Color Theory

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Malibu C Platform Artist and Master Color Educator Nicole Emiliani traces her career from struggling student to standout salon owner, educator and colorist. —TRACY MORIN

Screen Shot 2017 01 11 At 11 48 25 Am

Nicole Emiliani learned early in life about turning difficulties into opportunities. At 16, frustrated with her high school vocational program, she enrolled in cosmetology school as a path toward enhanced creativity and knew she’d found her niche. After honing her skills in the salon in her hometown of Cincinnati, she fled to Miami Beach, Florida, for a color apprenticeship with Vidal Sassoon and eventually became an educator for Malibu C. “It was during my time at Sassoon that I first started using Malibu C, and I quickly became hooked!” Emiliani recalls. “Several years later, I attended a Malibu C professional class that not only inspired me, but changed my life—and for the last six years, I’ve been so fortunate to serve as a platform artist and educator for the brand.”

She further refined her craft by becoming an American Board Certified Haircolorist (ABCH); last summer, she taught at the annual ABCH Energizing Summit, one of four educators from the Malibu C team. One of her best-loved teaching topics includes Corrective Color, and she’s found that students are universally fascinated to learn about how minerals hiding in clients’ shower water can affect chemical services like balayage (another of her fave subjects). “My teaching philosophy has always been centered around my personal passion for education, so the goal has been to share knowledge with as many professionals as possible, in ways they’re able to relate to,” Emiliani explains. “Education is really the core of our craft, and the confidence we have as artists often stems from a sound understanding of the science behind what we’re doing. That is what ultimately enables us to do our very best work.”

Never one to rest on her laurels, Emiliani looks forward to the future. And though she has tended to celebrated tresses (think Brooklyn Decker, Jennifer Lopez and Julianne Hough), she’s acutely in touch with the everyday client, opening Salon Emiliani in Clearwater, Florida, in 2015. “The best advice I can offer other stylists is this: Continue educating yourself throughout the course of your entire career; never stop learning,” Emiliani stresses. “Most importantly, don’t ever let anyone discourage you, because you truly are capable of achieving anything!”

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