Jake’s Story… As a child, Jake knew he was destined to become big.  Unaware of the path he was going to take, his mom mentioned hairdressing in the 11th grade.  Setting him back a bit perplexed, his mind started to wrap around the idea of hair!   Hairdressing, he asks?  That’s your medium, his mom says!  So with art on his mind and passion in his heart.  Jake worked from one salon to another, his vision and creative eye were tested and honed.  Then as Jake took and taught many classes from artist including Micheal O’Rourke, Sam Brocato, Yosh,Vivienne Mackinder & Sam Villa to name a few, that’s is were his creative eye and technique got stronger.   Co-owning Lunatic Fringe Salon in SLC UT, has opened up doors and windows to avenues such as a leadership role, and being a creative visionary for the company.  On his own time, because he is so passionate about his craft he does multiple photo shoots a year.   Being a 3 time North American Hairstyling Award nominee, with a Avant Garde win in 2011.  Jake’s ahead of the curve flaunting passion, artistry, creativity, and a vision that is very captivating.  Jake is so thankful for his mother seeing his talent before he recognized it himself.  If there is one thing Jake has learned, insecurities from creating art go hand in hand!  Every shoot, every guest, every experience gets him closer to his version of greatness!

Jake Thompson says,  “I’m in love with my craft more now, than I’ve ever been in… I’m truly blessed to be a hairdresser”.

What is the biggest issue our industry is faced with today? 

We must face  the fact that society is changing…  Everyone wants to win the f’ing lottery!!! WTF!  Anything worth having is HARD WORK!!!

Too many hairdressers graduate and “think” they’ll build a clientele in 6 months!  Yeah, you’ll be heading in a good direction in 6 months, but it will take a good 2 years to build a steady clientele!  FACT!  You have to eat, sleep, and breathe, your craft a dozen times a day;)!  Like the Hair Nerds!

I recently attended a hair event with a few aMaZing guest speakers.   The one I couldn’t wait to see was Robert Lobetta.  Lobetta for all you nerds out there is the Salvador Dali of hairdressing, he is one of the most recognized hair artists to walk this Earth!  The man is a legend, a true artistic f’ing legend!!!  He is someone I always refer to when creating a collection… “Is this how far Robert would go?  No, he would take it to the edge and jump… ”

That is why so many of my collections look like I was on drugs when I created it.  I don’t care if people know who I am outside this industry, I just don’t want to be forgotten in my industry!!!

So back to issues our industry faces, so there were 3 guest speakers…  1st one was Magic Johnson,  2nd was Robert Lobetta and 3rd was…( I’ll tell you in just a minute, I just need to set up the story first…) So Robert is introduced and he got a mild applause  (figures cause a lot of the peeps in the audience are students and they haven’t been exposed to legends, etc. )

Then  comes the 3rd guest speaker and  the crowd goes nuts.  This particular speaker is only famous because of TV.  (I’m not trying to discredit her or her talent.) It is pathetic that an icon like Lobetta is mildly applauded even though he changed Avant Garde the way Vidal did in cutting!  Because our society  is obsessed with wanting  to be famous for the wrong reasons… I think our industry is faced with issues!

Where do you go to clear your mind?

I go to my studio… clearing my mind often involves listening to electronica music… sometimes I just go there to daydream… daydreaming is an essential part of my creative process…   ( Check out the playlist Jake created )



What does Jake Thompson daydream about?

Well, I dream about winning another NAHA… creating collections that are beyond “this” world… creating a show that someday would grace the stages of the Alternative Hair Show held in London @ the Royal Albert Hall… to win a lifetime achievement award & to be known for the work I create!  Find out if Jake becomes a #NAHAFinalist on April 30th.

How would you describe your artistic style? And what do you feel has brought you the most Influences in your work? 

My style is dark and pretty!  I’ve always enjoyed the darker side of things… I find beauty in the things most people over look.   A lot of my influences are based on my mood, music I’m listening to & the season.  Artist like Salvador Dali, M.C. Escher and Fractal Geometry are huge influences in my art.


As a successful salon owner and stylist, what do you feel is one of the biggest mistakes beginners tend to make?

