From Puerto Rico to The Global Stage: Exclusive Interview with Joel Torres, Master Hairstylist

Article with ideas for nail business names
Table of Content

From the sun-drenched shores of Puerto Rico to the glamorous world of celebrity styling and the thriving realms of social media, Joel Torres has forged an extraordinary path in the hair industry. With each snip of the scissors and every stroke of the brush, he's elevated the art of hairstyling to new heights.

Joel Torres isn't your average hairstylist; he's a creative force reshaping not only hair but also the industry itself. His impressive résumé reads like a fashionista's dream – Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, InStyle – these are some of the stages where he crafts masterpieces with every strand.

His journey is living proof that prioritizing education, perseverance, and patience are key must-haves in the hair industry to succeed. Let's dive into his story and uncover how he navigated his way to an internationally recognized career while staying true to himself, one snip at a time.


Joel Torres: I am originally from Puerto Rico and grew up there. I began my journey as a hairstylist when I was just 12 years old. Initially, I pursued a college degree in architecture, seeking a different direction. I come from a stylist and barber family, and I wanted to try something different. However, I realized that architecture studies were not for me, it was completely different from my idea of what I wanted to do professionally. It was during this time that I decided to return to hairstyling, realizing that it was my true passion and it was in my blood.

I established myself in Frisco, Texas, because I saw better opportunities for my career there. After living in Puerto Rico for many years and gaining experience in Latin America, I yearned for fresh challenges. In 2014, an exciting opportunity arose in Texas, which prompted me to make the significant move to establish my studio in Frisco.


My Puerto Rican background has greatly influenced my hairstyling creativity. For instance, having experience with various hair types, especially curly hair common in the Caribbean, gave me a unique perspective. This allowed me to collaborate with reggaeton artists and work on fashion projects, shaping my work significantly. Additionally, my career is strongly connected to my pride in my Latino heritage, which I find to be a key source of inspiration. Celebrating one's culture can truly enhance creativity and work in amazing ways


You know, one of the challenges I've encountered throughout my career is what I'd call a "setback." It's an issue that's still very much relevant today and, to be honest, it might always be. You see, I've had the privilege of working in the United States, but I've always proudly identified as Hispanic. And with that identity comes a unique set of challenges, particularly in an industry like hairstyling.

I've often felt the unspoken pressure to work twice as hard to prove myself—both as a professional hairstylist and as a Hispanic individual in this field. It's a reality many of us from diverse backgrounds face. But here's the thing: I've never let that deter me. In fact, it's become my greatest source of motivation.

I firmly believe that no one should ever tell me I can't do something. When faced with skepticism or prejudice, I turn to practice, determination, and unwavering commitment to my craft. I practice relentlessly, pushing myself to become not just good but exceptional at what I do. And when I return, I do it doubly well to leave absolutely no doubt in anyone's mind.

In my journey, I've come to view this challenge not as a setback but as my greatest ally. It's a reminder that, as professionals, we have the power to redefine the narrative. We can break through barriers, shatter stereotypes, and prove that our abilities are not defined by our ethnicity or background.

So, I want to share this lesson with all aspiring hairstylists and professionals out there: When you face obstacles, don't be disheartened. Embrace them as opportunities for growth and transformation. View them as stepping stones to becoming the best version of yourself. Remember that challenges, when met with determination and a relentless work ethic, can become the driving force behind your success. It's a mindset that has served me well throughout my career, and I hope it inspires you on your journey too.


My journey in the hairstyling editorial side began as an assistant. I was there to help with tasks like shampooing clients and preparing them for styling. It might not sound glamorous, but it was my first step into the captivating world of creative productions. What's interesting is that these early experiences were unpaid; I was helping out friends in the industry, assisting photographers, and even cutting hair for their families.

