lengths. Her business has grown so much that she now relies on a team of seven professional stylists she has rigorously trained—“my ladies,” she calls them—who also perform consultations and extensions, color, cut, style and relaxing services under her direction. <br /> “Being educated, skilled and prepared for anything have been some of the keys to our success,” Stotts says. “I am the visionary and work very hard, but my ladies are artists in their own right as well.”<br /> With all of these accomplishments, some beauty pros might think they’d reached their peak, but Stotts continues to find new mountains to climb. She’s currently developing an affordable ready-to-wear extensions line, as well as working on concepts for several books and an educational six-part DVD series. The most rewarding and exciting project Stotts says she’s now embarked on, however, is donating her time and resources to making wigs for philanthropic causes.<br /> After seeing Barbara Walters’ 20/20 special “7 Going on 70,” which focused on two girls facing progeria, a rare and fatal disease that speeds up the body’s aging process and results in drastic hair loss, Stotts decided she wanted to help. She created a custom wig for progeria patient Kaylee Halko, and flew out to personally deliver the wig and show the 7-year-old girl and her mother how to wear, style and care for it. “This is my most exciting, fulfilling project to date,” Stotts says. (To learn more about Halko and her disease, visit sweetkaylee.com.)<br /> Stotts says what makes her love her job isn’t the glamorous environment she works in every day but instead, the happiness she feels after fulfilling someone’s deepest wish to feel beautiful. “The most rewarding part happens when I see clients cry because they’re overwhelmed with joy and they tell me they didn’t think it was possible that they could look that pretty or feel that confident,” Stotts says. “It’s the healing power of feeling beautiful.” To see some of Stotts’ celebrity transformations, visit blog.americansalon.com. ✂ —Aja Edwards

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