I feel more and more power is shifting to women,” says Sonya Dove, Wella Professionals Global Top Stylist and Hairdreams Ambassador. “We women are finding more ways to connect with those around us and reflecting on what’s really important.”
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that 2017 has been the year of the woman—and this fact hasn’t gone unnoticed by Dove, who created the collection Divine Reflection to celebrate a future that is even more positive for women. “This year’s emerging feminism is a new reflection of the world today, and both men and women are embracing it,” says Dove. “I can see an evolution, but we have to look beyond what is happening at this moment. We have to look into the future.”
“I like shooting out on location and working with all kinds of hair and styles,” says Dove. “I’m known for my color work, so I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and do a collection that is a little bit more avant-garde and incorporated hairpieces.”
Yes, what it means to be a woman in today’s world is definitely changing, but for Dove, the evolution is also deeply personal. After Dove and her former creative and business partner, Christopher Dove, parted ways three years ago, she realized that she had to face many of her fears. “When Christopher and I decided to part professionally, I made a list of all the things that I’m not comfortable with and decided to check them off one at a time. The only way to get rid of fear is to face it.” Items crossed off of her challenge list include cutting onstage and becoming even more comfortable working with wigs and hairpieces—which might sound odd since she is the ambassador for an extension company. But as she explains it, throughout her 20-plus year career with Christopher, he was the maestro with hairpieces, and she was more familiar with the color side of things. “When you don’t do something a lot, it’s hard to have confidence in it,” she says. Nevertheless she persisted, and when conceiving this shoot, she was thrilled when Hairdreams agreed to help make her dream a realization.
Everything in Divine Reflection was intricately planned, from the location to the models’ strong, unique androgynous features to the galactic fashion pieces and the visionary hairstyles.
Which brings us to the third item she checked off her list: crafting an avant-garde shoot. “I was afraid of doing an avant-garde shoot, but I realized that it was all in my head,” says Dove, who is thrilled with the results. “There was nothing to dictate my creativity,” explains Dove. “I created out-of-the-box hairstyles and techniques that were out of my comfort zone. I took my hair artistry to the next level.”
“My biggest challenge, and it’s a daily challenge, is not to listen to my head, but to listen to my heart,” says Dove, who admits to self-doubt, even to this day. To remain energized and inspired, Dove reads daily from a book of inspirational quotes given to her by her sister, and keeps an excerpt from Marianne Williamson’s book, A Return To Love, in her wallet. It reads, in part: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?”
“I was really fussy with this hair,” says Dove. “The wind started kicking up because it was nearly sunset, and it was so hard to get a shot where the hair wasn't moving.”
“I used to live my life like that,” Dove admits. “Shrinking so people around me didn’t feel insecure.” Dove says that positively reaffirming her strength and power has been life-changing. “This is what I’ve been doing for the last two years, and I swear to you it's made life so amazing,” she says. Dove says to surround yourself with likeminded people to help you live your life fearlessly. “It's all the people around me who have made me who I am today,” she says. “Your friends and your family will sometimes believe in you more than you believe in yourself, and that can make all the difference.”
Dove hopes that this collection, and opening up about her own insecurities, will inspire others to face their fears and do what they thought they were incapable of. “Having this collection published means the world to me,” she says. “It proves to me that, oh, I’m not so bad at this after all.”
“I love this iridescent, holographic haircolor,” says Dove, who explains that the pigmentation was actually much deeper, but the bright desert light washed it out, giving the hair an otherworldly air.
Cut, Color & Styling: Sonya Dove
Photographer: Nicolas Troncin
Makeup: Megan Sutherland
Wardrobe Stylist: Daniela PeČková Watanabe, Harmonia Costumes
Hair Assistant: Chris Rosario
Extensions & Wiglets: Hairdreams Volume+ Hair Thickening Systems, Quikkies Tape-in Extensions
Color & Styling Products: Wella Professionals
Styling Tools: ghd, Kurosawa Scissors
To view our Women in Beauty supplement, click here.