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Articles > Celebrity Styling > Celeb Stylist Cesar DeLeon Ramirez Spills His Secrets
July 26, 2021

Celeb Stylist Cesar DeLeon Ramirez Spills His Secrets

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How Cesar DeLeon Ramirez Built His Celeb Clientele

Ciara. Demi Lovato. Christina Aguilera. The Kardashian-Jenners. Winnie Harlow. Bebe Rexha.

 

Cesar DeLeon Ramirez (@cesar4styles) is the artist behind ALL these celebs’ most iconic looks…but there was a time when he couldn’t reveal his most transformational expertise: Wigs. Now the wig master, celeb hairdresser and Paul Mitchell Brand Ambassador is sharing his wig secrets and how he became a celeb styling powerhouse in this BTC exclusive interview!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by César DeLeön Ramîrez (@cesar4styles)

 

“All clients ever want is someone to listen to them.”

Growing up in his family’s salons in Puerto Rico and New York, Cesar spent his childhood staring at posters of the “It” celebs of the ’70s and ’80s. “I didn’t know it at the time, but I was studying the trendy hair styles in those photos,” he said. “Till this day I believe that was my biggest inspiration towards pursuing my career.”

 

His love of celebrity style wasn’t the only interest he cultivated during these years. “The salon was fully employed with all types of amazing eccentric creatives. My own ambiguous LGBTQ family of sorts,” he shared. “I feel blessed to have had exposure at a super young age to members of my community, especially in the trans community, because it taught me to be open and accepting of all people plus the knowledge in diversity of all hair types.”

 

Fast forward to his training at Dop Dop Salon in NYC’s Soho. After learning from Michelle Caruso, Orlando Pita, Julien d’Ys, Guido, Ruth Roche and Jo Blackwell-Preston, Cesar was working as Creative Director for Dop Dop when Elizabeth Berkley (known for her iconic roles in Saved by the Bell and Showgirls) came in for a blowout.

 

“She was facing a hair crisis and I remember making her feel safe and comfortable and at ease,” Cesar said. “All clients ever want is someone to listen to them, and that has always been my strong suit. We clicked immediately, and from that point on I knew I wanted to focus on celebrity work.”

 

“The client is the star, the focus is on them and your energy must be positive.”

You don’t get a client roster like Cesar’s without establishing trust. “Honoring the client” is a longtime lesson Cesar has nurtured through his career, made especially important when working with high-caliber clients.

 

“I’ve always believed that when you enter the room, the client is the star, the focus is on them and your energy must stay positive,” he said. “No matter what is happening in my life, it stays at the door. I know that that has truly allowed me to connect with my clients and has created a safe space for them.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by César DeLeön Ramîrez (@cesar4styles)

 

There’s another layer to working with celebs—your work is photographed constantly and can become a trend overnight. A strong client bond is what’s helped Cesar and Ciara keep pushing the envelope.

 

“Ciara is truly my muse. We have been rocking for 13 years at this point and the secret is that we are always talking about trends,” he said. “I love to try new things and she loves me to try new things on her. She is very specific about what she likes and dislikes, so it actually helps me because I know what boundaries to create from. I think the worst feeling for me is when a client has no idea what they want, only because that lack of communication can leave me very uninspired. I’m always inspired by Ciara. She can make any lewk look incredible.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
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“It was always hush hush because our job as a stylist was to create a fantasy and an illusion.”

As hairdressers, we know SO many celebs must be rocking units or extensions for the majority of their red carpet looks…but for a long time, this was an industry secret. And for Cesar, that meant developing exceptional wig techniques—and then having to keep his talent under wraps from the consumer world.

 

“I have been working with wigs for over 15 years. It was always a hush hush because our job as stylist was to create a fantasy and an illusion. I loved that aspect, but today the industry is different since we started to make wigs mainstream in the music world,” he said.

 

Yep, the secret’s out—and wigs are exploding in popularity. The global hair wigs and extension market is estimated to be a $10 billion+ business by 2023.

 

“Once music artists started revealing the secret to having perfect hair and extreme hair changes, the world slowly started to want the same, despite the taboos,” Cesar said.  “It has now created an entire new product in the beauty retail space.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
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“I make sure all my clients are on a good regimen.”

It’s crucial to help your clients care for their natural hair underneath their wigs—Cesar calls this is “biggest priority.”

 

“I make sure all my clients are on a good regimen: shampoo and condition hair at a minimum once a week, hair trims every 6-8 weeks, only the best hair care and hair treatments like those by Paul Mitchell,” he said. “Scalp care is most important, so proper scalp maintenance is a must, too.”

 

A few of his Paul Mitchell favorites are:

 

Cesar’s longtime relationship with Winnie Harlow, supermodel and Global Ambassador of Paul Mitchell, gives him ample opportunity to experiment with wigs for the “style chameleon.” He created both of these wig looks for the #WinniexPM campaign.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by César DeLeön Ramîrez (@cesar4styles)

 

“Winnie really wanted me to do a pixie on her using a wig, and I thought it would be the perfect look for our campaign. The platinum blonde color really took it to the edge and totally transformed her. It was also important for this look to have a piecey texture, so being able to use the right products were key,” Cesar said. “The product that pulled it together was Paul Mitchell Spray Wax. I sprayed it in my hand and ran it through her hair, then went in with my fingers for that piecey look.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by César DeLeön Ramîrez (@cesar4styles)

 

“The curly hair look is by far one of my favorite looks I’ve ever done on her. It is so sexy and voluminous and playful. Using the Paul Mitchell Express Ion Unclipped 3-in-1 Ceramic Curling Iron’s .75” styling cone made it so effortless to get those perfect, tight curls. I loved adding this look to the campaign because it really shows how diverse Winnie can be with her style.”

 

If you’re taking steps to learn about wigs, here’s some of Cesar’s advice:

 

  • Train with a wig pro. 
  • Learn how to recognize a well-made wig versus a poorly made wig. 
  • Learn about hair quality and construction.
  • Practice a very strong and flat wig prep. 
  • Learn about proper adhesive, application, and care and maintenance.

 

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