As an ambassador for Hairdreams, Sonya Dove has long wanted to do a photo shoot in the desert. “I am obsessed with the outdoors, especially festivals like Burning Man and Coachella,” says Dove, who asked photographer Nicolas Troncin to scout locations just outside of Los Angeles. What he came up with was Big Sky Ranch in the Simi Valley about 40 miles north of L.A. The site is used for photography, weddings and special occasions today, but episodes of Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Little House on the Prairie and Highway to Heaven were filmed there. Dove was very specific about the topography. “I wanted raw nature—nature that had been beaten up a bit, and I definitely didn’t want the grass to be green,” she says, “I imagined grass that was almost straw-like, you know, that yellow-gold shade.” The crew made the trek in a huge RV—Dove and her hair assistants, Tanya Lange, Erin Hayden and Brady Marlin; Troncin and his assistant, Bill Kennedy; nail tech Mariel Pizarro; makeup artist Megan Sutherland and her assistant, Maddison Devitt; and fashion stylist Ali Levine and her assistant, Cristina Fabian. “This place goes on for miles—just rolling hills and vegetation,” says Dove, who admits that the shoot was a bit of a challenge since security guards only allowed a few people on set at one time. “They didn’t want us destroying the grass or plant life, so no one could just pop in with hair or makeup,” she says. “Basically, it was Nic and the model so I had to trust that he’d get what we needed. This is why the photos have this natural, windswept look.” Dove wanted our cover girl to sport a short fringe that would accentuate her high cheekbones. “If the fringe had been longer, it wouldn’t have been as strong,” says Dove, who found pieces of thick, flexible metal at a craft store that she used to wrap around each ponytail. Meanwhile, the Hairdreams Laserbeam NANO System allowed her to add length and volume to the hair, giving it a natural, yet refined look.
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