The Artist's Way

Hairdressers are largely a right-brained bunch. Artistic, creative, clever, imaginative, bold, daring, innovative—take your pick. So what fuels creativity and how is it expressed? We decided to ask some of the most brilliant hairdressers we know to help us unravel the mystery.

Sonya Dove
Every year right before Labor Day, more than 65,000 people gather on the dry lake of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create a temporary city where they will celebrate community, art and self-expression for one whole week. In this “crucible of creativity,” all are welcome. Sonya Dove wouldn’t miss it for anything. “I’ve been going to Burning Man for four years,” she says. “I love the creativity. I get so many artistic ideas there, and when I come home I feel renewed.” This is not Coachella where entertainment is provided and you simply show up and watch. Participation is at the very core of Burning Man. Attendees create art installations, spin fire, build mutant vehicles. Anything goes, and that’s why Dove keeps going back.
Sonya Dove
Every year right before Labor Day, more than 65,000 people gather on the dry lake of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create a temporary city where they will celebrate community, art and self-expression for one whole week. In this “crucible of creativity,” all are welcome. Sonya Dove wouldn’t miss it for anything. “I’ve been going to Burning Man for four years,” she says. “I love the creativity. I get so many artistic ideas there, and when I come home I feel renewed.” This is not Coachella where entertainment is provided and you simply show up and watch. Participation is at the very core of Burning Man. Attendees create art installations, spin fire, build mutant vehicles. Anything goes, and that’s why Dove keeps going back.
John Moroney
When John Moroney, VP and Creative Director, Kao Salon Division Global, creates a new collection for Goldwell or KMS California, he has to be very clear about who he’s creating the collection for—the hairdresser or the client. “We always want to have beauty with an edge, but it has to be palatable to the consumer, and that’s not always inspirational for the hairdresser,” he says. His challenge: to find a way to keep both groups happy. “This is why we showcase pure creativity and craftsmanship at ColorZoom,” he says. “It’s no different than Karl Lagerfeld or Gautier showing haute couture.” The way the company positions its service collections is an entirely different story. Here the looks become visual merchandising designed to sell services that can increase your bottom line, and they have to appeal to consumers. Moroney suggests thinking of them as ready to wear. So glad he cleared that up for us.
John Moroney
When John Moroney, VP and Creative Director, Kao Salon Division Global, creates a new collection for Goldwell or KMS California, he has to be very clear about who he’s creating the collection for—the hairdresser or the client. “We always want to have beauty with an edge, but it has to be palatable to the consumer, and that’s not always inspirational for the hairdresser,” he says. His challenge: to find a way to keep both groups happy. “This is why we showcase pure creativity and craftsmanship at ColorZoom,” he says. “It’s no different than Karl Lagerfeld or Gautier showing haute couture.” The way the company positions its service collections is an entirely different story. Here the looks become visual merchandising designed to sell services that can increase your bottom line, and they have to appeal to consumers. Moroney suggests thinking of them as ready to wear. So glad he cleared that up for us.
Antoinette Beenders
Antoinette Beenders, Aveda Global Creative Director, is a genius. So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, the question remains: How does she come up with this stuff? We’ll let her explain. “I think a lot of us are creative, but it stays in our heads. My husband used to say, ‘No one knows what you’re thinking. Get it out there.’ So I started making mood boards, ripping out photos from magazines and making little collages of them. Nothing too literal. It might be a shade of hair color I saw on one person or a cut on someone else or even a dress. Or say I have this idea, like I want to use silver somehow. I’ll start looking for things with silver on them and tacking them up on the mood board. Suddenly, these things start to come to life and you go, ‘That’s exactly what I was thinking.’ It’s like putting a puzzle together. But when I go into production, I know what I have to do. I’m also very holistic in the way I approach imagery. I think about the whole body, not just the head. Clothes are very important.” Beenders admits that her process is hard to explain to someone who isn’t creative. Fortunately, you get it.
Ruth Roche
For Ruth Roche, creativity starts with an idea. “It could be something that just pops into your head,” she says. Four years ago, Roche wondered what a supermodel from another planet would look like. “Think about how aliens are depicted in movies. They might have eyes on the sides of their head or maybe they have very short arms. Altering our notion of what’s beautiful appealed to me.” Perhaps because she’s a hairdresser, Roche decided to use bald caps and lace-front wigs to completely mess with the hairlines, which start at a different place on each model. On some girls, the eyelashes appear to grow out of their foreheads. On others, a long strip of lashes extends out past the eye. Roche also used contact lenses in different colors to create what she calls “alien eyes.” The result was bizarre, yet also strangely beautiful, which is exactly what she’d imagined.
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