Master Stylist Hunter McLeod Back in the Big Apple

After a long and successful career including traveling the globe with Wella, editorial runway shows for the likes of Romeo Gigli and Versace, and being the lead educator at Vancouver’s most successful salon, Hunter McLeod joined our team in 2007, and quickly became one of our most popular and respected stylists. After a hiatus in hometown Vancouver, we are thrilled to welcome back Hunter to our team full-time. Get to know him in this Q&A... 
 
Hunter, welcome back! What have you been up to and what prompted your return to New York & ARROJO? 
 
After living in New York for five years, and starting a family here, we decided to move back to Canada. We have lots of family there and we wanted a chance to be close to them, and to see how we felt about living and working there again. It was a great experience, yet we realized that New York has changed us. We had to come back. I feel recharged and energized, and I’m excited to be at ARROJO again. 
 
Tell us a bit about your background. How did you get into hairdressing? 
 
As a youngster I was big into the punk-rock scene. Aside from the great music, I was influenced by the idea of creating an image; I loved how punk-rockers looked. By the time I finished university I was reading fashion magazines to see what other style choices and trends were out there. Then one day I walked into a hair salon. I saw the creativity, felt the energy, heard cool music, and mixed with a hip young crowd. I exchanged a wrench for some scissors and I haven’t looked back.  
 
‘Axis’ is Vancouver’s top salon, and you have a great reputation from your time there. Tell us a bit about it... 
 
In 12 years I went from apprentice to manager of the apprentices to head educator at their biggest location. It’s how I cut my teeth as a hairdresser. I got great opportunities.  We worked with Aveda so I got to do the Aveda Congress main-stage show, as well as meet stylists who connected me to Nick and ARROJO. Axis is a cool young brand. They use Vidal Sassoon’s techniques as their technical and creative foundation, which gave me a great education. I was lucky my career started at such a great place.  
 
Why did you first move to New York?
 
After 12 years, I felt like I’d reached the top at Axis. I needed to move on in my career. It made sense to come to the fashion and beauty capital. As I say, I knew Nick and ARROJO so when I moved here I came in to say hi. The energy and image of the studio felt like the perfect fit for me. I guess I was lucky again because Nick offered me a job! 
 
What new things did you learn when you first came to ARROJO? How was it different from Axis and Vancouver. Are the clients different? What about their style and aesthetic?
 
The first thing is the standard ARROJO sets. Before Nick hired me I had to do a hair test, and then some retraining to master the methods that sets this brand apart. The razor is a signature here, so learning to use the straight-edge blade was a big part of it. Clients in New York are great. They know what kind of image they want, yet mostly remain open to new ideas that can enhance their look. Vancouver has more big blow-outs and glamorous Hollywood hair, but everyone still looks to New York for inspiration. 
 
What kind of hair cuts do you like to do?
 
I like to create an image. It’s not about one particular hair cut, it’s about creating the perfect style to fit the person in your chair. Depending on the texture of hair I’m working with, I like to switch between razor and scissors, tailoring my approach. For my own aesthetic, I like unconstrained modern hair cuts –– beautiful, but not too perfect. Contemporary hair cuts should also be easy to wear and maintain; the client has to be able to replicate the style at home. 
 
Now you’re back, what are you most looking forward to? 
 
For me the enjoyment comes from supplying the want and the need. In New York there is such an eclectic mix of clientele, and everybody likes to look good, meaning I get to work creatively, while giving people a sense of rejuvenation. To make someone happy by making them feel beautiful is a great feeling. I’m excited to carry on the client relationships I’ve built from before, and to start new ones. 
 
To celebrate Hunter’s return to ARROJO, from October 7 till 16, we are offering 25% off all hair cut appointments with him. This promotion reduces Hunter’s regular price from $125 to $100.  
 
 To book an appointment with Hunter, please call: 212 242 7786.