Vernon François is one of the world’s most sought-after, award-winning hair stylists. Recognised as a champion of unlocking the potential of textured hair. His clients include the Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o; Serena Williams; Solange Knowles; Golden Globe Award winner Tracee Ellis Ross; award winning actresses Ruth Negga, Naomie Harris, Kerry Washington, and Uzo Aduba; director and producer Ava DuVernay; actress and singer Cynthia Erivo; and many more celebrities.
His creations regularly feature in publications such as VOGUE, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE and red carpet events all over the world. Vernon has worked alongside photographers Mario Testino, Mert & Marcus, Victor Demarchelier, Alexi Lubomirski, Peter Lindbergh, and Annie Leibovitz. He has styled hair for advertising campaigns for Lancôme and the 2017 Pirelli Calendar, and in 2016 and 2015 Vernon’s work was recognised in the top tier of The Hollywood Reporter’s ‘Hollywood’s Top 25 Beauty Moments of the Year’.
From Huddersfield, Northern England; today Vernon lives in Los Angeles. He is one of five brothers, raised in a Rastafarian family, who taught himself how to loc and twist hair at the age of eight. As a child, Sundays in his household were about getting hair braided for the week ahead, which he never enjoyed because he found it uncomfortable. Vernon explains: “My mother got tired of me complaining and suggested I do it myself (not her exact words!), which turned out to be a life-changing moment for me. From that point on, I’d braid anything tasselled that I could lay my hands on – the fringing on the living room rug, grandmother’s beaded curtains, the kitchen mop… everything. I drove my mother and my grandmother crazy.” This is where Vernon’s passion for creating styles with textured hair first started.
At the age of 14, Vernon took a Saturday job at a salon on London’s Oxford Street; at 17 he won his first industry award; and things have organically grown since then. Having listened to his clients’ frustrations over the years, Vernon identified a gap in the market. He says:
“It was very clear to me that women and men with textured hair were not being shown the same love in the high-end beauty market as their friends with straight hair.”
After many years of research and industry experience, he knew that he was perfectly placed to address this.
In September 2016 Vernon launched the VERNON FRANÇOIS® styling collection for textured hair. Every item in the collection is a bespoke blend of ingredients, designed for women, men, and kids with all hair textures. There are ranges within the collection tailored for kinky, coily, curly, wavy, and damaged types as well as hair that is worn in braids or locs.
Vernon is dyslexic and credits his visual learning style with influencing the development of the brand iconography that appears on the front of every bottle in his collection and on his website. He says: “The icons are a unique part of my brand. They are a universal language that make it really simple to identify the best products for your hair type.”
Vernon explains that his brand is about much more than a collection of brilliant products: “Having healthy, great conditioned hair has a lot to do with education; which is why the ‘learn’ section of my website is so important. It’s about actively helping people to understand their hair type and supporting people on their hair journeys. Encouraging people to embrace, not suppress, their true texture.”
One of the many highlights of Vernon’s collection is the creation of spray-on, rinse-out conditioners. They give superior control and grip in the shower; allowing the roots, mid lengths and ends of the hair to be precisely targeted with minimal wastage.
Vernon continues to serve a loyal, private client base in a notable salon in London’s Soho. A lot of his clients have been with him for many years, and some fly to the UK just for an appointment.
Vernon’s personal mission is to empower a generation of people with textured hair, giving them the techniques and practices to help maximise the potential of their own hair.
The VERNON FRANÇOIS® Collection is available at vernonfrancois.com, net-a-porter.com and Sephora.com. Follow Vernon François on social media or sign up to the website mailing list for news updates.