The Life And Times Of Danielle Priano: Becoming A Celebrity Hairstylist

Including her beauty trade secrets and current hair obsession

What can we say about Danielle Priano? The New York-based celebrity hairstylist is the beauty and brains behind some of the most spectacular looks featured in glossies, commercials, red carpet and everything in between. She gets to call the likes of Mariah Carey, Candice Swanepoel and Adriana Lima her clients, and that’s just a regular day at work for her. In between doing all that, she also helms PSxDanielle, her very own hair accessories line sported by Hailey Bieber, Lily Aldridge and more.

Over the years, Priano has built an ironclad clientele and a name for herself as one of the most sought after hairstylists in fashion. We caught up with the hair legend to find out what inspires her, what makes her tick and her must-have hair products. Read on to find out what she had to say, and check out the video above to relive some exclusive behind-the-scenes footage (and hair moments) from our November 2019 cover shoot with Stella Maxwell.

Related article: Hit Rewind With Our With Our November 2019 Issue

When did you start doing hair? And why did you decide that it was something you wanted to pursue full-time?

I guess I was doing hair for as long as I can remember. I have two sisters and whenever someone went out I did the hair. Also between the late ’80s early ’90s, I had this crazy hairstyle and my friends wanted me to do it on them—so I did. I honestly didn’t know that I would make a career out of it. I kind of did everything backwards: my mom emancipated me when I was 13 year old, so I went in many different directions before becoming a hairstylist. To be quite honest, I don’t believe it’s something that can be learnt; it’s like singing either you can or you can’t. I went to beauty school on 34th street in Manhattan and among the 150 students there, maybe only two or three of us that actually had talent. I was a single mom with two young kids and had to figure out a way to support them. Hair was the only thing I was good at.

What are some of the hurdles you’ve had to overcome in your career, and how did you manage that?

I think the biggest hurdle I had to overcome was that in the beginning, it was going really slow. My uncle had a hair and makeup agency, and I thought that when I finished school he would just sign me. Well, not only did he not sign me, he made me work 10 times harder than anyone else. I assisted for free during the day and worked my first legal job at Bloomingdales in the evenings and on the weekends. Another challenge that I guess I had, I learned to overcome with experience. Which was to show no signs of weakness or uncertainty because the celebrities will pick up on it right away and nine times out of 10 you’ll feel it!

What has been most rewarding about your career? Could you share your most memorable experience thus far?

I have so many but the most memorable was when recently I did a movie with Jennifer Lopez. It was my first time doing hair for a movie and my first time seeing her in almost three years. I was going through some personal drama with a narcissistic psychopath, whom I had been dealing with it for 15 years. The premise of the movie she was filming felt very similar to the situation I was in. Basically, removing that toxic energy from my life gave me this new found hope and I would love to inspire and help others girls—before they waste 15 years. Jennifer is the most amazing superstar I have had the opportunity to work with. She truly wants everyone on her team to be the best versions of themselves.

Related article: Inside Jennifer Lopez’s Strict Diet And Fitness Regime

What are 3 hair products and tools you can’t live without, and why?

R+Co ONE Prep Spray. The reason being is that we are not in a salon, so there’s no way to wash the hair before. So this is what I’ve found to be the best to prep the hair. Secondly, any flat iron because it can be used to curl or straighten the hair. Lastly my PSxDanielle hair ties because they can be used in so many different ways or even cut to add drama and to give that snatched look.

What is your current hair obsession?

My current hair obsession is whatever my brain starts to create. I love to try new things.

What advice would you give to someone looking to become a professional hairstylist?

The best advice I can give to anyone looking to have a career like mine is to work hard, have determination and most importantly project good energy. Remember: the client has to want to spend another day with you!!!

Related article: The Best Hair Brushes For Every Hair Type

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