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Johnny Wright Biography

Johnny Wright Biography Headshot

Born and raised in Chicago, Wright’s career in beauty started at an early age. It was his grandmother – who was a working stylist and colorist until she was 91 – who first took notice of his fascination with her vocation as a toddler. “She knew I was going to be a hair stylist. I always wanted to comb her hair, it was a spiritual thing that bonded me to her. She recognized my passion,” says Wright.

Establishing his own hair business at the precocious age of 12, Wright had grown his client base to hundreds of friends and classmates by the time he was in high school. After graduating, Wright knew his future was sealed and he wanted nothing else but to create beautiful, stylish hairstyles. It was while he was attending beauty college that he made his initial breakthrough in the industry as a result of working for the Ebony Fashion Fair. Even at his young age, he soon become one of the industry’s most sought after hairstylists.

In 2002, Wright began working with L’Oreal where he stayed for 16 years, moving from technical consultant and platform artist to lead educator and then to artistic style director. In 2007, Wright moved to Los Angeles to work at the esteemed Frédéric Fekkai salon, and to pursue a styling career in television and film.

It was an earlier event in 2007 that caused Wright’s career to become truly a part of history. President Obama had just announced his campaign, and an opportunity arose for Wright to style First Lady Michelle Obama for an Essence photo-shoot. They hit it off, and as she traveled to Los Angeles for television appearances, Wright continued to style her. After working with the First Lady for the Democratic National Convention in 2008 and at a Vogue cover-shoot in 2009, the First Lady asked Wright to move to D.C. to be her personal hairstylist. Wright maintained this role through both terms and his work with the First Lady was seen around the world as she evolved into one of America’s most beloved style icons.

Wright traveled with the First Family to over 40 countries around the globe. “I’ve seen beauty all over the world and what I learned is that everyone is searching for themselves and wants to be accepted,” explains Wright. “We are in this together and if you are willing to be open you can make a connection to others that you might think are very different from you. Sometimes all it takes is the simple act of saying hello.”

Wright’s client list includes Queen Latifa, Kerry Washington, Samira Wiley, Tamron Hall, Regina King, Karrueche Tran, Reese Witherspoon, Vivica A. Fox, Yvette Nicoele Brown, Sherri Shepherd, Naturi Naughton, Vanessa Williams, Lauren London, LisaRaye, Maxine Waters, Janelle Monae, Syleena Johnson, Shaun Robinson, and Candace Bushnell.

“How a woman wears her hair tells you a lot about her and how they want to present themselves, even before you hear her speak,” says Wright. “Beyond that first impression, for me, it is all about connecting. It is about getting to know them, how they live their life and how they walk their walk. I want to hear their story – whether she is sexy, adventurous or conservative – I want to be able to help her tell her story. When I go to work, my cuts are very precise and as a result they grow out beautifully. They communicate quality and refinement.”

In addition, Wright has lent his talents to the fashion world, creating red carpet and runway looks, as well as providing red carpet commentary for numerous news outlets. Most recently, Wright has moved back to Los Angeles, where he is simultaneously working to establish his own university and agency so as to further his commitment to mentoring and developing new talent across the beauty industry.

Wright’s work has appeared on numerous covers and in major national and international publications including Glamour, Essence, Vogue Italia, Ebony, Time, InStyle, Parade, and People, among many, many others. Committed to education and encouraging young talent, Wright served as a mentor for stylists nationwide in the first ever mentorship initiative, “Make Me A Master Stylist” and continues to mentor up and coming artists. Wright explains, “I am passionate about encouraging stylists to realize what’s beyond the chair and showing them how far their hands can take them.”

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