felitia grace


When talking to fellow creatives, we often wonder: HOW DO THEY DO IT? To prevent Instagram stalking or doom-scrolling to figure out their secret sauces and success stories, we prefer to ask them face-to-face. Today: an unfiltered conversation with FELITIA GRACE, HAIR STYLIST working for Balmain Hair Couture, renowned fashion magazines, and celebrities. Cover photo: Gustave Durin

Also read: Iris Skrami of Renoon: “We need to talk about sustainable values instead of sustainability”


When Model Roz, Winnie Harlow, Tina Kunakey, Jourdan Dunn, and Nadine Abdel Aziz want you to do their hair for significant events, you give it a go. Looking at their pictures, Felitia Grace’s creations were decadently made and simply sensational in their unassuming elegance. What’s left to wish you, one might think? Well, working with Beyoncé, Felitia Grace shares on a Monday afternoon over a Coke at Soho House. Grace doesn’t hide her adoration for the acclaimed singer, wearing a T-shirt with Queen B’s face depicted mainly on it. “I’ve worked with people who’ve worked with her, so I guess I’m getting there,” Grace dreamingly explains. 

It’s hard to believe that only two years ago, Felitia Grace decided to swap her hair salon to become a full-time hairstylist. She decided the best she could do was live her life on her terms. “It made me think about the things that spark joy in life. And having a salon didn’t fit the picture anymore.” A career as a hairstylist did, though. “I’ve done shoots for years, and the creative process draws me in most.” By that time, she gradually became more grateful for the otherwise apparent things in life. Grace emphasizes that waking up, for example, is something to be thankful for. “Don’t wait for big things to happen before appreciating the smaller stuff – the everyday. I know I have yet another day ahead when I wake up – hopefully, I will be in great health. It’s not as obvious as many people think.” Her three boys keep her grounded, too. “I must be a great mom for them. In the end, that’s what life is all about.” 

Felitia Grace


Being grounded doesn’t equal losing sight of creativity or a fantasy world. On the contrary – when chatting with Grace, it becomes clear that there’s a parallel universe rooted in her mind. “I love to work with supernatural influences. I got a free play but a limited budget for a recent shoot when I assisted Eldridge Mullenhof for Mirror Mirror Magzine. I glued several pieces of green hair together and created this sculpture.” When seeing the behind-the-scenes pictures, it is unsurprising that her mood board was centered around a Bonsai tree. “Inspiration can stem from anything. From the sound waves, music brings about emotions, anything. But it’s important to collaborate during shoots since the hair shouldn’t overshadow the concept’s makeup, looks, or other parts. I always look at the lightning before deciding what type of materials to work with.”  

On set and anywhere else in life, Felitia Grace treats people equally. “As anyone should,” she emphasizes. “When I bring assistants, I refer to them as colleagues. I want the entire team to click, not to leave out the younger team members or those who just started. In the end, they do most of the work.” 

Felitia Grace


For the abovementioned shoot, Grace shows an AI image with a wig that seems to be made from insulation foam. She loves using AI for inspiration; this shoot isn’t no exception. However, there are some critical side notes. “Creativity is something inherently human, which machines can’t take over. I think it’s unfair to let a machine do the work – it won’t be as interesting as when something is humanmade.” So, AI enhancing a concept is OK, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the creative concept – after all, the idea should be “manmade.” AI allows the hairstylist to bring her fantasies to life; it can be a great starting point and inspire her to develop things that might seem impossible to others – as is the insulation foam wig. 


Grace is rooted and happy here and now despite future dreams and wishes. “To stay present, I practice gratitude every morning. Due to the boys, I don’t have much time for myself, but a little prayer in the morning sets the tone for the day ahead.” Some people say Grace can be too humble, she admits. “But why shouldn’t I? What’s the point in being cocky?” When chatting with her boyfriend about future success, he sometimes emphasizes she’s “already there,” while she instead focuses on “a future breakthrough.” One thing on her wish list – besides Beyoncé – is to shoot two campaigns in 2024.

When looking back on the past years, Grace is most proud of her collaboration with Lissa Brandon. For Brandon’s Amsterdam Fashion Week presentation, they created a film (“FIVE APPLES DON’T MAKE A PAIR”) for which Grace was responsible for the hair. “The designer fully trusted me. I got a free play to develop hair that suited the film and the concept. Working based on mutual trust and understanding is the most beautiful thing.” Her creations for the film were rooted in emotions – something that, more often than not, forms the start of a project. “Creative work always instills emotions – and others start with it, too. Whether you like something or not, that’s not the point. It’s more about the effect it has on someone. […] I often use emotions when developing a concept as a starting point for my work. What do I want my work to evoke or to relate to? Creative work can be a great storyteller without the involvement of actual words.” 

Besides working with Beyoncé, there’s more to wish for. When asked what she would do when she got free play and an unlimited budget, she smiles. Her idea of getting free play reminds me of the saying, “If I would win the lottery… there would be signs.” She says getting a free pass to do whatever she wants will be wild. “And there would be trees involved.”