You may know her as the 3x Emmy Award Winning Hairstylist. While that is a known fact, Lavette Slater conveys this vivid quality through her skilled eye and hands with each and every client. With over 15 years as a celebrity hairstylist and beauty expert; Lavette Slater is known as a remarkable trendsetter in the hair and makeup industry through her artistic vision, and impeccable attention to detail. At the height of Slater’s career as the Supervisor and key hairstylist on ABC’s The View, this 10x Emmy Award Nominee and winner of the 34th, 35th and 36th Annual Creative Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling–is nowhere near the end of her career. Slater continues to rise to the top and share with others her beauty expertise.
“Wow, who am I and what do I do? Overall, I’m a feminist! I love to make people happy and feel good about themselves. I’ve always enjoyed doing my friend’s, and everybody’s hair in the neighborhood when I was younger. Anybody that needed their hair done, knew to come to me. My inspiration stems from everything. What inspired me the most is women like Barbara Walters who [have] paved the way.”
Slater takes storm by making her initial mark as a celebrity hairstylist. Working on her first artist Wanya Morris from the iconic group, Boyz II Men.
“I was working in the salon when I started out as a hairstylist. I was really, really good. I was one of the best hairdressers in the salon. So, it was natural for them to send me out. One of the first celebrity artist I worked on was Wanya from the group Boyz II Men. I was nervous, but very eager to work with him. At the time he had twist. I had to go there and twist his hair. It was fun, and he loved his hair! When I did that, I thought, “wow!” People would like this, people will love me–and people will love my work!”
Lavette’s work ethic; and impeccable talents did not go unnoticed long before a young lady introduced an opportunity to advance her career.
“While working in the salon, one of the girl’s worked at The View asked me, “Oh Lavette, why don’t you come for an audition?” I didn’t know too much about The View at the time. They needed a stylist to style Star Jones and Lisa Ling. I remember on my first day I was nervous, and excited! In my head, I was saying, “I’m going to give her some big hair,” so, when I got there; I ended up doing this really big up-style that was really fancy.”
Upon styling several celebrities, Lavette goes on to express her experience styling the co-host of The View; as a personal hairstylist for Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, and many more along with top political figures Hillary Clinton, to our elegant and poised first lady, Michelle Obama. Just to name a few.
“It was exciting because there were a lot of celebrities that came to The View. And everybody knew that I was the person to come to if they really needed someone to do their hair really nice. They would get me to do it. While working at The View, I styled Sherri Shepherd everyday. Back then, I styled herin all of my human hair wigs. So, she trust me to experience, and do whatever I wanted. One of my most exciting moments was doing Michelle Obama’s hair! Um, I had the chance to do Barack Obama’s hair, but of course he didn’t have much that needed to be done.” [she laughs]
Ms. Slater conveys the true quality of beauty, and not just by styling her clients hair; but her purpose to give back. “Makeovers with Meaning” where she donates wigs to help those who suffer hair loss by expanding her wig line Lovie by LS; Lavette’s human hair wig collection. While Lavette is innovating more techniques to pursue her line, you may purchase wigs, and hair pieces on her site. Slater goes on to express her purpose, and why it’s very imperative, also necessary for her to reach out to the community beyond styling celebrities. Currently she works with cancer patients, including Tiffany Jones, 3-time cancer survivor and star of the OWN network’s series.
“Through the years I’ve worked with many celebrities. I’ve decided to come up with my own human hair wig line. Not just hair pieces, but hair pieces with different textures. I’ve noticed that working in this industry, it’s very hard for African-American hair. Being on TV every single day, it’s like you don’t want to wear your hair out. You don’t want to keep curling it every day, it’ll damage your hair. So, wearing wigs and hair pieces is the best way to go! Just because you’re diagnosed with cancer doesn’t mean you have to look sick, doesn’t mean you have to walk around and look like you have cancer. My purpose is to make people feel happy about themselves. That feeling makes me happy!”
Slater is a makeover maven enhancing and pushing the boundaries of beauty and hair. Lavette’s skills extends to hair extensions as well as a multitalented makeup artist. Which, also includes professional airbrushing, tanning, contouring and tattoos.
“I also like to do makeup, airbrush makeup. I like completing the whole look! I enjoy taking somebody that doesn’t wear makeup, [when] the hair is boring, and I like to revamp the whole entire look. So, when you see them, it’s like you’re seeing a totally different person.”
The beauty industry is rapidly evolving nowadays. Slater elaborates more on her aspirations and commitment to the industry moving forward while expanding her brand. Her exposure to various popular television shows, and her exceptional experience. We should be expecting to view Ms. Slater on the screen real soon!
“I pride myself on being well-versed and wanting to become greater. My commitment to the industry will always stem from my passion. I currently have great things in the works that I cannot speak on at the moment, but I am definitely moving forward with wonderful things in store. It’s time for me to come from behind the scenes.”
Everybody’s selling hair extensions nowadays, so, from experience and a professional standpoint; Slater speaks from a unique perspective that could possibly improve the quality of brand building.
“Absolutely, there are a lot of individuals nowadays that aren’t licensed stylist, but hey, I do not knock their hustle and drive. I pride myself for maintaining a tunnel vision and being well-versed. If you’re aiming to be the greatest at what you do, you must focus on your own craft and pace. Do not worry what everyone else is doing. However, it is always more professional to take the time and get the correct experience. Therefore, when you get to a professional level, you will be prepared with a professional experience and license. You will be more appealing in a professional manner to clients, as oppose to the next beautician. Take the time to cherish quality of your brand and your gift.”
To be of service to awareness is always a dynamic passion to have. Lavette Slater shares more advice for entrepreneurs pursuing the beauty industry, and where she envisions herself in the next five years.
“My advice for people that’s trying to get into the business is to know what you’re doing. It’s important to know your craft. Know everything about it, and stay current. Don’t just stop learning just because you think you’re really, really good. Learn what you’re doing. Know it, top to bottom. In the next five years, I envision myself in front of the scenes and continuously making my clients feel even greater about themselves.”
“With over 15 years in the beauty industry, I have gained the experience and access needed to build my business and brand; from working behind the scenes on “The View” having my work seen on major television shows; and giving my expert advice to magazines. My true desire and passion has and always will be to help make women feel beautiful.”- Lavette Slater
Written by Camry Brown