Witness as the hair artist puts the hair theory into the test with his muse, Janine Gutierrez
This is an excerpt from MEGA’s February 2024 Main Beauty.
Hair is a powerful statement of personal identity — at least that is what is intrinsically tied in the beauty world’s consciousness. But the premise of it all is more significant than just completing a look. In theory, hair is perceived as an extension of us. Somehow or another that explains how every cut, color, or style, allows us to discover who we are and explore characters we want to be. To say the least, it’s an understated catalyst of self-expression.
It’s a hair philosophy that professional hairstylist Jay Aquino lives by. “Hair serves as a defining element in one’s overall appearance. It’s nearly always visible and plays a significant role in framing the face, shaping character, and adding impact to the entire look,” Aquino tells MEGA. “It’s a fundamental aspect that, even with simple makeup, can create a lasting impression. Essentially, the right hairstyle completes the total look, contributing to an individual’s confidence.”
Aquino’s flair for hair artistry successfully carved out recognition for creating stylized looks that range from effortlessly flowing locks and romantic waves to bold cuts and statement hues. And with a client list including Pia Wurtzbach, Iza Calzado, Sarah Lahbati, and his longtime muse, Janine Gutierrez, it comes as no surprise as to how he was able to establish a reputation as one of the industry’s most-trusted celebrity hair stylists.
Call it an answered artistic calling, but Jay already knew what he wanted to do for a living at a young age. “Back in high-school, I already embraced the idea na mas gusto ko talagang nasa behind the scenes ako,” he says. Balancing being a hair and makeup artist certainly garnered him merits from creating looks for his school performances to, eventually, scoring back-to-back freelance wedding gigs.
Things were looking up for him until he learned that he was color blind while he was working backstage at a fashion show. But despite the challenge, he made the right turn to place all of his focus and energy on mastering hair artistry.As for his best career move: assisting makeup artists Owen Sarmiento and Don de Jesus. He says, “Sila talaga yung nag-expose sa akin sa industry since lagi nila akong kinukuha akong mag-hairstyling, and from there, na discover ko na masaya pala mag hair.”
As he is determined to carve out his own path, Aquino tells us that being a hair artist is no easy feat but it is surely rewarding. “Ang hirap magpa-sunod ng hair ha!” he explains, emphasizing on how cherishing the challenges fuels his motivation. “But at the end of the day, seeing the final output and making my clients happy is what makes my job truly fulfilling.”
His passion and dedication for his craft continue to radiate as he takes on what is next for his career “Experience has consistently proven to be my best teacher, pushing me to explore and discover my capabilities. Each time I venture into a new style, I unearth hidden talents and refine my creativity. Through this continuous journey of trial and error, my skills are practiced, and my unique taste in hairstyling is solidified.”
While it takes a lot of courage to step out of your comfort zone, the hair artist believes that it’s a worthwhile pursuit in countless ways as it will shape you as a strong and passionate individual. Even more importantly, he ensures that everything will eventually fall into its places — what is meant for you will find you.