TikTok hair icon Brad Mondo is plotting his world domination

Mondo also took its subscribers offline in 2019 with the launch of Xmondo, a line of styling and coloring products whose mission is to challenge the non-inclusive aspects of hair industry norms. Mondo discusses online fame, growing up in the Bay State and why DIY hair is here to stay. .

Did your upbringing in New England shape your career?

My upbringing in New England was cute. I think it was nice growing up in a small town. I got to experience small town life, which kind of made me want to diversify and be around more culture and different people. I liked having been able to gain this experience before moving [New York].

Has someone in your home community inspired you to become who you are today?

My dad was one of my biggest supporters and he’s also a hairdresser. He had a salon in Wellesley – now located in Natick called Jesamondo – and he definitely shaped my career. I was able to work in salons and learn from him. My dad taught me how to color my hair and how to use a straightener and curl my hair. And many of the women in that show also shaped who I am today. They really introduced me to the art of creating art through hair color.

Hairdressing is an art form; how do you see your personal expression and identity reflected in your profession?

I’m definitely more of the pissed off type. So I always like to create cool and punky looks. At the beginning of my career, it was also very influenced by where I lived. You haven’t really seen a lot of people walking around with super punky haircuts in New England, and when I moved to New York, that adjusted my opinions and I liked that more grungy style.

Do you think you influenced the tendency for people to continue to take their style choices into their own hands – even after the lockdown and after the lifting of many restrictions that kept salons closed?

I think I definitely had some sort of influence. Some of my most popular videos are on how to cut their hair and I think a lot of people follow these tutorials and try something new. It’s really cool that I can kind of be a part of this experience, of someone cutting all their hair for the first time or coloring it a bright color. I really feel like people have taken more risks when it comes to hair. I think the stigma of coloring your hair has changed.

How did becoming a social media personality intersect with your career as a hairstylist?

Any hairstylist who isn’t on social media is doing themselves a disservice. It’s so important. It’s been super vital for me to be known as someone who sort of predicts the future of hair. It’s so powerful and the fact that I can influence someone to take a leap of faith and do something new is truly amazing. It allowed me to reach so many people.

Tell me about the product line and your mission with the brand.

Our mission is to create innovative products that are inclusive for everyone. Growing up and working in my dad’s salon, there were so many different product lines and you would always see the same kind of models on the ad, always a white woman with blonde hair. I haven’t seen anyone like me portrayed. Nor have I seen men in general depicted; it was always very genre-specific. I wanted to create a product that didn’t feel gendered.

What is one thing you wish you could tell everyone about hairstyles?

You must use the product. The product can change your hair so much and that’s another reason I’m so passionate about it. Finding the right product for you is also an important thing – experimenting, seeing what your hair responds well to. I also think people overdo their hair. Many people have a beautiful natural texture and they just need the right products to show off their natural texture.

What are your goals for the year?

World domination. No, I really want to focus more on my social platforms this year. Dive more into the world of TikTok and create more content for people. I’m really focused on innovation next year, as well as creating products like no one has seen before.

Eloisa de Farias is a freelance writer and can be contacted at eloisadefarias1@gmail.com.

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