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Dylan Chavles by Jerry Buttles 

LA based hairstylist Dylan Chavles splits her time between session and salon work, at hip downtown haven Salon Benjamin. Renowned for the raw, punk aesthetic of her cuts, and an approach to her craft which she describes as “quite aggressive”, Chavles is at odds with LA’s reputation for meticulous gloss and glamour. “The hard part about being in LA is dealing with all of the “effortless” tonged beach waves,” she says. “they’re boring and safe. Nothing about safety or boredom is sexy to me. I never understood the idea of wanting to look like everyone.” Chavles spoke to INFRINGE about rejecting hair trends and why she considers hairstyling a selfless art form.

Harry Eelman (Schön! Magazine) 
“Even though it’s my art, I love that the attention is drawn to the person who is wearing the hairstyle, and not to me”
Dylan Chavles
Harry Eelman (Schön! Magazine) 

Do you have a signature approach to hair? I think I approach hair quite aggressively. I like to get to know someone first and feel it out before I decide what I’m going to do. There’s nothing worse than a hairstyle that looks cool but the person’s energy has no follow through with it. I don’t think there’s a right face shape for anything. It’s all about the person’s frequency and attitude. Even with session work I can always tell when the model’s energy suits a look.

Do you enjoy splitting your time between working in the salon and doing session work? I really need both! I can’t be in one place for too long, so I can’t be in the salon every day. I’d love to move more into education for the salon when we get to that point, and also continue doing session. Session work is amazing because I get to forget about whatever I created. I like that the look only lives for a day or two, that it has an expiration date.

Jerry Buttles (Union SS18)
Jerry Buttles (Union SS18)

Who is your hair idol? Eugene Souleiman! I’m so grateful to be on his team for fashion week. I love his approach to hair, it’s always referential and well thought out. He makes everything his own.

What’s your current favourite hair trend? I don’t care for hair trends at all. Lately I’ve been cutting a lot of mullets and bobs. They’re my favourite haircuts so I’m stoked people come to me for them.

What is your favourite thing about working with hair? I like that it’s a relatively selfless art form. Even though it’s my art, I love that the attention is drawn to the person who is wearing the hairstyle, and not to me. I can be shy. On a haircut level, I really love how good someone feels after they’ve had their hair done (assuming they like it!). There’s nothing better than giving someone a look they didn’t feel like they could have. Whether that’s due to old insecurities or they just haven’t tried a new look yet, it always makes my day when someone is so ecstatic about a change.

Harry Eelman (personal project)
Harry Eelman (personal project)
Harry Eelman (personal project)

And the most challenging? For haircuts, I think the most challenging aspect of it is people’s hang ups about themselves. I’m always blown away when someone hates the way they look or hates their hair texture. There’s only so much I can do to help and I really try to instil in the person that there is nothing wrong with them. I don’t believe in standards like the “right” face shape for a certain cut, or any rules on textures and cuts. I feel like if you’re confident you can do whatever the hell you want and it’ll look incredible.

How does Los Angeles inform your work? I’m really inspired by the people I grew up around. I grew up in Silverlake which was predominantly Chicanx at the time. Whether it was lots of mousse, slicked ponytails, glass straight hair, or braids, I always loved the way the girls I grew up around looked. Their hair was always clean and styled. LA punks have a very special and specific aesthetic that I gravitated towards too, I think a combination of these things influences my work greatly. I try my best to stay away from stereotypical West Hollywood hair. I feel like I’m doing myself and Los Angeles a disservice by entertaining that aesthetic at all.

Jeffrey Baum (Haircut on Jean Young, City Models Paris)

Images Jeffrey Baum Website jeffrey-baum.com Jerry Buttles Website jerrybuttles.com Harry Eelman Website harryeelman.com
Interview Emma de Clercq
Special Thanks Dylan Chavles

See the full story only in INFRINGE ISSUE #3 HERE

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