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Celebrity Hairdresser: Nelson Chan


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Voted the best hair colorist by InStyle and Allure Magazines, Master Colorist Nelson Chan is a highly sought-after hair color pro by those who work in front of the camera as well as behind the scenes in film and television. The brilliant Nelson is a rising star in the salon industry.

For a young colorist still in his 20s, he has already artfully “painted” the tresses of many Hollywood producers, actresses, newscasters, makeup artists, hairdressers and stylists.

Nelson was born and raised in Hong Kong, and immigrated to the United States as a teenager in the early 90s. He chose to study cosmetology, graduating from Citrus College in Los Angeles.

Shortly afterwards, he made hair coloring his specialty, and in 1995 began a rewarding two-year apprenticeship with renowned colorist Stuart Gavert. Chan subsequently became a colorist at Gavert Atelier salon until moving to Estetica salon in Beverly Hills in early 2003.

Nelson currently has his own salon called Nelson J in Beverly Hills (1-310-274-1553).

As a young apprentice working with the top names in Beverly Hills, Chan mastered coloring by intertwining the client's personality with hues that complemented their mood, lifestyle, or movie role.

Nelson believes "a woman should be true to herself but her hair color can be an expression of what's going on in her life."

Since coming into his own as a professional colorist and building up a solid clientele, Chan has pursued innovative techniques in his field, including the new “dimensional hair coloring,” which involves layering multiple sections of colors to create greater depth in hair, sometimes placing darker colors on top of lighter ones.

Kirsten Storms "Tiger Cruise" Premiere 07-27-04 All Rights Reserved.

He also employs the newest glosses, ionic conditioners and hair retexturizers from Asia to make hair silky soft, straight and manageable. In terms of palette, he creates unusual, cutting-edge hues for blondes and brunettes, such as vanilla blonde and ruby brown.

Chan employs these innovative and unusual techniques on his edgy clientele, and even takes his work out of the salon straight to the sets of young Hollywood’s hottest TV shows, including “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “American Dreams,” “That 70’s show” and “The King of Queens.”

Chan attributes much of his success to his knowledge of photography, which helps him guide his clients’ hair color choices when they show him pictures of how they desire to appear.

Having photographed extensively, he is able to formulate colors so that they can appear to be the same as the color in print, or else he helps the client understand how both the camera and the process of reproduction may dramatically alter hair color, and thus present a color that may look totally different from how it appears when reproduced.

Being a master at mixing palettes, Chan also manipulates colors so that hair appears stronger and bolder when clients appear on camera.

Celebrity Clients

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Nelson's celebrity clients include Maggie Q, Devon Aoki, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Heather Graham and Alicia Silverstone.

Nelson started working with actress Maggie Q when she got the part in Mission Impossible III. Nelson colored Maggie Q's hair for the movie as well as for the MI III premiere. He also created fabulous color for her role in the movie Balls of Fury.

To suit her character in the movie Nelson reported that he put both rich chocolate brown highlights intermixed with a layer of light sandy brown on her natural dark hair. The result was spectacular dimension and shine which brought out her skin tone on camera.

Long time client Devon Aoki (2 Fast 2 Furious) had the talented hair artist color her hair dark for "Rogue". After the movie wrapped, he colored the lovely actress back to blonde for the Japanese Levi's commercial and for Sin City 2.

When Sarah Michelle Gellar filmed "The Grudge 2" he colored her hair lighter. He also colored the former Buffy star's hair for Southland Tales.

His other celebrity clients have included:

Farah Fath, Kirsten Storms, Leah Remini, Lauren Koslow (Days Of Our Lives), Rick Hearst, Bonnie Summerville, Jacquline Obradors, Leslie Mann (Knocked Up), Andy Dick, Christina Applegate, Paula Abdul (American Idol), Michelle Trachtenberg, Emile Hirsch, Victor Rasuk, John Robinson.


Despite having already accomplished so much in the salon and enjoying every minute of his craft, Chan hopes his future may eventually let him divide his time between the salon and outside, where he can spend more time on the set and pursue more session work.

To make an appointment with this great hair master check out the contact information below:

NELSON J SALON AND SPA 350 N. Bedford Dr. Beverly Hills, CA 90210 Phone: 1-310-274-1553

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