• Photographer: Vineta Grube
  • Photographer: Vineta Grube
  • Photographer: Vineta Grube
  • Photographer: Vineta Grube
  • Photographer: Vineta Grube

"Grunge Chic"

It's all about the art of transformation for Umbrella Salon stylist Nathan Nguyen - and his approach to hair has fostered a budding editorial career for international Elle, Modern Salon and more. He references music, art, nature and mid-century styles for his work at Umbrella, where he's becoming a go-to stylist in San Jose, California.

Here, Nathan reveals his fail-safe hair product, how Umbrella stylists revived the grunge era for the shoot, and how he and the team created the looks on-set.

What was the inspiration for the shoot, and how long did it take to come up with the idea?

We took a current approach to the ‘90s grunge-music scene. The concept and idea development took about a week.

Was the concept a collaboration among the whole Umbrella team or more of an individual project?

A team effort, with individual concepts using four models with six different looks.

What mood were you going for?

Natural. Lived-in.

What drew you to your model?

The models’ carefree attitude and striking good looks.

What music was playing on the set?

The Black Keys, Nirvana and Interpol.

What products did you use?

I applied Crème for Style from roots to ends and allowed the hair to air dry…then finished with Imperméable Anti-Humidity Spray.

Any memorable moments?

Transforming a group of ordinary males and giving them each a distinct style and persona.

Do you have a fail-safe product that you always rely on for your shoots?

Imperméable, due to its versatility.


Hair by Nathan Nguyen, stylist for Umbrella Salon; Lisa Nguyen, stylist for Umbrella Salon; Khoi Quan, stylist for Umbrella Salon; and Kien Hoang, co-founder of Umbrella Salon.

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