Hairbrained Q&A with Adam Federico

At Hairbrained, our team knows there’s nothing like the power of positive thinking to get you excited about achieving your goals. With that in mind, we want to know: “What inspires you?” Whether it’s 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, the spotlight is on Hairbrained host and master educator Adam Federico.

Q. Who has been the most influential artist throughout your professional career and why?


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Although I know it’s unconventional, seeing he isn’t a hairdresser, my greatest source of inspiration has always been David Bowie. Though I know it might seem trite in light of his recent passing, I would have given this answer at any time in the last 25 years. I’ve always admired his ability to shapeshift, his resolve to evolve with the times, and above all, I admire his foresight as an artist and as a human being. His “outside of the box” approach to life has always spoken to me on a deeper level.

Within the industry, I’ve had too many impactful mentors to name just one. In one way or another, they’ve all influenced me. That being said, I will say that I greatly admire the integrity that Gerd Hoher, owner of Artease Colors, brings to his work and everything that he does. I’m a great admirer of integrity.      

Q. Your collections have a distinct and unique flavor to them. What inspires your collective work and what inspired this particular collection of shots?

I like to play with juxtapositions; that is, I enjoy stark contrasts and contradictions, if you will. I recognize the two distinct sides of myself—light and dark, playful and intense—and I like to honor this contrast within my work, this naturally occurring state that’s within all of us. I believe my art is indicative of this philosophy, I believe it honors both the Yin and Yang energies.

Truthfully, most of my images don’t come from a single source of inspiration. Instead, I try to capture an enigma. I try to work through feelings and ideas I’ve been tossing around in my mind. I let those feelings seep into my art. My creations are very heart-centered.     

Q. On a daily basis, where do you get your “behind the chair” inspiration?

At the end of the day, I’m like anyone else. I’d love to be able to spend my time creating experimental and unusual content for my companies: AJF Salon, Federico Beauty and Federico Advanced. But time behind the chair is a necessary evil, if you will. Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely love the clients that I work with. Many of them have become friends and some of them are like family. But ultimately, working behind the chair is a means to an end. It allows me to do what I love while supporting my family (who are an enormous source of inspiration to me).

I see myself as an educator in the purest form. Though I’d like to remain relevant within our industry (standing behind the chair definitely helps with this), I get a surge of inspiration from instilling passion into others by nurturing the next generation. I think one day, my team of artists will do the standing behind the chair for me while I guide them in refining and honing their skills.     


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