Hollywood Hair Pro Chris Appleton Will Make Your Alter Ego Into a Hairstyle

Chris Appleton

Not many people are lucky enough to have a beauty expert on speed dial. However, I’m blessed that I can call celebrity stylist Chris Appleton — mane manager of Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, and more —  one of my close friends.

We first met while I was working as a social media manager at Allure® magazine, when I filled in as a “hair model” for a video shoot. I was admittedly super nervous about the state of my hair. My strands are very fine and chemically processed, so I crossed my fingers and hoped Chris could help. It turns out I  had no reason to be nervous. As soon as we met, we hit it off, joking about how I love extensions, and then went on to select the longest weave in the pile. We giggled the whole time on set — and he even gave me his cell number, swearing we’d stay in touch. Still, after he left the Allure video studio, I never knew if I would see or talk to him again. 

To my surprise, after our first encounter, we worked together several more times — and hung outside the office a lot more. We went to dinners, grabbed drinks, and attended morning boxing classes when he was in NYC. This past April, I got a call from Chris: “Babe, what are you doing next weekend? Want to go to Coachella® with me?” Next thing I knew, I was on a flight to Palm Springs, California, hanging out with him for a whole weekend. As you can imagine, after that weekend, the rest was history, and I’ve become (as he likes to say) his “beauty bestie girl.”

Because we’re so close, it was extremely challenging to interview Chris. Anytime we chat, we go off on tangents, reminiscing about old times, catching up, or ideating his Instagram® captions. That means that this was the first time I got to hear (straight from the source!) how he became one of the biggest names in the hairdressing industry. As it happens, Chris was just nine years old when he realized he had a thing for hair. He was intrigued by how different people could look with a new hairstyle, and how, in turn, a style could cause you to perceive someone differently. 

His foray into hair started shortly after that realization, when he began styling his mom and sister. He added extensions to his mom’s hair and gave her updos — ironically, with the goal of making her look like a “Hollywood movie star.” His mom soon bid farewell to her salon stylist, because her son made her feel and look just as good (if not better) than the salon could. 

That’s how Chris learned that you could genuinely impact someone's mood — and even their self-confidence — by styling their hair. This new “power” was addictive enough for Appleton to commit to the field. He decided to go to school in England to get an education in hairdressing. That said, he admits he learned most things by being observant and working in a salon, which he started doing at the age of 13. After he saw how the pro stylists would cut and style hair, he’d go home to practice on dolls, his mom, and his sister. 

Since those days, Appleton’s style has dramatically evolved as he worked his way up the ladder, through plenty of Fashion Weeks, television show contests, and magazine covers. “You get taught the basics [at a salon from] a technical standpoint, but the hair I do is not really technical,” he explains. “It's more raw.” 

Clearly, people love his luxurious, glossy styles. Today, he has over one million Instagram followers and a roster of A-list celebrity clients, including Katy Perry and Ariana Grande. He’s also been the brand ambassador for Color Wow® and Glam Seamless® extensions. Keep reading as he shares more details about his career, styling tips, tricks he’s picked up from celebrities, and more.

When I do these looks, it's not just about keeping my celebrity clients happy. The rest of the world gets to have their opinion, too.

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