Do what you love, love what you do.

Hair is her passion – she loves her job and you can see it in her work. She is one of the absolutely best, I have seen in Ottawa, for ombre and balayage hairstyles.

It really is all about the people.
– Fabio Sementilli

Not only does she have the talent, skill and passion, she also knows first and foremost that it is all about who sits in her chair each day — it’s all about the people. Check out my interview with Jess and get a sneak peek into her hair world.

Hair Stylist + Makeup Artist

Instagram: @mzjzlu

Texture Hair Boutique | Ottawa ON

So let’s start from the beginning – what drew you to the beauty industry?

Well I honestly didn’t want to become a hairstylist – Lol. Originally I wanted to be an interior designer but in high school they had hairdressing classes and all my teachers said I was good. My sister led me to my first salon job. She was also a hair stylist and would always do my hair for competitions. I liked it, it was definitely challenging. I didn’t want to do any color services when I started. I over thought everything and was scared. Funny how things work out.

You have said hair styling and make-up are creative forms of art. What inspires you as an artist?

As of today, social media, it is such a big platform for my visual learning. There are artist who I’m so drawn to and try to copy, which they say is the greatest form of flattery. Then there are the celebrities styles.

I can also be very old school and simple. The everyday people I meet. Once I build that relationship and start to understand them and can create a look specifically for them and their lifestyle.

Instagram has had a huge impact on the fashion and beauty world. Do you find educating your clients has been come more important, especially when it comes to what is realistic when it comes to their hair?

Yes! That is what I like to focus on a lot. Guests sometimes will show me a hairstyle that is unrealistic for them – it might be because their hair isn’t as full, if it is over processed, or if it requires maintenance knowing they will not keep up with it.

TIP: When hair is curled in pictures it always looks so different. It shows more dimension and brings out the colors more.

But, I will never turn down what the guest wants. I will just readjust the look to their particular hair type, texture and lifestyle.

How do you keep on top of all the new trends in the hair industry and on social media?

Everyone has a specific style that they are drawn to, Instagram makes it very easy to follow and view styles. I follow artists and whatever styles I like.

I also watch award ceremonies for the red carpets to see the looks and styles. Again, Instagram will show you everything so quickly.

For those of our readers who don’t know, can you please explain the difference between ombré and balayage?

Well my version of ombré is the effect of dark to light fade. Whereas balayage is a technical term to sweep. There are so many different terms now a days but it’s to add depth and light around the head (either with or without foil).

Your expertise is with different shades of blondes and brunettes. In your portfolio, which is amazing by the way, every photo looks different. What do you do, to give everyone that sits in your chair, their own signature look?

My main concern for my guest is their maintenance and upkeep. Then I ask about their lifestyle: Are you a wash and go or do you spend time on styling? Life gets busy, it is best to go with a style that is easy to maintain but still looks nice.

In your first years, you specialized in fine hair. What are some techniques and products that can help add volume to hair?

Texture sprays, texture gels, texture powders. Texture – it’s my best friend! Fewer layers give a fuller, dense look – especially where the ends fall.  I loveeee Wella Professionals EIMI | Volume Sugar Lift, sprayed on towel dried hair then styled or air dried gives the best texture to curl over. Then there’s the Super Dust by L’Oréal Professionnel my new best friend. On dry hair dust it on the roots and emulsify in the scalp. Gives you a dry shampoo effect with the volume!

The biggest mistake I think women make, when it comes to their hair, is not getting regular trims. What is the rule of thumb when it comes to hair maintenance?

I would say for very short hair 4-6 weeks to maintain that length you are happy with; an ideal time frame for cuts and root touch-ups for those grays 6-8 weeks. If your hair takes longer to grow, I would say 8-12 weeks. For guests who notice hair damage but cannot make it in for a haircut, hair mask treatments can help temporarily.

What is the best part of going to work every day?

Every day I get excited to meet my guest and have our conversations. It’s like meeting a friend for drinks but I’m doing your hair at the same time – Lol!

I literally give all my attention to my guest. It’s our time and I really value it.

Too bad I can’t have that drink too though – Lol.

How would you describe your personal style?

At work I’m very laid back, comfort is my friend. I know a lot of people dress up for work and some guest might prefer that I look good doing their hair. But sorry, I’m busy and its very easy to get color or lightener on my clothes and ruin everything nice. My clothing is not what makes your hair lush and full, its me!

Do you have a daily skincare routine?

Yes and no – Lol! I have a lot of allergies so I cannot experiment with many prodcuts. At the moment I am using the La Roche-Posay | Toleriane line: cleansing milk face wash, ultra moisture day + night cream and thermo spring water spray.  I also use Estée Lauder Advance Repair Serum and sometimes the under eye repair from La Roche. But, there are times when I will wash my face with just water and put on plain Vaseline lip balm after.

I use to use Dermalogica and other expensive brands but turns out I was allergic to some of the ingredients. It shows that not all natural products are good for you.

What are your top 5 beauty and hair product must haves?
  • Estée Lauder Advance Night Repair Serum: It’s expensive but it feels sooo nice and hydrating and gives your skin that glow.
  • Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Tint-in-Balm or plain Vaseline
  • Match Stix Trio by FENTY BEAUTY: I use it with wet beauty blender.
  • My eyelash extensions: They always makes you look awake.
  • Micro Hair Crimper and my hair curler: It’s a duo package deal – Lol!
  • Kenra Volume Hairspray 25: It is the best for my hair.
Last question – what five words describe you best?

Simple/Easy going: I’m very much a homebody but If I get the message to come out, I will. Or I like to do whatever is the easiest and in the simplest way.

OCD: I like things a certain way. I like structure and a routine.

Selfless:  I always put others first but don’t get me wrong I do pamper myself, I make the time.

Foodie: I like to eat – Lol! I was going to say cheese because that’s what I ask everyone – if they love cheese. But, foodie is good!

Random: I can be very random with everything.