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David Stanko – Redken Master Colorist

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David Stanko

NYC-based salon master colorist and hair color consultant for Redken 5th Avenue, David Stanko, is well known for his signature technique and customized-color approaches. David recently launched his Lifestyle Coloring and Midtown Single DVD’s which has placed his signature color classes in high demand. He has been featured on some of the hottest blogs and social media platforms, with the likes of AdviceSisters, DBeautyJunkie and DailyMakeover, swooning over his fresh take on color and style.

We caught up with David, and asked him a few questions about his inspirations and accomplishments. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: Who influenced you the most when learning your craft?

A: My biggest influence was Donna Blanchard, the salon owner I assisted right out of school. Donna was masterful at manipulating hair—and her clients. She was one of the first hairdressers I knew who genuinely followed fashion. She dressed in Chanel and Comme des Garçons, and actually bought the products that appeared in the pages of Vogue. She was masterful at styling hair, placing highlights with a tongue depressor and fearless with hair color. She looked after the hair of all the society women of Pittsburgh.

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

A: I draw inspiration from ‘people watching’ in airports, museums & the many cities I’m fortunate to visit.

Q: What would you say to new future professionals entering this industry?

A: From a hair perspective: learn to cut, color, relax and style a wide variety of global hair types. Professionally speaking: Think about respect, self image and the interview process. Develop intentionally well-honed habits in how you dress, speak and follow-through. You can’t run late, chew gum, text during appointments and make poor wardrobe choices and still be looked upon as professional.

Q: Where did you attend school?

A: I attended school at Pittsburgh Beauty Academy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Q: What was the turning point of your career?

A: The turning point, for me, was working for IT&LY Hair Fashion in the late 80’s early 90’s. I traveled all over the world and when I’d return to the salon – super charged with excitement & knowledge – no one seemed to care. Some stylists seemed content to “punch in” do their clients and “punch out”. I thought, ‘there’s a whole world of opportunity out there – lets go!”

Q: What is the best advice you have received?

A: Be assertive not aggressive. Learn to listen. Don’t interrupt. Be thoughtful & grateful for what you have. Don’t take things so seriously.

Q: What are some of your biggest accomplishments?

A: My biggest accomplishments include:

  • The launch of www.DavidStanko.com
  • My move to NYC
  • Spearheading the testing and technical execution of Redken hair color and lighteners
  • When I was Color Work styled by Serge Normant, Oribe and Orlando Pita
  • Best Educator 1999 by Hair Color USA
  • Most Inspirational Educator 2000 by Hair Color USA
  • Entered into the Pittsburgh Beauty Academy Hall Of Fame
  • Entered into the Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administration Hall Of Fame
  • Featured in nearly every North American trade magazine
  • Quoted in popular consumer magazines & beauty blogs
  • Being able to teach in over 12 countries and 40 states, from Manhattan to Mexico City; Thailand to Turkey
  • Reaching a point in my career where people really care to hear my opinion.