‘People watch for the weird looks’

Stella Cini is of the islands’ most prolific content creators, focusing on over-the-top hair transformations that have taken her from trying out bold colours to shaving it all off.
Stella Cini

Describe your social media game: I aim to capture people’s attention. I made it my career to try bold and captivating hair changes, but I like doing so in an inviting and carefree manner. I love to present my work as hair choices without consequences; a chance to reconstruct your appearance and image in a way you enjoy. I produce lengthy, in-depth videos on my YouTube channel, which is where my most connected and engaged audience lies, and then shorter, more playful and flirty videos on my Instagram and TikTok pages.

Your followers tend to be: Predominantly US-based across all platforms, which is fascinating. But what’s even more fascinating is the age group that I attract: 25- to 34-year-olds. I don’t fall into that group myself, so it’s interesting to see. This, rather obviously, is an all-female audience. My viewers tend to be individuals who love watching bold and whimsical hair transformations, almost living their colourful self through me. In fact, they often tell me they watch my content to relax and disengage. I then do have many people who will reach out with their own wild and exciting hair transformation, which makes this all so meaningful. Overall, I think most of my viewers are free spirited, liberal, open individuals, who love the art of a good makeover.

What made you take up such a career? I took it up accidentally and didn’t aim to build a career out of it, which is sometimes the best way to stumble into a job. I found a deep interest in the world of hair and styling at 13 and started recreating a lot of what I was seeing but, at the same time, suffered massively from social anxiety. That meant that any time someone asked me how I created a particular style, I would stutter and give a disastrous answer. So, it was easier to film the look and just guide them to the style on YouTube. I managed to pick up viewers and a following and, 10 years later, I’m still doing it, but on a much bigger scale. It is a very blessed thing to be able to say, but I love my job because it doesn’t feel like work. I get to create looks as I wish, I get to work with top, leading hair brands, and I get to experiment on my own and share that globally.

What do you believe is the role of an influencer? Purely to educate and inspire. I see my role as that of a tester: I try out something new, report what my experience was (whether good, bad, or neutral), and guide people through the process should they wish to try it out for themselves. I don’t actually believe we should actively try to influence people into trying anything, but rather use our platforms to educate on what we know and inspire with what we can.

Why do you believe your content is relatable? I don’t know if my aim is to be relatable: many people watch my content because I try all the weird and intriguing hair looks and challenges that they may not be comfortable trying on themselves. I try to showcase that in a manner that isn’t egoistic or all-assuming; I’m not here to show off or boast, but rather have fun and take you along the journey with me. 

Who do you follow online, and why? Creatives and happy people. I’ve made it a point to only fill my social feed with people or content that bring me joy: a lot of it is really stellar hair content, but there’s also humour, art, animal content, friends, and people who love life and show it. 

TikTok – evil or amazing? Why? Amazing! It is the YouTube of this generation because it is a platform where people are still willing to share themselves in their most honest forms, and I love it. It’s not yet terribly saturated with ads, and even those are done so organically. I have some really weird content on my FYP (For You Page), but I love it.

I want to up my social media game. What do I do? Post like you’re speaking to a friend of a friend. You don’t know these people too well yet, but you can assume you’ll run into them again, so you’re always showing more and more of your personality while being fun, friendly, educating, whatever. 

How often do you post? Twice a week on YouTube and daily on Instagram/TikTok.

Can spontaneity and influencer co-exist? I believe so. Spontaneity is what births good content and even those who’ve strategised and pre-planned their content for the next year should leave space for inspiration to just hit them out of nowhere.

Any nasty stalker stories? No. I have the best, best, best audience and followers, who do genuinely keep it all about the hair. I do make it, however, a strict point to never post where I am and keep details private.

Follow Stella Cini on Instagram on @stellacini. For more Sunday Circle features check out this Q&A with Marie Claire Portelli and an interview with Raphael Vella.

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