Queer Hair, Don’t Care
Charlie le Mindu has taken the traditional craft of beautician and elevated it to new heights—both literally and metaphorically. Aesthetically grandiose and structurally inconceivable, his wigs embody the definition of that age-old Southern belle axiom, The bigger the hair, the closer to god. Le Mindu is the mastermind behind such avant garde hairdos as the triangular afro and the Cousin It ensemble, fearlessly sported by Lady Gaga on multiple occasions. Pieces of weave are magically transformed into hairy lips, braided burqas, and extension-laden gas masks and sent down the runway at his own haute coiffure shows. To all appearances, le Mindu’s conceptual work is the lovechild between couture and punk sensibilities, passed down from great minds like Margiela, Yamamoto, and Watanabe. Like John Waters’ Hairspray on acid, the stylist’s work is part beehive on steroids, part wearable art, slowly changing the definition of what it means to be a hairdresser. But more importantly, his larger than life coiffed creations are changing the way we want to wear our hair. Le Mindu is more than a simple cosmetologist, he is a sculptor of hair dreams, perfectly tailored to fit the surreal world of his imagination.
How did you become interested in hairdressing? Who was your first test subject and what were the results?
I got interested in hairdressing when I first saw my mum’s legs! I knew I had to become a hairdresser. My first guinea pig was my brother. I cut his ears.
What is it about hair as an artistic medium that attracts you?
I love the fact that you can make someone beautiful or ugly in two seconds!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get inspiration from different things. I’m really inspired by John Waters, but a lot by sci-fi movies as well. I’m more of a music person than a fashion person.
In your opinion, what is the future of hairdressing?
Wigs, of course, if you ask me! But if I have to follow the news and look around me and see how the world evolution goes, I’ll say no hair.
What is the process like going from concept to execution for one of your haute couture pieces?
It’s like being a designer: I draw, I try, then I choose colors and test. Then, when it’s good, I just make a lot more!
What projects are you currently working on and what’s next?
Projects are always secret, but my new haute couture collection is very important this time for me, as I’m showing a new color.
Who would be your dream person to put in one of your hair creations?
Cher—she has the best wig collection ever! She would be my perfect client.
What does “good hair” mean to you?
For me good hair comes first with the quality. It’s so important to have amazing quality if you want a nice hair style. That is why I work with Hairdreams.
What is your WILD Wish?
I wish animals could speak.