MEET YOUR STYLIST: Nelson Chan
Passion drives master colorist Nelson Chan to color perfection. As a young apprentice, barely 20 years old he worked in the top salon in Beverly Hills where he mastered his coloring technique by intertwining the client's personality with hues that complemented their mood, lifestyle, or movie role. "A woman should be true to herself but her hair color can be an expression of what's going on in her life," he states.
Chan was born and raised in Hong Kong, and immigrated to the United States as a teenager in the early 90s. He chose to study cosmetology, graduating from Citrus College in Los Angeles. Shortly afterwards, he made haircoloring his specialty, and in 1995 began a rewarding two-year apprenticeship with renowned colorist Stuart Gavert. Chan subsequently became a colorist at Gavert Atelier salon until moving to Estetica Salon in early 2003. In August 2007, he founded the new Nelson J Salon in Beverly Hills, which specializes in eco-friendly haircolor and conditioning treatments, while still offering a diverse array of services such as cuts, color, color correction, blow outs, event styling, Japanese hair straightening, low ph relaxers, hair extensions, manicure & pedicure and makeup application.
Since coming into his own as a professional colorist and building up a solid clientele, Chan has pursued innovative techniques in his field, including pioneering “dimensional haircoloring,” which involves layering multiple sections of colors to create greater depth in hair, sometimes placing darker colors on top of lighter ones. He also employs the newest glosses, ionic conditioners and hair retexturizers from Asia to make hair silky soft, straight and manageable. In terms of palette, he creates unusual, cutting-edge hues for blondes and brunettes, such as vanilla blonde and ruby brown. Chan employs these innovative and unusual techniques on his edgy clientele, and even takes his work out of the salon straight to the sets of young Hollywood’s hottest TV shows, including “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “American Dreams,” “That 70’s show” and “The King of Queens.”
Chan attributes much of his success to his knowledge of photography, which helps him guide his clients’ haircolor choices when they show him pictures of how they desire to appear. Having photographed extensively, he is able to formulate colors so that they can appear to be the same as the color in print, or else he helps the client understand how both the camera and the process of reproduction may dramatically alter haircolor, and thus present a color that may look totally different from how it appears when reproduced. Being a master at mixing palettes, Chan also manipulates colors so that hair appears stronger and bolder when clients appear on camera.
His reach extends beyond coloring, Nelson is a much sought after media expert for hair tips, hair styles, color trends, and caring for damaged hair. He also works closely with some of the top styling tool and hair color innovators in the field of hair care and color.
Nelson is also an innovator in his own right when it comes to healthy hair and is dedicated to continual research on all natural ingredients that promote health from the inside of the hair cuticle. In 2003, he developed the I.S.H. line of hair products specifically for color-treated and damaged hair. In 2005, Chan began experimenting with Micro-Ring hair extensions--the next generation of hair extensions--which do not require gluing, weaving, or long hours in the chair, and are also more cost effective and affordable. These extensions employ high-quality human hair, which he colors if necessary and applies to hair near the root. They can be left in for up to 3 months and require little maintenance, and can also be removed effortlessly. In late 2007, Chan plans to launch his new Nelson J All Natural Haircare line.
Chan has also been perfecting his haircolor technique on several VIPs including Sarah Michelle Gellar, Heather Graham, Devon Aoki, Alicia Silverstone, Maggie Q and Leah Remini, and has been steadily growing I.S.H. into a global product line. In 2006, I.S.H. debuted a new line of rice-based hairsprays and styling products.
Despite having already accomplished so much in the salon and enjoying every minute of his craft, Chan hopes his future may eventually let him divide his time between the salon and outside, where he can spend more time on the set and pursue more session work.
His portfolio can be viewed at www.nelsonchanonline.com.