Hairbrained Q&A: Cena Jordan, Wella Trend Vision Gold Medal Winner

Providing “a platform for talent to shine,” Wella’s Trend Vision encourages craft hairdressers to harness their creativity. Featuring regional, national and international-level competitions, this industry-specific contest touts three distinct categories for showcasing talent: Color Vision, Creative Vision and Student categories. 

But Trend Vision does more than decipher ability. It stirs excitement, and invites unity, which is something that Hairbrained can really get behind. Read on to discover what the Trend Vision process is like, and hear from this year’s United States Color Division winner, Hairbrained member Cena Jordan.

Q. When did you first hear about Wella’s Trend Vision?

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A. Trend Vision has been on my radar for a while now, though I couldn’t pinpoint the exact moment that I became aware of it. For as long as I can remember, I’ve used the looks created at Trend Vision as a source of behind-the-chair inspiration; I’ve always admired the finalists.   

Q. What was the application process like?

A. Honestly, I didn’t plan to enter at all! My dear friend Stephanie Von Meijer, Founder of ‘No Rest to Success,’ had a photographer scheduled to shoot her entry, and she invited me to join her. She was so generous – she spent a lot of time helping me to refine my vision. Model selection was a little tricky, because I knew I wanted to go for a look that was outside of the box. Luckily, I ended up with a beautiful and really open-minded model – but she had recently been used as a model for NAHA. Because of this, her hair was extremely compromised. It was porous, and it resisted color. Honestly, it wasn’t an ideal situation, and it tested my skills as a hairdresser – particularly when it comes to using the color wheel. In total, I spent 31 hours working on her hair – but I was extremely happy with the finished product. In fact, I think that the challenge made the outcome that much more rewarding.          

Q. How did you conceptualize your winning look?

A. Again, I’d like to give thanks to Stephanie, as she really helped to guide me through this process. I knew that I wanted to create a look that incorporated the color green, and I kept visualizing something that had a woodsy feeling. Stephanie mentioned copper fire, and after some research into it (I’d never heard of it before) – I was obsessed and absolutely fascinated; I had no idea that putting copper metals into a fire could make the flames turn green. I knew that I wanted to use this as a point of color inspiration. As for the cut: Sabrina Meyers Michals, Creative Director of Artistry for Bumble and Bumble, is a huge source of inspiration for me; I really admire her work. Occasionally, she’ll wear a really chic, really modern rendition of ‘the mullet.’ When I started looking, I began to see mullets everywhere! They’re making a comeback of sorts, in an edgy and avant-garde sort of way. I knew that a copper-fire mullet would be the perfect, statement-making piece for my entry.    

Q. The lights were flashing, the audience was watching and the anticipation was palpable: What was going through your head as you waited for the judges to announce your division’s winner – and how did you feel the moment that they announced your name?

A. I was shocked that I was a finalist – but winning the gold? I never thought to imagine that. The application process was so difficult, that I was absolutely prepared for the worst – but in my mind – best-case scenario would have been winning the bronze. Just before stepping onto the stage, I had a moment of sheer panic, and I text my husband, telling him that my look was awful compared to that of the other artists. He reassured me that just being on the stage was an accomplishment – that I should already consider myself a winner. And I knew then that he was right. 

When the announcer said: Cena Jordan! I didn’t even hear her. They had to come and get me and say, “Yes, that’s you!” I feel embarrassed when I watch the videos, but I was really stunned! I hadn’t prepared myself for the prospect of winning. Honestly, I’m still sort of in a state of shock.      

Q. What’s next?

A. I can’t even begin to describe it. I feel a lot of pressure and a lot of excitement, in equal measure – I mean, I’m representing the entirety of the United States! We haven’t been the global winner of this award in 15 years, and that’s shocking to me. I feel determined to refine my look and do what I have to do to win the gold medal on a global level. Wella has given me a mentor to help me to achieve my goals, and I’m just starting the process of absorbing all of the information that I’ll need to compete in Barcelona. But honestly, I’m just so stoked!     

Q. If you could give one piece of advice to 2017 Trend Vision hopefuls, what would it be and why?

A. First, just enter! It doesn’t hurt anything, and it’s a great learning experience. As for advice: Always have a plan B. In hindsight, I think I did well, because I excel at preparing for the worst. Really get familiar with your points of inspiration, and go full throttle – don’t hold back – with those.    

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