They tend to want it NOW!   Having the want is great, but there is something to enjoying the ride to your destination!  Sam Villa is an amazing artist, platform artist, etc.  Having won BTC Platform Artist of the Year, 3 years in a row!  Recently did and interview and was referred as taking a lifetime to achieve over night success!  What this means is someone like Sam works his ass off doing and sharing his craft all over the world, and people of the industry are barley starting to see what he is doing!  Some things are worth the wait!  The best advice I can give hairdressers is “enjoy the ride, where ever your career is, enjoy the state of your level, because you’ll never be at that level again unless you stop educating yourself!

What is most rewarding about educating other stylists?

Once in awhile you see a light bulb go off in their head and you know you’ve hit a emotion state that has changed their career for the better!


Anyone who creates art that blows my mind


What goals haven’t you conquered?

I want 5 NAHA wins, I’ve got 1 down only 4 more left!

See Jake Thompson’s 2011 Avant Garde NAHA Acceptance Speech.


Top 3 Stylists you would love to work with:

1.Angelo Seminara/Trevor Sorbie

2.Robert Lobetta/Micheal Polsinelli

3.Orlando Pita/Garren


Which classes/ techniques have blown your mind?

I would have to say my 1st real education company I worked for, Redken!  I met and learned soooo much from the artist that worked and still works for that company!  I would have to say they blew my mind when I was just a pup!  I’m excited to attend a 5 day eduction class coming up, and no it’s not Vidal Sassoon (not that I have anything against VS, I love what VS stands


Jake Thompson having fun on set.

What 3 items would you die without?

1.YS Park Brushes “The Industry Standard”

2.413 Brush from Paul Mitchell

3.YS Park U pins, large and small


What has been the most amazing opportunity you have had in this industry so far?

To assist Vivienne Mackinder at the Alternative Hair Show in Chicago, backstage helping prep her wigs.  Holy amazingness, it was a life changing experience!  All the industry heavy hitters were backstage prepping their looks; it was the most amazing experience I’ve been able to have thus far.


Have you ever had an “OMG, what the hell am I doing here?!” moment? Share.

Yeah, I was working for Sexy Hair Concepts, a Michael O’Rourke company!  And I was one of there top platform artist and they were filming a product video and they asked me to speak in the video.  Talk about the product, etc, etc…  It was funny because I totally clammed up and couldn’t remember shit about what I was saying… I was like OMG what the hell am I doing here!!!  They where polite while I was filming, but totally cut my reel!  To f’ing funny!


Words to live by…

you were born an original, don’t die a copy



On a perfect day I spend it…..

Creating any form of art!  I love photography, editing photos, and creating or thinking of hair innovations!  That’s a perfect day doing any or all of those things!

What do people find most surprising about you?

That I used to be the shyest boy ever!!!  I would awkwardly stand in the door way or wait in the distance.  I don’t know why I used to be shy, I just was.  I’m also very indecisive.  My support staff needs to come to me with ideas for lunch, never ask me what I want.  Come with ideas; be very descriptive, I’m visual.

What is your next BIG project?

Is a big one and can’t mention it at this time.  I’m still in the very early stages and don’t want to compromise the integrity of it. **Hair Nerd Note** Just know we are pouting about this and will be hardcore stalking Jake until we get answers!!


Balance, how do you maintain yours?

Well I 1st decide what is most important to me.  Then delegate to my other passions.  There are 3 things I want in my life!  Hair and all things related to hair, Photography and all things related to shooting collections including mine and other industry artists.  And music, I couldn’t do any of it without music!!!  Oh and my 1st, last and every thing in-between is my wife, she’s the most important of them all and keeps me very balanced!


What is one of your #hairstylistproblems?

Well as a child I had the toughest time dealing with my hair.  Since I had a wave, I had no idea on how to approach my wave/curl.  So from those experiences.  I try to make styling for my guest super easy, almost dumb proof.  Guests aren’t as savvy as stylists, we have to keep it simple.  I would like to bridge the gap between #HairStylistProblems and #LoveMyLocksAllTheTime


I knew I was a Hair Nerd when….

I’ve been doing hair for almost 16 years and I’m still obsessed with all aspects of hairdressing.  I still practice weekly trying to perfect my sets, colors, cuts, wigs and hairpieces.


Keep up with Jake on his website… you know we will!

**Hair Nerd Note***

Jake will be the special guest on this week’s CrossCheck.tv episode.