My Accomplice: Jen Atkin

The celebrity hairstylist finds method—and much more—in the madness.

Celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin does not have a routine.

Between producing shoots and holding team meetings for her Mane Addicts business, shuttling among high-profile clients (the sisters Kardashian, Sofia Vergara, and Jessica Alba, to name a few) and working in the salon, each day presents a unique set of challenges for the hair guru. Not to mention a whole lot of noise.

But a frenetic pace was a conscious choice for 35-year-old Atkin. “Throughout my career, I’ve definitely had an attitude to say yes to everything,” she says. “And when you say yes to everything, chaos comes.” 

Atkin has humble roots—no pun intended—starting her career in a small town in Utah and working her way up through editorial and runway jobs. Today, she’s in the nascent stages of establishing a style and beauty empire, engaging a rapt audience of nearly 1 million Instagram followers. Years ago, when she found herself at a proverbial fork in the road, at a moment of choosing between a safer, more structured life as a salon stylist and one in which there were significantly more unknowns, she went for the latter. And she hasn't looked back. 

The pure craziness of Atkin’s life is not for everyone—just reference our culture’s proliferation of slow-down, meditate-away-stress, eliminate-the-clutter messaging. And though she relies upon a rock-steady team of associates and assistants (her “Mane Squad,” she says with affection) as well as her husband, director and photographer Mike Rosenthal (her “Man Squad”), to help her “stop and smell the roses,” for Atkin, chaos is “beautiful.”

"Most people tend to run from chaos but I love it,” she says. “I use chaos to fuel me. I use chaos to make me a better version of me.”

Introducing #MyAccomplice, brought to you by smartwater®: It’s that essential thing, person, or ritual— that twist of ingenuity without which the highest-performing people cannot do what they do. Visit our platform to get customized inspiration, identify your accomplice, and share it with the world.