PEOPLE: Editorial hairstylist Jawara on working with Solange and the changing face of the beauty industry
Images: Campbell Addy, Rémi Lamandé, Christine Hahn, Charlotte Wales
Interview: Emma de Clercq
Special Thanks to Jawara
Jawara Wauchope is an editorial hairstylist and Contributing Beauty Editor of Dazed Beauty. Born in New York and raised in Jamaica, Jawara now divides his time between London and NYC, and credits being exposed to these different cultural worlds as opening his mind to the diverse possibilities of beauty. “Living in the cities and traveling on public transportation, attending different schools, I’ve always people watched and observed all different types of beauty, which has definitely had an effect on my hairstyling,” he says.
After graduating from the Aveda Institute in New York, Jawara became part of Sam McKnight’s core team, before setting out on his own. Now a highly sought after session artist, he is known in the industry for working with some of the music industry’s most prolific artists including Solange and Cardi B. In particular, his frequent collaborations with Solange have seen him create some of her most talked about hair looks, from her hand-braided hair halo at 2018’s Met Gala to the Rapunzelesque locks showcased in her latest music video Way to the Show. We caught up with Jawara to find out what has currently got him excited in the hair and beauty world.
Early on in your career you were part of Sam McKnight’s team. What would you say has been the most important thing you’ve taken away from these years? Just being able to look at hair in different ways, I learned how to work on multiple people without making them look the same, as well as have their differences still be able to shine through.
As Contributing Beauty Editor for Dazed Beauty, how would you describe the current climate of the beauty industry? I think the beauty world has become a lot more inclusive and versatile. I also believe we still have a few changes to make but we are definitely getting there. I think it’s just amazing to see beauty being curated in different ways and I think we will definitely have very new and innovative ways to show different types of beauty in our future.
What would you say your speciality skill or technique is? Having a solid understanding of ALL different types of hair and which products and techniques work best on them.
“I think the beauty world has become a lot more inclusive and versatile”
As a session artist, how do you navigate the chasm between being fluid enough to bring other people’s briefs come to life, and developing a distinctive style of your own? I always follow my gut instinct on what I think is right for the project, with very much respect to what the client would like – I think it’s become a new specialty of mine to link the two.
Looking back over your career, can you tell us about some of your most unlikely sources of inspiration? I tend to gather inspiration from everywhere. Places like inner cities, school children, older women (one of my faves), I’ve even gathered a lot of beauty inspiration from people who shop at flea markets.
One of the artists you frequently work with, Solange, uses the subject of her hair in the public sphere as a way to communicate and challenge ideas of identity, history and culture. What is it like to work with someone who places your craft so much at the forefront of their aesthetic? It’s extremely rewarding to have worked with someone so ahead of their time, who uses hair as a vehicle of expression and well as a symbol of freedom. Definitely one of the most rewarding things in my career so far.
What’s currently got you excited in the hair world? I’m excited about extreme texture play and I’m currently obsessed with extravagant hair accessories.