Hairstylist Jawara Wauchope Talks Backstage Beauty, Past Gigs, & *That* Look At Area
While backstage beauty moments for New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2020 may have just come to a close, the work of the hairstylists who make the magic happen behind the scenes is never done. Take Jawara Wauchope for instance, who's a fixture backstage for the most exclusive runway shows like Off-White and Koché. He barely has any down time these days, but he's not complaining. "In executing anything, you have to commit to it," hairstylist Jawara Wauchope tells TZR.
It's that unwavering attitude and eye for high-fashion hair that landed him as the key stylist for this season's Laquan Smith and Area showcases, bringing fashion and beauty lovers mesmerizing looks including what he calls "nano bangs," hair scarves, and wigs created with literal crystals. Now, as he gears up for Paris Fashion Week, where he'll once again be crafting masterpieces of hair to compliment couture fashions, Wauchope is proving to be living out his wildest dreams.
Ahead, check out how the real-life hair Picasso fell in love with hair, where he finds his hair inspiration, and what he hopes to see in fashion weeks to come that really sets him apart from the pack.
On Why Hair Is His First Love
Born in New York but raised in Jamaica until the age of 10, Wauchope has always felt encouraged by those around him to pursue his passion of hair. "I fell in love with hair by watching women get their hair done in the salons in Jamaica at a young age at around 6-years-old," he says. And he did just that. Studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology during his college years, he worked as an assistant at a hair salon where Wauchope says he was able to further hone his skills until getting his big break joining celebrity hairstylist Sam McKnight's team as an apprentice. "To be honest, I’ve been entranced by hair for decades, so I knew this was always what I wanted to do."
On The Looks He Created This Fashion Week
"I started thinking of '90s pictures of the artists when creating this look," he says of the nano-bang look he created for Laquan Smith Fall/Winter 2020. "Then I went into looking at the twists from African cultures and we decided to put it together. We didn't want the hair to be too evening, we wanted the hair to be playful because the clothes have a lot of structure, so we wanted to offset it with the hair."
When it came to Area Fall/Winter 2020, his love for 1970s catalogs came to play. "We were really smitten by when the hair was kind of disheveled and like, caught in the coat a bit," he says. But he didn't stop at hair — you know you've seen his dazzling gemstone designs on your feed. "We were like, 'Let's do this, too' — so we made crystal wigs," Wauchope shares. "The girls are not under bondage or anything, but I think it's supposed to be a play on hair hugging the neck. The wigs are heavy and while the girls are smiling, they're not smiling. We're treating the crystals as their wefts, sewing them onto the hair like tracks, if that makes sense."
On Products You'll Always Find In His Kit
There are three products that Wauchope says he can never be without: A Dyson Airdryer (Wauchope is the Global Styling Ambassador for Dyson Hair), Got2B Spray for indestructible hold, and oil for his natural girls. "What I like to do is do an assessment of people's hair and then determine what goes into it," he says. "I love shine so I like to put sheen on everything. I don't feel like you can over condition hair so I always encourage people to deep condition their hair no matter what. I layer the oils if the curls are tighter."
On The Diversity In Hair Trends
From fluffing fros for the likes of Solange, and laying wigs for Megan Thee Stallion, Wauchope's range and experience sets him apart from many others in the industry. Now, as he takes in the trends of a new decade, he's seeing just as many changes on the runway as he is off the runway. "I feel like Fashion Week beauty has evolved a bit it is not as uniform as it was," he says. "It’s become a bit more personal and I believe it will get even more diverse as the seasons come."