Jay Mahmood, Goldwell Global Creative Ambassador for Cutting, spends his time traveling internationally, in an effort to educate his fellow craft hairdressers; we assure you, his passion is contagious! During his time at Federico’s, we took some time to get to know him a little bit better, plus picked his brain for feedback about our Advanced Education House: here’s what he had to say.
"I had the most amazing time at the Federico Advanced Academy,” says artist Jay Mahmood. “As a guest artist, I felt welcomed and cared for, from the moment I landed to the moment I departed. The Federico’s have a real gift for making people feel at home.”
“The facility at Federico Advanced is beyond ideal, and offers a broad range of amenities, making it a true destination location.”
“But honestly, what impressed me the most was the unique approach that the Federico family takes to education,” says Mahmood. “I’ve never heard of an academy (anywhere else in the world) that offers such an all-inclusive approach to education, bringing in the best educators from around the world – and I was absolutely honored to be included on this list! While education houses often take a competitive stance, Federico Advanced eschews this mentality, and I found that utterly unique and refreshing.”
“Federico Advanced, which is undoubtedly a passion project, purely stems from Adam Federico’s idealistic nature and community-minded philosophies. It’s plain to see that he resists stagnation, and has made it his mission to better not only himself, but also our craft-hairdressing community. He’s really invested in helping others to nurture their own personal growth.”
“I’m honored to have lead a class at Federico Advanced – and I can only hope it was the first of many more successful collaborations!"
Q. As an artist, you have a unique aesthetic. What philosophy do you follow when cutting hair, and what are you looking for in a finished result?
A. First, I look to achieve a technically precise haircut. From here, I of course look at suitability, taking into account texture, facial features and personal style. I would say that suitability is at the forefront of all of my looks.
Also, in my time as a hairdresser, I’ve noticed something that’s very telling: clients rarely wear their hair the way that you’ve styled it, straight out of the chair. Because of this, I always aim for versatility. I want a person to feel confident wearing the look that I’ve given them, and this includes being able to style it in a variety of ways. So always, I aim to achieve a look that’s flexible.
I believe very strongly that it's not just about how we make people look, but just as importantly, it's about how we make the feel about themselves. Confidence is beautiful, so I always want to make the wearer feel that sense of poise.
Q. Professionally, you’ve chosen to forgo behind the chair work. Instead, you aim to educate the next generation of stylists. What motivated this decision?
A. After I qualified (to become a hairdresser), I worked behind the chair for a time. Frankly, I have tremendous respect for people who work behind the chair everyday. But my life's mission is to give back to the industry as much as possible, in particular to the younger generation. The reason I feel so strongly about this, is because they are the future, and I feel like it’s my duty to leave the industry in a better position than I found it. I always remember being told that I would never ‘be good enough’ and that I would never ‘make it.’ Now that I have a platform, I use it to assure other young people that they can make it if they study hard and stay dedicated, and that they can achieve whatever they want in life, if they are willing to work hard.
Q. If you could give one piece of advice to up-and-coming stylists, what would it be?
A. If you want to be a part of the best industry in the world, you have to be prepared to study hard, and be dedicated; you will undoubtedly have ups and downs, particularly as you’re starting out, but don’t give up! We all have days when we imagine that we’ll never ‘make it’ or be good enough. But I would encourage you to be fair to yourself – think progress, not perfection. And remember, it's a journey, and it will all be worth it, in the end. After all, we do the best job in the world; it has to take some time! I wouldn't change it for anything, becoming a hairdresser was the best decision I’ve ever made. Everyday, I find new reasons to be grateful to be a part of such an incredible industry.
Mahmood’s inspirational and community-minded outlook is certainly contagious, and Federico Advanced was delighted to share a weekend in his company. But don’t take our word for it! Check out the testimonial of attendee Jesse Gaines of Eugene, Oregon.
“Recently, I took a 3 day intensive cutting course with Jay Mahmood at Federico Advanced,” says Moss Salon owner and behind-the-chair stylist, Jesse Gaines.
“First, let me say, that this is my second visit to Federico Advanced, and each occasion has been top-notch – really great, and impactful experiences!
“The Jay Mahmood class was really intimate (Federico Advanced limited attendance to 7 stylists, which made for a really engaging, hands-on experience, plus encouraged great back and forth dialogue). I’m not aware of many places that this sort of ‘up close and personal’ education is taking place!”
“As an educator, Jay was awesome: clear, articulate, with a real ability for breaking things down. He used clear, uncomplicated language, which made working through haircuts simple. I picked up so many new skills, that I’m getting to implement on a day-to-day basis. I learned a ton and had a blast doing it.”
“I highly recommended investing in yourself – and taking a class with Federico Advanced!”