Hair Circus will be a vendor at this year’s VegFest with their Studio Couture booth and we recently sat down with the team to discuss why offering compassionate choices is so important to them. Their passion for art, and living their values extends well beyond their craft as hair stylists.
Hair Circus is comprised of Danielle Sterling, Arica Hanley and Sarah Ready. We are passionate hairstylists, each with over a decade of artistry behind the chair.
We believe our work should reflect our values and as citizens of this planet we all share, we are dedicated to offering environmentally sound, vegan and organic services. With continuing education and progressive, compassionate brands, we are able to offer the latest trends and timeless classics without the sacrifice.
We use certified vegan, gluten-free, petrol chemical-free, sulphate-free, environmentally and ethically sound products.
What’s meaning behind the name, Hair Circus?
We wanted a different and fun name. The original idea of a circus was a traveling family act, that was self-sustained, was set up on the outskirts of towns in the woods, and when they were done they didn’t leave a mark. Making as little of an impact as possible on the environment is important to us. The idea of a circus also evokes wonder, excitement and magic, all things that are important to us as artists.
Offering vegan and compassionate options for people through your hair styling is important; can you share what prompted you to become vegan?
I stay up on information and once you see what’s going on, you can’t unlearn it. I love animals and making sustainable choices and I couldn’t be ignorant to what was happening. Hair styling is my medium where I can both live and share my values, which is why it was so important for us to create Hair Circus.
I’m also very big on teaching versus preaching. I want people to know they’ll be met with love. With Hair Circus we can break the stigma that you can’t get a good result with vegan/organic hair products. It’s like a hippie doesn’t have to only wear only hemp clothing now, they can wear bamboo and other alternatives. It’s the same with the hair products we use.
At 16 I started dabbling on and off with vegetarianism, but never fully educated myself about where my food was coming from, I just knew I felt better when I was eating that way. Five years ago after watching Forks Over Knives I went vegan, gave away all of the non-vegan food I had and never looked back. I started informing myself about health, environment and ethical issues. After educating myself about where our food was really coming from, the veil was lifted and there was no turning back.
The beauty industry is one of the largest contributors of waste and animal exploitation. We don’t want to be a part of that, which is why we are dedicated to offering alternatives. When I started in the industry working with the most environmentally conscious, cleanest products on the market was priority number one and still is today.
Working as hair stylists in a mainstream environment and introducing people to the vegan products is a great way to also talk about the products they use on their skin and even their food choices.
I went vegetarian at 12. I was playing with my dog and suddenly realized there was no difference between her and the cow she’d been woofing at earlier that day. Why eat one and love the other? A decade later I found out what rennet was and went vegan. It’s been 11 years now and I’llnever go back..
What’s the best vegan meal you’ve ever had and was it in a restaurant or homemade?
The Creme Brûlée doughnut from the Cinnamon Snail Food Truck in NYC.
The Onion Bhaji with coriander mint dip from Curry’s here in London.
The Green Dragon Bowl from Aux Vivres in Montréal. It was set up as a food truck at a festival we went to. The bowl had tempeh, sprouts, beets, carrots, purple rice and was organic and fresh - so good!
Where do you get your inspiration from for new hair styles, both personally and for your clients?
Colours in nature and shapes in architecture inspire me. The colours found in nature are amazing and we’re always trying to mimic them in colouring hair. To me it’s not just cutting hair or colouring it, it’s being an artist and helping people express who they are. It’s art and hair is the medium.
My clients inspire me. When someone sits down, I get to know them and learn who they really are. Time periods and moments in time inspire me. I like to name the styles, like a piece of art, to give it the importance the piece of work deserves. Science is also an inspiration. It can feel like an experiment trying to figure out and develop the right colour.
It’s the best job in the world, you make people feel good about themselves, help them be themselves and really express who they are.
I’m inspired by classic styles and time periods; I like to combine classic styles with interesting colour placement that looks new and different yet reminds you of something familiar. I draw a lot of inspiration from nature, the colours of ocean and sky, sunsets and dirt… all the bright and soft colours and textures you see outdoors. I love my job, I get to make people feel good about themselves, and work with my hands, play with colours and shapes and texture. It’s incredibly rewarding.
Any predictions on upcoming trends in hair styles?
People want to go big and bold with their hair, it’s an exciting time for hair styling. The age of the artist is back. There’s a movement of artists online, who are doing hair like us, bright colours, multiple colours, bold styles. Also, texture is big, people want to wear their hair more naturally and are embracing their natural texture. Anything goes really. A lot of people think they can’t achieve these different looks with vegan products, so it’s great being able to show them you can.
Do you have any plant-powered hair care tips?
Treat your hair like antique lace. When looking at a product, go deeper beyond whether it’s vegan. Find what the ingredients are, how they are sourced, their impact on you and on this planet we share. Washing your hair is overrated. Try to wash every third day if you can, there is nothing better than your natural sebum to protect your hair. Speaking of washing, cold water is your best friend. Not only does it help save energy, it’s also way better for your hair. And don’t be afraid! Dare to be different.
What are you most looking forward to about this year's VegFest?
Expanding our village and connecting with more people that share similar ideas. We are looking forward to seeing our clients, introducing more people to vegan hair care and supporting this majestic community. So happy to be a part of this exciting time in London!
We hope you enjoyed the interview. Thanks to Danielle, Arica and Sarah for taking time to chat with us!
If you’re wondering what vegan products the team uses, they use Neuma. From their packaging to how they make their products they are always looking for the most sustainable options. They’re gluten free, vegan, non GMO, biodegradable. For more information on Neuma check out http://neumabeauty.com/1.0/.
The team had some great parting words to share, “also be the joy you wish to see in the world, not just the change”.