Artist Spotlight: Mark Dolan

Written by SalonCentric TeamMay 7, 2024

Read time 5 min

Mark Dolan

As the Creative Director for L’ANZA Healing Haircare, Mark Dolan’s (@markdolan2) beauty journey has taken him around the world, and then some. Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Mark was adopted at age four and has called Minneapolis home since. After studying psychology at the University of Minnesota, Mark’s passion for architecture and fashion led him to the world of hairdressing. He started his professional career in 2006 after graduating from the Aveda Institute, consistently refining his artistry in color, cut and styling while travelling as a platform artist and educator.

With a unique eye for design and flawless technical skills, Mark has racked up the accolades: two-time North American Hairstyling Award (NAHA) finalist, 2016 Behind The Chair #ONESHOT Editorial Category winner, multiple BTC #ONESHOT nominations all the while playing a key role in shaping L’ANZA’s photoshoots, developing the brand’s global education development and leading L’ANZA’s B.I.G. Event.

SalonCentric: Who in the industry would you send a love note to for having an impact on your career?

Mark Dolan: "Matt Swinney. He has been my boss at the salon from day one, and also my best friend since I began in the industry. I will forever be grateful for his guidance and mentorship. We now sit side-by-side at the salon as creative directors for different brands and still shoot the shit as buds and equals supporting each other. It's pretty damn cool and something I will never take for granted."

SC: Have you ever experienced an “I’ve made it!” moment in your career?

MD: "My second nomination for NAHA was an 'I'm not a one-hit wonder' moment."

SC: Food, like language, serves as a vehicle for expressing culture. We are often introduced to a culture through its food. If you were sitting down for a meal with a fellow beauty professional unfamiliar with your heritage, what dish would you share?

MD: "This question was made for me. I would say banchan which are side dishes that accompany Korean main dishes. They give balance and sometimes, a well-deserved palate change-up. It's sometimes a new flavor change-up that gives new light to an old idea."