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, Hairbrained wants to shine the spotlight on one of our ‘Top Members:’ Educator, craft hairdresser and photographer, Edna Lugo. Her trend-setting work and punk rock inspired aesthetic will spark your creativity – and her desire to support global rights for women, via her exclusive new accessories brand, Cut Hair Like Female, will inspire you to look a little deeper. Keep reading to discover how Edna has gone from working with Saco, to pushing the boundaries at San Diego based hair salon and education house, The Factory.
Q. Your first position was as an assistant for Tom Leach of Saco. What was that like – and what fundamental ideals do you carry with you from that time?
A. Working as an assistant for Tom, I was definitely forced out of my comfort zone. If I had to pick the three most valuable skills that I learned from him (there were too many to count), it would be these: To show up early, how to give a killer blow dry, and how to cut necklines that just fade into the skin.
But you know, what I really admire about Tom is his mentality. In his eyes, failure is not an option – it’s not even in the scope of possibilities for him. To this day, I have an inner voice (that sounds a lot like Tom) that drives me towards being the best me that I can be. I aim to give 100 percent of myself to everything that I do, or I just don’t do it at all. I think that’s been ingrained into the fabric of who I am, and it really impacts my work as a hairdresser.
I was fortunate, in that I also got to spend a great deal of time working intensively with Richard Ashforth, who is Saco’s lead artist; I was eventually added on as an instructor at the Saco Academy.
Q. At what point did you decide to transition to working with DJ Muldoon at The Factory?
A. Though I love standing behind the chair and working with clients, after a few years, I felt like I wanted more.
It was during that time – when I was feeling a little restless – that an early mentor of mine, Emmanuel San Martin, invited me to join a haircutting demo being held by industry icon, DJ Muldoon. After a night spent working with his team, I knew immediately what turn I wanted my career to take. I still stand behind the chair, but at The Factory, I’m also involved in the production side of things. I’m the team’s official photographer, which is amazing, because photography has always been a passion of mine. I also get to travel and educate; I’ve always enjoyed sharing my passion for the craft, with other stylists. My work at The Factory is exactly what I need, because it feels like it’s ‘the total package.’
Q. What was the motivation behind your new apparel and accessories brand “Cut Hair Like Female?”
A. That answer is really three-pronged, because I didn’t have a single motivating factor for creating CHLF. First and foremost, I wanted to support hard-working female artists; I really admire perseverance, and people strive for perfection within their craft. The second motivating factor was design. I’m inclined towards punk subculture and fashion, and this is a really good way for me to merge two of my passions. Last, and certainly not least important, is my desire to actively give back. I donate a portion of the proceeds to Global Fund for Women and to the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary. Both organizations aim to support women’s rights, and give women the chance to succeed, where that opportunity wouldn’t otherwise exist.
Q. What inspires you, artistically (outside of the hair industry)?
A. As I mentioned before, I’m really into the punk-rock subculture. I used to be involved with local bands, as a vocalist and guitarist. I’ve been playing the guitar for about 15 years, and I’m still working on that first ‘hit single.’ A lot of my creative inspiration comes from that part of my life.
I also enjoy painting, boxing and photography. I guess a need a lot of outlets to express myself.
Q. You’re a ‘top member’ on Hairbrained. How has being an HB member impacted your career?
A. Hairbrained is unique, because it’s really the only community for craft hairdressers; there’s nothing else like it. HB provided a platform for me to push my work, and I’ve gotten a lot of industry recognition and attention, through the images I’ve posted there. Through Hairbrained, I’ve gotten to connect with industry members that, otherwise, I never would have come into contact with. Plus, I got to be a part of the ‘HB Teach In’ at IBS New York; that was such an honor.
Q. If you could give young stylists one piece of advice, what would it be?
A. Be humble, and don’t take constructive criticism too personally.
Becoming a master of your craft can be likened to mastering any skill. Like when I first learned to skateboard; I fell a ton before I got a hold of the skill – and you have to be ok with that! And you have to be ok with falling every now and again, after you get a hold of it, too. It’s all a part of the experience.
Are you a member of hairbrained.me? If not, you could be missing out on a career-shaping opportunity. Join our community, and become a part of a radically different kind of social media network, created by hairdressers for hairdressers. Connect online with a community of like-minded peers from around the globe.
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 www.hairbrained.me.