Increasingly, Latinos have become pivotal – both as consumers and behind-the-scenes players – in the growth of the beauty industry. A 2015 Nielsen report concluded that Latinos are one of the biggest drivers of the beauty industry, with an expected 2018 contribution of $1.6 trillion in sales.
But the names associated with the beauty industry in magazines, runway shows, and red carpets often don’t show our contributions. Only a handful of people, such as Orlando Pita and Oribe Canales, have broken through to the top. But younger names, especially those of women, remain obscured. The truth is that in the fashion and beauty industry, we’re still underrepresented.
To celebrate the accomplishments of our community inside the hair styling world, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the hair experts that should be on your radar. From colorists and extension specialists to entrepreneurs and veteran stylists, get to know the names at the root of the best celebrity hair.
César de León Ramírez
Puerto Rican César de León Ramírez is the hair stylist behind singer Demi Lovato, actress Angelica Ross, and reality TV stars like Khloe and Kim Kardashian. De León is also the founder of a soon-to-be released wig and extensions line called Wildform.
Cuban Orlando Pita has been a fashion and celebrity hair stylist for more than three decades. Numerous fashion magazines, such as Vogue, i-D, Allure, W Magazine, and Harper’s Bazaar, have featured his work. Pita is also the founder of a namesake line of hair products and the owner of Orlando Pita salon.
Peña began his career in his native Colombia and is today the Latin American ambassador to Tresemmé hair products. Some of his clients include Eva Longoria, Nuestra Belleza Latina‘s Aejandra Espinoza, and Adamari López.
Canales is a famed celebrity hair stylist born in Cuba. His big break came when Jennifer Lopez, who grew up reading about Oribe on fashion magazines, called for him to do her hair once she reached super stardom level. Canales also owns his own line of hair care called Oribe, founded in 2008. Some of his clients include SZA, Miley Cyrus, and Kendall Jenner.
Ramos has worked in the beauty industry for 25 years, with a roster of clients including Rachel McAdams and Eva Mendes. He’s also the owner of an LA-based salon called Estilo Salon. In 2008, he launched his own line of hair care called Robert Ramos Products.
Jennifer Yepez is a prominent hair stylist and Kerastase celebrity ambassador. She’s well-known for bold, voluminous looks on clients such as Salma Hayek, Jessica Alba, and Keira Knightley.
Carlina Ortega is a hair colorist based in New York City, who works at famed Rita Hazan Salon. Her roster of clients includes radio personality Angie Martinez and singer Becky G. She’s known as one of the best hair stylists working with the balayage technique – a French method of creating highlights on hair that’s become quite popular on Instagram.
Castillo is an LA-based hairstylist that works closely with clients like actresses Priyanka Chopra and Ruby Rose. Although he went to school for visual communications at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Castillo trained as a hair stylist with fellow Latino hair stylist Carlos Ortiz.
Priscilla Valles is the Hollywood extensions expert. She graduated from cosmetology school at just 17 years old and has continued to work in the industry for 20 years. Some of her clients include Christina Aguilera, Kylie Jenner, Rooney Mara, and Chrissy Teigen.
Hailing from San Diego, DJ Quintero, who’s real name is Domingo, is a celebrity hair stylist, who currently works with the John Frieda Salon. His client roster includes actresses Katie Holmes and Leighton Meester.