Beauty Sense


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 14 of 15 15 Jessica Warburton is a Los Angeles-based hairstylist with a clientele that includes A-list celebrities, fashion designers, and musicians. Her many accomplishments in the hair industry have earned her the honorable titles of Matrix Artist, SalonCentric Ambassador, Colortrak family member, Modern Salon 100, and social media influencer with 46,000 followers on her @hairhunter Instagram page. There's no denying the girl can do some hair! However, this counterintelligence Army veteran also knows a thing or two about people and that has made all the difference in her career. The impact of a salon appointment is about so much more than just having pretty hair. Warburton's beauty career began in a chemotherapy treatment room. On February 19, 2010, Warburton flatlined on the operating table during emergency surgery as Jessica Warburton It's About More Than Pretty Hair S T Y L I S T S P O T L I G H T 12 pounds of cancer, along with her ovaries, uterus, and 400 individual polyps on her intestines, were removed from her body. As a soldier in the US Army at the time, her commanding officer was contacted to ready her life insurance paperwork as her mom was flown in to say goodbye. But Warburton still had fight in her. In her words, "The Grim Reaper sucker-punched me and let's just say I don't take too kindly to an unfair fight." Warburton was out of the ICU within 24 hours, something her doctors had never seen. To say that she's a fighter is a huge understatement. After eight weeks in the hospital, Warburton was ready to start chemotherapy. She shaved her head (because if she was going to lose her hair, it was going to be on her terms), drew on some eyebrows, and rocked Chanel mascara on some doe-eyed fake lashes. When she showed up for her first chemo treatment no longer looking like the half-gone girl that had donned her hospital bed, her doctor took in her appearance and asked, "How do you explain yourself?" "I don't," was her response and how she's lived her life ever since. Warburton hated how ugly cancer is, with dehumanizing hair loss, fingernails peeling off, eyelashes falling out, mood swings from medications, unappealing breath, and a constant bad taste in her mouth. Like everyone else undergoing chemotherapy around her, she just wanted to feel normal. Seeing other women give up really disturbed her, so she began bringing extra beauty staples with her to chemo treatments to share. She would help fellow warriors wrap their head scarfs and fix their wigs. Once, she even took a woman's wig home with her to shape it into a more flattering cut with her kitchen scissors. Warburton witnessed firsthand the capability of a beauty professional to change someone's whole outlook on life—her favorite part about our industry to this day. This lesson was further ingrained when she performed a routine cut and highlight on a client while she was still in cosmetology school. The young client later emailed Warburton to thank her for the service. She admitted that she had been contemplating suicide prior to her experience in Warburton's chair, but no longer wanted that to be her ending. Warburton treats all of her clients as friends, inviting them into her tribe without stipulation. She wants everyone who sits in her chair to feel like they're hanging out in her bedroom (sans any dirty laundry piles) sharing #RealTalk, keeping it professional but relatable. At the end of the day, she wants everyone to feel validated, heard, and acknowledged. Beating cancer taught Warburton the insignificance of life's little annoyances and that it doesn't matter if you aren't at the cool kids' table. She is accountable for her mistakes and successes, always striving to do the right thing. Warburton's admirable success as a hairstylist was built around an open invitation to her cool kids' table, and dishing out inspiration and hope like sprinkles, because getting one's hair done is about so much more than the resulting 'do. ■

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Beauty Sense - VOLUME 2 | ISSUE 3