Hairbrained Q&A with Patty Gibbons

At Hairbrained, our team knows that there’s nothing like the power of positive thinking to get you excited about reaching to achieve your goals. With that in mind, we want to know: “What inspires you?” Whether its time spent in the great outdoors, popular culture, fashion, music, or architecture – we want to hear from you; what drives you to go after your dreams?

This week, we want to emphasize that Hairbrained is about so much more than just image sharing. It’s a great place for advice and discussion, too! For this reason, we’d like to shine the light onto Hairbrained’s Career and Technical Host, Patty Gibbons.

Q. You’re a Hairbrained community host. But unlike hosts that specialize in a particular aspect of their craft (cutting, coloring, styling or education) you specialize in community building. How did you get this position?

A. I’m a full time hairdresser with over 30 years of experience. For the past five years, I’ve been involved with several discussion forums, including Hairbrained. I love giving advice, doing research, and passing on my knowledge. A few months ago, Gerard contacted me and asked if I would be interested in hosting the career and technical advice section of the new Hairbrained site and corresponding app. I of course said yes, and I’m so happy to be further involved! I’ve been having a great time meeting the new members, creating polls and helping with any questions that come my way.

Q. How do you define community, and what makes the Hairbrained community so special?

A. I look at community as a collective mindset, a group of people who share a common viewpoint and like-minded approach. Hairbrained has always been a place for hairdressers who strive for excellence, and love to share their work with one another. This serves to elevate the group's perception, and helps to push the boundaries of the collective. Rather than giving advice on how to best achieve the final outcome, my contribution to Hairbrained focuses on developing a positive work ethic and the work experience

Q. What inspires you to nurture the growth of the next generation? Did you have mentors early on who filled this role for you?

A. Like most of the hosts and contributors on Hairbrained, I feel a responsibility to the next generation of hairdressers. I want to keep them striving to improve, ultimately helping them to reach their personal best. I think it's important to set the bar high.  

I remember when I was in my 20s; I thought I knew how to do everything. Luckily, the company that I worked for had a very close relationship with Aveda, and Horst Rechelbacher (the founder of Aveda) would often visit to give classes and lectures. My co-worker Jacquie and I were chosen to assist Horst backstage for a number of presentations. Those times were very transformative for me. I learned so much from him, because he was so generous with his technical knowledge. In fact, it wasn’t uncommon for Horst to make me do things over until he was satisfied with the end result, which trained my eye to see a more refined finish. What he taught me about integrity has stayed with me all these years and I often think of Horst's generosity.

I’ve always wanted to inspire my younger colleagues in the same way, to give back to my community.

Q. If you could give one piece of advice to artists who are just starting out, what would it be?

A. If you love what you do, put all of your effort into developing your skill, and never stop learning.

Q. What’s your favorite quote?

A. Don't dream it, be it. - R. O'Brien

Here’s a link to over 500 discussions that Patty has contributed to on Hairbrained since 2009.

About: Hairbrained is a community of hairdressers that share a deep passion and desire to celebrate the craft of hairdressing, online socially.The community was founded by two hairdressers, Randy Taylor, a photographer / hairdresser; and Gerard Scarpaci, a world-class educator/platform artist. Both have love for our industry; its people, and the craft of hairdressing. For more information visit