Q&A: Gion Vincent, Taylor Tomasi Hill’s Colorist

Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

After years of declining to identify the colorist of her signature red hair, Taylor Tomasi Hill finally dropped his name during one of her Fashion Week articles for Goop. Gion Vincent, 31, who works at the Mark Garrison Salon on the Upper East Side, has been making Hill's hair its dark red for the last three years.

I booked an appointment with Vincent yesterday with the intention of getting a red-hair makeover — something I’ve actually been considering for a while — with Hill as my inspiration. Unfortunately (or fortunately, in hindsight), he thought my skin was too pink for the shade and predicted it would look terrible. A quick trial with some fake red hair proved his initial assessment to be correct, so now I am a “glamorous blonde with strawberry low-lights.” 

While he colored my hair, I spoke to Vincent about Hill's signature color, how street-style affects his color decisions, and that time her hair turned purple.

So why do you think Hill decided to finally reveal who you were?

She was feeling generous, I guess. It just exploded. I mean, InStyle Germany called me for tips about red hair! For a long time she made us promise not to tell anyone. She had a really great quote a long time ago. She said, “A lot of girls would kill to know who does my hair. You can have my style but you can’t have my red.” It was really cute.

Has her red color changed very much in the last three years?

I’ve changed it a little bit here and there, sometimes when I see picture of her on the street. For a while I saw it kind of photographing a little bit dark around her face. I lightened the formula around the face so that it photographs lighter, because she wears it back a lot. It’s kind of an optical illusion. When it’s pulled back it looks darker than it actually is. I add blonde to her face frame so it doesn’t look dark.

How often does she get touch-ups?

Every two and a half weeks she comes in. She does not like roots and gets refreshed a lot. She likes it really bright and really orange. It took a while to get the formula right because sometimes it would start getting violet-y. We tweaked it here and there.

Have you ever had to deal with a hair-color disaster on her hair?

One time she had it touched up in Italy because she was there for a like a month. It turned purple — it was dark purple. I had given her the product to bring there for her to use and whatever it was that they mixed was not what I gave them. It was … yeah. It was easy to fix, though.

What kind of products does she use?

She uses Joico Color Endure shampoo in between [colorings]. The hair color is I use is Beth Minardi Signature. My boss launched it about a year and a half ago.

Does she get glosses?

Sometimes when she goes on a trip I’ll give her a gloss to mix up in her hotel room if she can’t get here. Glossing is really important. That’s what keeps everything super-vibrant.

Do you ever get really unreasonable color requests from people?

[I had] someone who had been coloring their hair black and wanted to go blonde. It can’t happen in one day. You see people like Christina Aguilera or Lindsay Lohan doing drastic changes seemingly in one day, but it’s not in one day. It’s over many days. They have really short hair and they fill it with tons of extensions and that’s how they’re able to do that.

So what's your most requested color lately?

A lot of red. A lot less platinum. In New York it’s very natural. People like to look like they don’t really color their hair, especially in this neighborhood. I’m getting [requests for] reds, strawberry, and bolder jewel-tones are coming back in. It's all about glamorous.