“I am the Hair Master! I can, and will, make you beautiful!” This has been master stylist Jimmy Poskey’s promise to his clients for the past 20 years.
Poskey knew he wanted to be a stylist since he was 4 years old. His fascination with hair began when his grandmother took him on weekly visits to the hairdresser and the sights, sounds and smells of the salon fascinated him.
Poskey’s mother, Lynda, became a master stylist when he was a child, and had a Rusk-sourced salon, which means that she only sold Rusk products and received free training videos using the Rusk methods.
“I would watch them over and over again until I could recite them verbatim … back in the early to mid-1990s,” said Poskey, who was the first pioneer in video education in the industry.
Poskey’s biggest influences were some of the most influential names in hair care. First, he became a senior designer on the Rusk Team, which was made up of 300 individuals handpicked by Irvin Rusk and his wife, Louise. The team of stylists was trained directly by the Rusks to go out and teach their methods, whether in classes or at shows.
The Rusk approach to hair cutting is very unique because traditional cutting methods are based on pie shapes.
“Irvin Rusk had a simple philosophy – your head is not shaped like a pie; don’t cut it like one,” said Poskey. “It would be great if the head was a perfectly round surface, but it’s not, so Rusk created these techniques and methods for cutting hair based on each individual’s head shape.”
According to Poskey, because of these various methods and techniques, he can cut around the different challenges that each person’s hair or head can present, including different textures, cowlicks, or other complex hair problems.
Poskey recounted a story as told to him by Rusk. He had started his career in a little salon in a small town outside of Glasgow, Scotland, where his dad was a barber and they lived above the barber shop. As soon as he was able to get his cosmetology license, Rusk left the family business to make his way to the city. One day, a young man studying to be an architect came walking by and saw a “Help Wanted” sign in the window for someone to clean, wash towels, shampoo, etc. The young man was none other than Vidal Sassoon.
Rusk and Sassoon worked together and after three years, which was the prescribed time for an apprenticeship, Sassoon decided not to return to architecture school, but got his cosmetology license instead. He was a trendsetter who revolutionized women’s hairstyling in the 1950s and ‘60s, introducing short “wash-and-wear” hair. In addition to being a hairstylist, Sassoon went on to become a businessman and philanthropist who is best known for repopularizing a simple, close-cut, geometric hair style called the bob cut.
Poskey also studied in Cancun and locations in the U.S. under another industry icon, Tom Dispenza, a master colorist, president of the World Hair Color Association, and owner of Chromastics, a line of hair-care and hair-coloring products.
Another major influence on Poskey was working with Mia Liguori of Scruples, the last family-owned and privately operated hair care company run by the Liguori family since 1983. Located in Burnsville, Minn., this is where Poskey studied everything he knows about chemicals. According to Poskey, he has worked with the “elite of the elite.”
When asked if he has any advice for a novice entering the industry, he used one word, “Sanitation!” Poskey said, “Everything that is being taught in beauty school is so outdated, but I recommend that they hang onto their sanitation knowledge. It will always be pertinent and useful, but forget everything else. Do all your learning externally; take as many classes as you can, but not at hair shows. Hair shows are for fun, because it’s a proven fact that if you don’t use what you have learned within 72 hours of learning it, you will only retain about 25 percent of what you learned. Local distributors offer classes using their products. Take them!”
Poskey works at The Studio Salon at 1568 Kingwood Drive in Kingwood and can be reached at 281-358-0211. For more information, visit his Facebook page, Jimmy Poskey’s Hair Masterpieces.