Jay Downing started doing hair on a recommendation by his father who was an artist and teacher. As a sculpture major in college, Jay struggled to find the balance between juggling a full curriculum and expressing himself through his artwork. After dropping out of school, he had multiple jobs that seemed to lead him nowhere.
In 2003, Jay enrolled in the cosmetology program at The Brown Aveda Institute in Cleveland, Ohio. He was instantly immersed in the lifestyle of a hairstylist. His peers voted for him for class Vice President, as Jay excelled in both cutting and coloring, but ultimately it was creating new shapes in hair that he became passionate about.
In 2004 Jay was selected to attend the TSA Beacon Symposium in San Francisco. During the ceremonies, he was presented with the award for National Cosmetology Student of the Year. That night, he got to meet Vidal Sassoon.
Jay had an apprenticeship with some of the industry’s top stylists including Ken Novak, Holly Brown, and NAHA winner Kim Lane. His work has been featured in multiple fashion shows and he has been selected as a part of the judging panel for numerous awards and scholarship events. His innate ability to visualize a hairstyle keeps Jay focused on more endeavors with Hattori Hanzo as an artist.