Hairbrained Q and A with Todd Da Silva

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 Todd Da Silva of San Diego, CA. His heart-filled dedication to the next generation of craft hairdressers is inspiring, and his straightforward approach to ‘honest hair’ is refreshing, to say the least. Keep reading to discover why Todd prefers to think of himself as a craftsman, instead of an artist, and get a little insight into his outside of the box mindset.

Q. When you first became a hairdresser in 2009, you worked behind the chair. How has that changed, and what motivated that shift?

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A. These days, I focus most of my attention on education, on being an educator. While I loved the connection I had with my clients as a behind the chair stylist, I was loosing the ability to remain present with them; it felt like an important part of me was fading away.

When I really took the time to reflect on what makes me the happiest, I realized that – for me – I feel the most joy when I’m sharing with my peers. There’s something powerful about passing techniques along to the next generation. The process of giving back by sharing my knowledge feels authentic and impactful to me.

Q. What inspires you to teach, and to act as a mentor for the next generation of craft hairdressers?

A. My philosophy is this: Surround yourself with the best and the best will come from you. I’ve been fortunate enough to work alongside some of the best hairdressers that the industry has to offer, all of whom encouraged me to be humble, and to work diligently towards my goals. Because of the positive impact that these messages have had on my career, I feel tasked to pass that message along to the next generation of craft hairdressers.

You simply can’t learn to embrace these specific ideologies via online video tutorials (which is where so much education is happening); for this reason, I think it’s important to become involved in a like-minded community (such as Hairbrained) early on in your career.

Q. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

A. For me, standing still seems counterintuitive, so I’ll always look for ways to shift and grow within my craft. I’ve worked as a behind the chair stylist, and I currently work as an educator for Bellus Academy. But how do I see this progressing? In the next 10 years, I’d really like to travel more, and possibly take the independent path. Ultimately, I’d like to continue working with like-minded hairdressers – and of course – I’ll always push the envelope. Regardless of where my career takes me, I’ll persist in spreading the message of ‘honest hair.’     

Q. Many have said that hairdressing is an art form, with hair being the fabric (or medium) on which to craft your sculpture. Do you consider hairdressing an art form, and by extension, yourself an artist?

A. A touchy subject to be sure. Frankly, I’ve written about this in the past, and I think I’ll stick by my claim: hairdressers, as a whole, are not artists. As soon as you put a tag or a moniker (such as ‘artist’) to what we do, then I believe that you put our community in a box, without any hope for growth. I feel like being a hairdresser is so much broader than that – and that’s something that I’m proud of.

Q. You regularly contribute to Hairbrained. How does your HB community inspire you, and how do you hope to inspire?

A. Some people have a cup of coffee and read the news to get their morning started. But when I wake up, I head straight to Hairbrained for my daily dose of inspiration.

I’m constantly inspired by the images and videos that our global hairdressing community produces; they give me a great sense of optimism for the future of our craft. I can only hope that my own work inspires and motivates those that might be lost in their (hometown) hairdressing community. I know that it can feel grueling to stand behind the chair, and cut the same basic shapes everyday. But sometimes, the right image can spark a flame, and make a person think: “Hey, I can do that.”

That’s empowering, and that’s the power of Hairbrained.

Q. Do you have a favorite quote?

A.  “Normality is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” ~ Morticia Addams

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.

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