Day In the Life: Clay Nielsen, Aveda Hairdresser

By  February 11, 2014

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Glam caught up with Clay Nielsen, Aveda hairdresser, who shares his hectic schedule beautifying models for New York Fashion Week all while braving NYC’s manic weather patterns: 

5:00 AM I’m alerted to life by a song on the radio. I’m surprisingly alert seeing I went to bed about 4.5 hrs ago. I take a 5 minute shower, get dressed and am out the door at 516. I was smart enough to pack my kit of tools and products the night before.
I walk outside the front door of my Brooklyn apartment to realize that it had snowed while I was sleeping and is now raining. I put my 60lb kit on my back and trudge through the ice storm to the train.
6:00 AM I arrive at Industria Super Studio for the Hellesey presentation. I’m working with Peter Gray and his ‘Zoo.’ We will spend the next three hours prepping the girls and getting them ready. Once the presentation starts I pack my kit again and leave for another show.
9:30 AM I finally arrive at Sun West Studio. The ice storm has made all modes of transportation a nightmare. What would normally take 10 minutes took 45.
I help Jon Reyman and the Aveda team finish their look for the Ann Yee presentation. I look after the hair on set as the girls are being photographed before they go out for public view.
10:30 AM I get into a taxi with Jon and two others from the Aveda team. It has finally stopped raining and the city is covered with a disgusting slush. We arrive in soho, at the Advanced Aveda Academy, to train some of the team members on the looks for upcoming shows that Jon is leading. While the team is practicing the looks we cut 25 wigs in preparation for a show the following day.
2:30 PM I leave the Aveda Academy to purchase some hair extensions for the next day.
3:15 PM I arrive slightly late to assist at another show on 17th street. The look is complicated and thankfully everyone is running a little behind, not just the hair team. Although the tension is high everyone pulls it together and the show runs successfully.
6:30 PM I successfully run through the slushy streets of manhattan to the Vfiles show at Eyebeam studios on 21st St.
8:00 PM All the models are dressed and ready to walk. I sneak out the back door so that I can finish gathering the essentials I will need for the next day.
9:30 PM I arrive back at my apartment in brooklyn. After making a quick dinner I start sewing hair extensions and prepping for the the next day of shows.
11:30 PM I set my alarm for 5am, the madness continues tomorrow, and this is just day one of New York Fashion Week.

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