Ask The Expert
Ask The Expert: Larry Sims
Ivoree: What was your motivation behind the hairstyles that you created on the beautiful Zendaya.?
Larry Sims: I teamed up with a group called Mane Addicts, who cultivates a large social presence and is a networking institute for professionals like myself. Justine Marjan’s platform is really huge and amazing and it was an opportunity to do whatever we wanted. I directed the shoot and worked along with Law Roach, who was the creative director. It was all about pushing buttons and going through a journey of iconic hairstyles.
L: I’ve always been a closet hairdresser. I didn’t want to pursue hair at first because I didn’t want to be a part of the stereotype for hairdressers. But I saw a different side of what it could offer and became open to it. I used the opportunity to do hair as a way to make money while dancing. As I would dance with artists on stage I would also style them off stage. I attended Pivot Point in Chicago where I obtained my cosmetology license and headed back to Los Angeles. I never wanted to work in a salon. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I wanted more for myself.
I: Did the transition from dancing with artists like Missy Elliot and Diddy create a challenge for you when you started doing hair? Or did it create a bridge to make those same connections with hair?
L: I was lucky because I was in the industry! I became great friends with Missy Elliot and she gave me the opportunity to live with her and work with her and Tweet. Afterwards, I went back to Los Angeles and pursued hair. I then danced with Jessica Simpson who introduced me to her hairdresser and I became a sponge while I assisted him. An opportunity came where he couldn’t do Victoria Beckham’s hair so I did it and I ended up doing her hair for 3 years. From there, many doors began to open.
I: In 2013, you partnered with Smooth N Shine to introduce your professional line of hair products called “Go Pro Girls.” Do you have other products up your sleeve that you feel will be a hit in the hair industry?
L: I am still collaborating and co-signing with Smooth N Shine and I am also the brand ambassador for Got 2B hair products. My goal is to intertwine more of a multicultural presence in the product. Currently, I am working on my own Larry Sims brand along with hair extensions, TV shows and books.
I: What is your advice to aspiring hair stylists who are afraid of putting themselves out there?
L: Fear is a lie and it will keep you captive and secluded from living your highest truth. You have to be careful about that. The mindset that I’ve always had, is to live fearlessly! Find the person nearest you that is the most successful in what you’re trying to pursue. Find a celebrity hair stylist in your community. Go into the system and work your way up. For me, I jumped the gun and came to Los Angeles because that was important to me. Be a sponge, remain humble and don’t be afraid to work. Invest in your craft, test shoot and build your book because people pay attention to hard work and talent.
Questions from @TheCutLife followers:
Question from @yellohamma42: I’m 50 and my hair is thick, cut short and I have no problem with it growing. It’s relaxed but I workout often and it’s hard to keep it styled. I go to the stylist but my hair only lasts for the day that it’s styled due to working out. Any suggestions?
Larry Sims: I definitely wouldn’t recommend compromising your health for hair. Embrace the sweat and the lifestyle. Incorporate texture in your style. Try senegalese twists, knots or the bushy look. Experiment with your hair to see if you like it.
Question from @_mashlife_: What styling products are best suited for maintaining a relaxed cut to minimize the need to use heat/straightener for styling daily?
L: I definitely suggest molding it with Smooth N Shine foam wrap, sit under the dryer and once it dries, seal your cuticles with oil sheen, and use a silk scarf.