Over time, I found myself drawn to magazine projects, including those related to Miss Universe. Working in salons heavily involved in these productions was thrilling. I built strong bonds with my boss and photographers, and soon they were reaching out to me directly for photoshoots. This marked my transition from an assistant to a sought-after stylist, landing opportunities with local Puerto Rican magazines.

One day, an unexpected message changed everything. A photographer asked me to be in Old San Juan at 5 AM for a mysterious but important project. I agreed eagerly, not fully knowing the impact it would have. That project turned out to be a photoshoot for America Vogue, featuring the renowned Puerto Rican model Joan Schultz. This experience opened the door to international work and fueled my desire for larger opportunities, eventually leading me to move to the United States.


During the pandemic, I made a significant shift in my content creation approach. I invested in tools, including a camera, to adapt to the vertical video trend on platforms like Instagram. This allowed me to experiment with different styles, backgrounds, and lighting setups. While I initially found inspiration in videos like Tasty's, I noticed that many were producing similar content, which demotivated me momentarily.

However, after a trip to Mexico, I returned with renewed energy and a fresh perspective. I decided to infuse more of my unique personality into my videos, setting them apart from the rest. Rather than solely focusing on teaching hairstyling techniques, I aimed to make my videos an enjoyable and authentic expression of myself. This shift in approach allowed me to not only create engaging content but also inspire others by showcasing my genuine passion for what I do.

In essence, I discovered that while techniques can be imitated, one's personality and essence are irreplaceable. By embracing my individuality and bringing it into my hairstyling work, I found a renewed sense of purpose in my content creation journey.


I think I might have prioritized my career too much at times. When you're young, you tend to become really focused on your career, and as a result, you can miss out on important moments and neglect your friendships. It's not that I regret it, because everything comes with a price, and I've reached where I am because I dedicated myself to it. So, I wouldn't change anything, but perhaps I'd advise my younger self to achieve your goals and also find some time for yourself, your family, and your friends. It's okay to take a break sometimes, even though it's easy to forget that in the pursuit of success.


First, prioritize learning and skill development. Whether you're a hairstylist, makeup artist, or colorist, invest your time, money, and effort in honing your craft. Strive for continuous improvement, dedicating each year to becoming better at what you do. This commitment will ensure you're well-prepared when career opportunities come knocking.

Second, embrace collaboration as a crucial growth strategy. If your goal is to work with photographers, engage in editorials, or collaborate with artists, start by offering your talents to photographers. Be willing to work without immediate financial compensation. This approach helps you build confidence, trust, and visibility within the industry. Be selective in your collaborations, reaching out to photographers who align with your goals and values. Persistence often leads to opportunities.

Lastly, develop a resilient mindset. Understand that progress may seem gradual at times, but with determination and the right approach, you can navigate the competitive industry successfully. Surround yourself with supportive friends who genuinely celebrate your achievements and aspirations. Recognize and distance yourself from those who bring negativity into your journey, as not everyone is equipped to confront their own insecurities. Choose your confidants wisely, as a supportive network will be your greatest asset as you advance in your career.

Joel Torres' remarkable journey through the world of hairstyling is a vivid reflection of his unyielding passion and unwavering determination. From his roots in Puerto Rico to reaching the highest echelons of the hairstyling industry, his story is a true embodiment of inspiration. With his limitless creativity, he has not only elevated the art of hairstyling but also reshaped the very landscape of the industry.

Beyond his hairstyling journey, Joel's career represents a narrative of authentic self-expression. From gracing the pages of Vogue to celebrating his deep connection with his Latino heritage, he has demonstrated that authenticity can be the cornerstone of remarkable success. He's shown us that challenges can be transformed into stepping stones, all while infusing his unique personality into his craft. In essence, Joel Torres is more than a hairstylist; he's a visionary artist continually reshaping the industry.

His journey serves as an enduring source of motivation for all who aspire to follow their true passion and embrace their distinct path to greatness. 

Sign up for our newsletter

Try Booksy and check how the online appointment calendar works