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A Style Icon on the Art of Hair Color and Pet Parenting

Career: Artist and Color Expert
Location: New York City
Who’s your Fred?: Pablo

Sean Godard is a Redken artist and color expert known for his vibrant and dynamic work. His creations often evoke a sense of movement and radiant energy, primarily through long-locked looks and chromatically intriguing palettes. Sean emphasizes strategic color placement over simple “shock and awe,” working in sleek high and low tones that interact with light and motion.

Sean, a member of the Ulta Beauty Pro Team, is also a three-time NAHA nominee and the winner of the 2022 Hair Colorist of the Year accolade. Sean’s work can be seen in fashion magazines, on popular television, and even worn by musical performers like Shirley Manson of Garbage.

We sat down with Sean to learn about his unique experience shaping jaw-dropping looks, finding inspiration in through his travels around the world, and pet parenting.

Fred: Hi, Sean, thank you for taking the time to talk with us today. The motifs in your work include themes like dynamism and fluidity, especially in projects like “Spectral Infusion” and “Hue-Beautiful.” Do these creations draw from any specific experiences, like your globetrotting lifestyle?

Sean: Travelling the world provides inspiration, but my ideas can come from literally anywhere. I could find myself transfixed by people walking on the street, a piece of art in a museum, an inspiration I found online, or something on the runway. I take all these ideas and combine them into the final looks.

My upcoming collection is inspired by the work of Hajime Sorayama, a Japanese artist renowned for his vintage style of animating the future.

Fred: How has working with notable brands like Redken and Ulta influenced your approach to hairstyling? 

Sean: Working with these brands helped me gain the exposure and reach to be a global force in all things hair fashion. It’s a classic case of connections leading to more opportunities, and by partnering with them, I have met so many outstanding artists.

But the best part of being in a community of such talented professionals is that we love to teach and help each other. Like they say, “You are only as strong as your team.”

Fred: Speaking of being recognized as an expert in your field, you’ve been featured in editorial spreads and fashion week stages globally. How do these platforms challenge your creativity? What is your favorite part about them?

Sean: I love making the idea on paper come to life. In the universe of hair and beauty, it’s all about telling the whole story. It’s one of my favorite parts of these jobs. 

When I discuss and plan with other artists, I develop a look that has never been created before. Working hand-in-hand with the photographer, makeup, and wardrobe teams to achieve that vision is incredibly satisfying.

Fred: How do you balance your professional life and spending quality time with Pablo? Do you ever bring Pablo to your job locations.

Sean: My responsibilities can be demanding, but Pablo joins me at many jobs. At most photo studios, they welcome animals. Sometimes there are multiple dogs on set! So, he definitely comes along to provide support.

I’m convinced he comes for the free photos from the professional photographer… because, like, who can resist a cute pup?!

Fred: Can you describe a typical outing in New York with Pablo? What are some of your favorite spots to visit together?

Sean: We love to hit the parks in Brooklyn, shop the local pet boutiques for the latest treats, or take the train to the city to meet some of his bougie city pals. Pablo adores train rides and travel. He started joining me as a puppy with his Fred bag, and I took him everywhere I went.

He was a COVID baby, eventually the world would get moving again and I wanted him to be comfortable on airplanes, hopping on trains, and always being on the move.

Fred: Would you say that Pablo inspires your work? 

Sean: Well, he inspires me to keep working… because—let’s be honest—Frenchies are expensive! (Sean chuckles)

Fred: You’ve worked with countless fashion icons and celebrities in your career, from Emma Stone to Shirley Manson. Who is one celeb you’d love to style that you haven’t met?

Sean: There are so many. I’m a huge Mariah fan, so that would be a personal goal. And I already know who does her hair, my friend Tracey. So, maybe one day I’ll get the call to fill in for her. Fingers crossed! Mariah, if you are reading this, hit me up! 

Fred: As someone who has made remarkable strides in the hairstyling industry, what advice would you offer to budding stylists looking to make their mark?

Sean: There are two things I would tell anyone trying to make it in this industry. One: never stop learning. In the world of beauty, everything changes weekly. So, keep a growth mindset, ask people to teach you, and learn the newest techniques.

Second, to be the best you have to surround yourself with the best. Being around other creative, like-minded people is vital to keep me motivated and inspired.

Fred: Do you have any existing projects or collaborations on the horizon that you can share with us?

Sean: I’m a global educator for Redken, and I travel to help stylists learn new methods and stay on their A-game. I’m about to embark on a two-week tour of Canada, and then I’m off to Sweden for hands-on classes and MainStage presentations. Unfortunately, Pablo has to sit this one out with his other dad. (Sean laughs)

Fred: And, finally, a question for your Fred! Pablo, what’s your favorite thing to do when Sean comes home from a long day of shaping breathtaking hairstyles?

Sean: First thing: kisses. Second, I drag out every single toy I own. Then I fall asleep on top of Sean so he can’t move.

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