What makes someone a unicorn? Many things add up, but to me, it is their lease on life, how they treat other people, their positive attitude, and simply being a breath of fresh air. Stephanie Diaz is one of the unicorns in my life. She is so positive and upbeat, while being super cool with her piercings and tattoos and hair the color of the rainbow. She is also mother to the most adorable little girl and her daughter is the reason that we met.
This past summer, Diaz and I were both at the July 4th celebrations at Exchange Place. Her daughter waved at me and gave me an adorable, shy look and I am a sucker for kids. Diaz and I talked and instantly connected - I discovered that she was a hair stylist; she loved my hair, I loved her hair, and we exchanged information.
When I interviewed Diaz for this article, she was working in Hoboken, but now she is the head colorist at Bumble and Bumble in NYC. She hails from Fort Lee, but has a strong connection to Hudson County. We decided she wasn’t too far away to share her story and her love of what she does.
Fast forward to this fall where we met at Mod Cup. She gave me a super cool hairdo using basil flowers (unfortunately, we don’t have the photos). She came so prepared with all of her gear, enough bobby pins and hair ties for 12 people, and her gorgeous smile. The hairdo was fabulous and came with glitter.
We spoke about many things, one of which was her connection to Hudson County, which runs deep -- “my grandparents, Evelyn and Paul Peterson, were premier real estate agents in the area in the 1960s-80s. My grandmother's office still exists in Secaucus - Peterson Real Estate.” She celebrated July 4th in Jersey City because it was a big celebration and something fun to do with her family close to where her family’s home base used to be.
She has been a licensed hairstylist since she was 17 years old and has been doing hair since she was four years old. In 2012, she started working in Hoboken at Mad One Jacks and then in 2014, she relocated to Hair Cult on Washington Street and had been there for three-and-a-half years before moving to Bumble and Bumble. While at Hair Cult, an Aveda Network Salon, she honed her coloring skills where her goal is “to eventually teach in their advanced training facility, Bumble and Bumble University, which is also located in the downtown salon.” She found her love for B&B when she was working in an upscale salon in New Brunswick, which was a B&B Network Salon. “I vowed I would get there one day. I spent the next eight years training in all directions...cutting with B&B and Vidal Sassoon, color training with Matrix, Paul Mitchell, and Aveda. Education is very important to me as I am also an educator in haircolor! There is never an end to the learning process,” said Diaz.
“I love my industry, I love what I do in all capacities but hair color is my standout passion for sure. I've been braiding and styling hair since the ripe age of four, so choosing to focus on haircolor most recently has been a small sacrifice but I know it will only escalate my mastery in my craft. As they say, you can not be the master of everything,” Diaz eagerly shared.
Education and communication is so important when it comes to her clients, “...as Elle Woods said in Legally Blonde 2, ‘You must be involved in your appointment if you want to have great results!’ I have fun teaching my clients about the geometry and chemistry of my industry, something that is largely overlooked by the consumer. We do so much more than just play with hair!”
When she is not creating beautiful coloring on hair, she focuses on ensuring her daughter has a strong female role model in her life. Her daughter actually takes a lot of the photos you see on Instagram. Diaz says she wouldn’t trust anyone else to do so! They also do yoga together -- Diaz discovered her passion for it in 2015 and has “ become physically, mentally, and emotionally stronger. I try to make it to class as often as possible but tend to practice at home. Being a single mom means time is limited, so yoga is a wonderful outlet and also helps me to set a positive example for Savannah. She likes to do partner yoga with me! She's so inspiring and such a little rockstar. I think I learn more from her than she does from me,” said Diaz.
I hope that you can find unicorns like Stephanie Diaz to surround yourself with. She describes herself as a ball of energy, but is also very self-aware and mindful of being chill -- and maybe that is why I like her so much because I am too! If you ever need an amazing color job, visit her at Bumble and Bumble Downtown -- she will make your hair look amazing and bring light and beauty into your life.