Recently featured in Vanity Fair’s hallowed fashion pages for his stunning braids on OG celebutant, Paris Hilton, who sported the heat-resistant hairdo for two weeks at Burning Man this summer, Dylan is living his dream, jetting from red carpets to photo shoots in exotic locations, and, he says, it all started in Gilroy.
“Gilroy really prepared me to move to LA,” wrote Dylan via text. The entire interview would be conducted this way. “The slow life just wasn’t for me and it motivated the sh*t out of me to hustle my way to the top.”
Part of Gilroy High School’s Class of 2008, Dylan recognized a former teacher for believing in him even while others questioned his desire to attend fashion school instead of a “real college.”
“Mrs. Pirrozzoli of Advance Path believed in me to the fullest and transferred me in so I could graduate at a quicker pace,” said Dylan, who left Gilroy the day after high school graduation.
“I would tell any Gilroy High or Christopher High student to honestly start young and just do whatever is it you want to do,” he said, adding: “I would worry about the rest later. If it makes you happy and you’re having fun, keep doing it. One day success will follow.”
Success for the celebrity coiffeur, whose hands have styled the precious strands belonging to the latest crop of Hollywood starlets: Kylie Jenner, Hailey Baldwin and Sofia Richie (among others), may not have come quickly, but it’s seeds were present from the very beginning.
“I moved to Hollywood not knowing a single soul and attended The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in downtown LA. [I] got my degree there and started assisting celebrity makeup artist, Joyce Bonelli [and regular stylist to the Kardashian family].”
After the Fashion Institute, Dylan became a stylist and realized hair was his passion. He moved back up to Gilroy, attended a 10-month cosmetology program and then made the move back to LA, permanently, hiring Bonelli as his full-time agent, along with a business manager.
Dylan was on his way. A meeting with Bonelli at the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills where contracts were signed signaled his entry into the celebrity stylist world and the very next day he was on the set of E! News styling Kris Jenner.
“Since then it’s been a whirlwind and I cannot believe that was just two short years ago,” he said.
After impressing the head of the Kardashian clan, and infamous “momager,” Dylan expanded to the rest of the family, and began styling Kylie, Kourtney and Khloe.
“Over the past few years I have worked solely with celebrity clientele, Kylie Jenner and Paris Hilton being my most celebutant. My clients have grown to be more like family since we spend more time in glam then at family affairs,” he said.
Dylan said he loves his job and hopes to inspire other young people to follow their dreams.
“You aren’t limited to the four walls—if you will—of the place you were raised. Go out there and chase your dreams, it’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.”
In his own words:
How did it feel working with the Kardashians so soon after starting out?
Working with such a famous family, of course, would be intimidating for anyone at first, I’m sure. However, at 18-years-old I made the move to LA and started assisting Celebrity Makeup Artist, Joyce Bonelli [part of the Kardashian’s regular makeup squad] so I was exposed to the celebrity world within minutes of my first day of work.
I’ve read that they are surprisingly nice and great to work with.
With a family being as well known to the world you would imagine them to be difficult, however, as you mentioned, this family is everything BUT. They are the sweetest, most genuine, real people and after just a few short times of working with them, they became like family. Or Glamily. Haha. Currently Kylie Jenner is who I am closest to in the family and work most frequently with.
What is your typical day like?
A typical day for me starts anywhere from 3 a.m. to 9 a.m where I sit and meditate and drink my coffee or tea to slowly wake up. I always pack my kit the night before (unless it’s been a crazy day, which my assistant will come save the day and help me out). My jobs change daily which plays a huge role in my obsession with it. Nothing is the same. Everyday is different, whether it is a photo shoot for a magazine cover, a red carpet, jetting to NYC for [a] press tour, [a] glam [session] at my client’s house, or days like this particular morning when I am writing this email with a driver on my way to LAX to go to Las Vegas for a few short hours to shoot a commercial in the desert just to turn around and jump back on a plane to be in LA in time for a dinner meeting.
I love the braids you did for Paris Hilton. [Dylan’s ornate braids on the celebrity DJ at Burning Man was featured in Vanity Fair last month]
Thanks so much for your compliments about Paris Hilton, she has become a great friend since we met in Cannes, in the south of France earlier this year. This braided look I created on her was epic and perfect for an event such as Burning Man where Hilton would need to keep a style that would last the duration of the week long festival, if you can call it that.
Are they a signature style?
Braids and sexy perfectly undone hair have become my signature style and I get called for it daily. I guess it’s just what I tend to like and appreciate, which keeps me drawn to it, adding to and learning new tricks to go with my vibe.
Check out more of Chris Dylan’s vibe on Instagram @chrisdylanhair