Marylle Koken, artistic director for Sebastian Professional’s International Artistic Team and owner of The Harlot salon in Venice, California, is no stranger to taking risks. She left her home in the Netherlands at the age of 19 to explore a hairstyling career in the U.S. Since then, she has been making waves and setting trends in the industry. Her most recent venture: exploring the versatility of men’s hair. “In today’s culture, showcasing transformative style is not limited to women,” she says. “Our model was the perfect example of someone who naturally carries an androgynous look while maintaining a masculine edge.”
In the three-part photo series, Koken took the model’s curly mane from demure to wild. “We began by prepping his curls with Sebastian Whipped Crème and diffused his natural texture,” she explains. She then pulled back his hair and wrapped it around itself to create a bun. “The placement of the bun was important so that it still looked manly but effortless, as if he had done it himself,” Koken says.
Next, she let the model’s hair down and managed the texture with Sebastian Shine Define. She then weaved his hair into prison braids, adding Sebastian Shine Crafter for control. “This achieved a harder look with a gritty edge,” she relates. Finally, Koken took out the braids and was left with the “wild outlaw texture that we love.” Taking chances with style is part of what makes Koken’s work so notable. The gender-bending juxtaposition of beautiful long, curly hair and tattooed masculinity is perhaps what makes these images so engaging. For Koken, “The best part of this shoot was getting to fully represent what we see on the streets of Venice Beach at The Harlot salon: freedom and fearless style.”
[Images: Courtesy of Benjamin Myer and Jonathon James]