Antwon Jackson discovered his dream while watching television – so it’s fitting that he would be living that dream ON television … as the man behind the fabulous hair of Wendy Williams and countless other stars. It’s also fitting that a person who’s making women more beautiful happens to be beautiful inside and out himself. Antwon was nice enough to take a few minutes to talk about his work and his life.
You talk in your bio about seeing a Vidal Sassoon commercial when you were a kid and knowing at that moment that you knew what you wanted to do! Did you come against any resistance from people… or did you basically say – ‘this is how It’s gonna be!’When pursuing my dreams and ambitions, to protect myself from the opinions of others, I’d just keep silent and let my visions unfold. I knew that not everyone wasn’t gonna “Wish Me Well” so I basically said ” this is how its gonna be!”
Suddenly you were practicing on women in the neighborhood. Can you share at least one story where the hair went kind of wrong? That has to happen at least once, doesn’t it? What did you do?
I recall one particular incident where I was practicing “tapering” with the clippers on a family friend. I used the wrong guard on the clippers and basically cut her nearly bald. Knowledge is POWER and I was powerless due to the lack of knowledge regarding clippers usage. In this industry, I don’t know I could recover image wise from that kind of mistake especially dealing with high profile clients. Ain’t nobody got time time for that!
You were born in North Carolina – describe your first experience in New York – how do remember it them, and how different is it to you now?
Wow, coming to New York from North Carolina for the first time back in 1996 was intriguingly overwhelming in terms of the different races, the energy, tall buildings and of course the fashions. In the midst of all the “goings on” I felt a sense of belonging. I started visiting least once a year…alone. The more I came the NYC, the more I became aware of has to be done in terms prepping to move here. I’ve been living here for 3yrs now and its as if I’ve live her all my life…I cant see myself living anywhere Else. I make love to this city everyday. Gonna marry her soon.What was one of the biggest breaks you’ve ever gotten?The biggest break I’ve gotten was given the opportunity to assist uber Celebrity Hairstylist Oscar James. Working him whom I’ve always admired was a dream come true. I got to see up close how he works, his calm demeanor and what it tastes like to work in the industry. I also trained under Hadiiya Barbel who at the time was the hairstylist for the Wendy Show.We all know you and see you and hear your name from The Wendy Williams Show… give people an idea of your life these days! What is your average day like? When are you up and when are you done?I always say “I have miles to go before I sleep.” There is so much that I plan on doing career wise. I’m immensely grateful been the head Hairstylist for the Wendy Williams Show having started out just 3yrs ago as an intern. So, when people see me they see LOVE, RESPECT and an unconcealable zanniness!!! My spirit is somewhat “childlike” in sense that I everything with excitement. That’s the LEO in me. We [Leos] tend to make the best of situations thru humor.I can say personally from coming on the show that I truly feel like I’m visiting a family. I am always blown away by the comraderie of the team there. What is it about your group of people that seems to click so well?At the Wendy Williams Show we are one big family. I have our “moments” if you will. But because we truly love one another, we work pass our differences. I’ve learned that the the challenges we face aren’t happening “to” us but “for” so we can all learn and grow to better beings.What are the advantages to working on and styling wigs? Do you take longer, spent less time? What are the differences?One of the advantages of working with wigs, is that I have artistic control over texture, color, shape and length. Once the wigs are customized, the prepping time is at a minimum. Where as working with the clients natural hair I have to work whatever type of hair she has and whatever condition her hair is in. Which takes slightly longer than working with wigs.A lot of people are obsessed with their hair – a bad haircut can leave a woman crying for DAYS. Why do you think this is?
A bad hair cut will probably leave me crying for months..and I’m 75% man. Some women’s identity is manifested physically by their hair. The right hair style/cut can give a woman the confidence of a beloved Queen. A disastrous haircut and leave a woman feeling with a heavy with a sense of abandonment. The fallen Queen has gone into exile……until her hair grows out.Some people go their whole lives without really ‘nailing’ the right style for themselves.And what advice would you give to someone that really can’t seem to get a handle on their hair?
Like I stated previously, some women feel identified by their hair which can boxed them in to one look. IT JUST HAIR LADIES!!!!!!! Build trust in a great hairstylist/colorist/cutter. I know several.Also – what’s one question you’re sick of being asked?I don’t ever get sick of the respectful questions. Most people would like to know with whom I’ve style. Wendy Williams, Star Jones and Iman just a few.Do you ever stop and realize that you have become a role model? Not only for people seeking success in the hair and beauty industry, but also as a guy who wasn’t intimidated by dreaming big and pursuing your passion? What do you say to young people who are afraid to go after their dreams?If I inspire the the “Dream Chasers” then I’m honored. I honestly feel we fear chasing dreams cause we cant control the what happens. Its less about Fear and more about Faith. Know that if you’re passionate about your dreams and goals and you put the energy into making it happen, IT WILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!If you could choose one sentence that would be the one that people used to describe you – what would it be?Antwon’s such a LEO!!!!!Laughs alotEasy to get along withOooooooh so cute
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