Short hair. Clean, architectural haircuts. Updated classic geometric cuts. Unconventional long hair. Razor cutting. Dry cutting. Precision.
Licensed stylist since 2005. At VAIN since 2009.
Follow Scott on Instagram: @scotttomlinson
What do you love about doing hair?
Hair is probably the most interesting, most versatile, and deeply personal medium an artist can work with. It’s endlessly fascinating. I love cutting hair. It’s what I got into this business to do, and I want to be the best I can be at it. I have reached a point in my career where I am comfortable with any hair type and can approach it with confidence. I’m also visibly excited when cutting hair and my clients seem to enjoy my enthusiasm.
What is it about short haircuts that you enjoy?
They’re more architectural and more interesting than longer cuts. I can interact with the facial features and bone structure to really do something impactful. Personally, the kind of haircut I love pairs a simple, clean shape with a looser, more shattered shape, both cut precisely. The juxtaposition of the two is something I feel is beautiful.
You’re VAIN-famous for giving precise cuts that are specific to each client. How do you do it?
I have an eye for it. It’s never an assembly line haircut. I always base my design on the individual’s unique bone structure, features, and hair texture. There is a style for every face shape.
Tell us a little about dry haircuts. Which clients are they good for?
If you like an airy haircut with a lot of texture, and you straighten or style it consistently, come in with it styled and let me give you a dry haircut. It’s the best way to get the perfect cut for the way you style your hair.
How would your regular clients describe you?
Consistently reliable. Honest and matter of fact. A craftsman with an artistic bent. Friendly enough, but not very talkative. Always focused on the task at hand and working with quiet intensity.
How would you describe the relationships you build with your clients?
I strive to be their respite from hectic living out in the real world. My clients enjoy coming to me to let go and unwind, allowing someone to attend to them. Some clients have seen me for years and we’ve barely spoken a word, and others share with me the most intimate details of their lives, knowing they can trust it won’t go any further. In either case, I think they appreciate that it’s always about them, never about me, and always on their terms.
What’s your secret weapon for great hair?
Using a conditioning cleanser like Deva Curl’s No Poo in place of a shampoo for people with wavy, curly, color treated or coarse textured hair. It doesn’t rough up the cuticle of the hair. It leaves your hair feeling, smelling, and looking clean without the first day frizz.
What are your style influences?
Music is a big one for me. I’ve been into music as long as I’ve been into hair, so I gather a lot of inspiration from what I see onstage, what I hear coming from it, what’s out in the crowd and on the corner outside. Other than that, my fellow stylists, architecture, sculpture, and fashion. But overall I try not to be influenced too much but, hopefully, to influence. I believe hair should inspire other forms of art just as much as other forms of art inspire hair.
What inspires you as a hairstylist?
Watching other hairstylists work. I am really into the craft and watching other people practice inspires me to try new things. It gives me a fresh perspective.
Any notable hair experiences to share?
Volunteering with my coworkers at Tent City to give free haircuts to homeless people was an awesome experience. We got to meet a lot of great people, hear their stories, and help them out.
What’s life outside of VAIN like for you?
I like playing guitar, collecting vinyl, going to shows, finding great clothes, eating new foods, traveling, and reading among other things, but I always have hair on the brain. I chose to be a hairstylist because I love doing it so much that I would be doing it whether or not it was my job. Essentially, what began as my hobby turned into an obsession which turned into my career. I think of my time away from the salon as a sort of incubation period when I rest and take in the world around me, and then when I come back to work, the flow reverses itself.