I’ve always been crazy… When I find something I’m into, I don’t have half measures. I’m borderline obsessive. I dig in, investigate and learn everything I possibly can about the topic. When I discovered the Hairbrained community, never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined how it would change my life. I spent an inappropriate amount of time stalking… The further I dove in, the harder my heart beat. It was a world that enabled me to find like minded people, inspiration and motivation.
I was at the point in my career where I had a beautiful clientele, I was educating all around the country, but I wanted to express myself in a deeper way, play with concepts and ideas that continued to bounce around in my mind… BUT FOR WHAT? Then I found Hairbrained. I was able to watch artists that were creating things so inspiring, it was almost intimidating.
Another strange thing I noticed was they were mostly men… Some of them lived in other countries and didn’t even speak English. I noticed the little thoughts in my mind, the ones that are excuses but disguise themselves as rational reasons not to try… I consider myself one of the luckiest human beings on the planet. Mostly because I have a group of people surrounding me, who genuinely love me, have an ungodly amount of talent, and have no tolerance for my little voices. Hairbrained created a platform, a reason, and community that when I asked myself “BUT FOR WHAT?”
I had an answer.
I think sometimes the hair industry gets a bad wrap. If I had a nickel for every time a hairdresser told me that “their parents made them go to college before hair school, so they had a chance at bright future”, with total misconceptions about the things we actually do, I’d be crazy rich!
Hairdressers have access to peoples insides, insecurities, and believes systems. We are a neutral party and get the privilege to see our clients hearts. We have guests from all industries, ages, genders, religions. I started to notice a theme. Everyone seems to have that little voice that eludes to not being good enough in some way.
Pretty enough, rich enough… enough.
I think a lot of that comes from the media, and the big companies who create an image that is mass produced and placed everywhere, showing what the standard for beauty is. I wanted to create content that causes emotion, raises awareness to some of these issues, and maybe gives someone a feeling of: A- they’re not alone, and B- offering some form of empowerment. even the slightest bit of transparency on this bullshit. Thus, the Identity Series was born. Check out our video page for more in depth on that.
I had made one video prior to the series, Human Connection, but aside from that, I have no experience in video, editing, camera work, or audio… and I live in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Douglas McCoy really inspired me. He lives in Spokane, WA and has created a brand, a message and elevated the industry and his community in many ways.
Because of Hairbrained, I got to watch hairdressers from all walks of life, from all over the world make epic content and add so much inspiration and value to my life, and I wanted to participate.
It’s a very intimidating, vulnerable experience to post your final work. I had all the thoughts as well, of not being good enough, and blah blah.. but I was also so excited, and so proud of what we created. It took forever, it was insanely challenging and what if I put it out there and… insert every negative fear based thought possible.
Well, none of that happened. To my face anyway, wink.
Actually, some things beyond my wildest imagination occurred. I received an unbelievable amount of likes, comments, shares, support and private messages from so many people that I knew and didn’t know telling me things like, “I showed your videos to my daughter and her friends and it sparked a conversation about the struggles of self image and human empowerment.” The messages and support was so overwhelmingly loving, it soon became the coolest thing I’ve ever experienced.
Months later we found out we were nominated for HVA4, and we were invited to NYC for the awards show at Arena Night Club, in association with IBS New York (sponsored by American Salon, Olaplex, Salon Biz, and Wella) in New York!!!
We lost it, and jumped around, screamed, hugged, freaked out, screamed, freaked out again, and then noticed the category we were nominated for this year was new. It was called Stories, The Human Side. I was the first one announced on the top of the page. Seeing my name and video there didn’t even seem real.
The next day, I got to Forma, (our salon) and the team had given me flowers, and all kinds of red gifts reflecting the color of the Hairbrained logo. Throughout the day, my team came up to me announcing they were coming with us to the awards.
Dreams. Pure dreams.
A few weeks before the show Gerard Scarpaci messaged me on FaceBook asking if I would like to participate in the Hairbrained TeachIn at IBS. I again lost it, mustered up my adult voice, and of course agreed!
I had a photo shoot in NYC so we went in early, but had all the flight drama. Everyone met us out there a day later and we packed into a tiny Marriott NYC hotel room, like sardines. Six of us, including my parents slept in there! At one point, our room was filled with ten incredible women, my dad, music, makeup and hair product everywhere. At one point, I just sat down to take it all in. My heart felt like it was going to explode from love.
There was a pre party for the nominees, and my nerves were out of control. I have been watching, learning and admiring some of the people I was about to meet for so many years. The idea that I was about to stand beside them in this context was unbelievable. Walking in was outrageously intimidating, but luckily I was greeted by Gerard, who told me to “get in there” hahaha.
I walked up, and was so surprised to be greeted by people who kindly introduced themselves. We connected, and it was so neat because we felt like we already knew each other thanks to social media. There have been times in my life where I have admired someone for years, and when the chance came to meet them, it turned out they were egocentric jerks who were too good to give me the time of day. This was not at all the case at this event. I didn’t meet one human being in that room that wasn’t loving and kind to me.
Gerard got on stage and told us that this wasn’t a boring awards show, and the shorter the speech, the better so we could get to the fun. He said, “Come up, get award, make speech, take photo and get off!” It was awesome. The awards show started, and it all happened so fast. I was the first winner announced, so I had no precedent to follow. It felt so unexpected, I think I slightly blacked out. The most beautiful part of the whole experience by far, was the people I shared this with. I have never felt so loved and supported in my whole life.
I got to meet and stand by my hair heroes, and I became the first woman ever to win an HVA. However, the thing that meant the most by far, was celebrating with the people I love, who none of this would be possible without. They teach me how to love, they teach me how to celebrate and the hardest part was that they couldn’t come up there with me. The credit is equal. I’m so proud to have people of their caliber beside me, because nothing means anything without them.
I’m also pretty sure I was the only nominee who brought their parents. I feel so lucky that everyone would travel this far to join me. I know together we are building something beautiful, and it is beautiful because they are beautiful. Thank you Jessi James, Randa Rivera, Brittany Chavez, Juanita Nielson, McCall Olsen, Baylie Olsen, Libby Lou Larkin, Thomas Bush, Brooke Evans, Leigh Battenburg, Ben Doty, Jeff Olsen, Brenna Olsen, Alyssa Olsen and Emilly Nixon.
Hairbrained is a platform where hairdressers contribute, share and are recognized. Video has proven to be an incredibly powerful medium for the community, and we reward and encourage those creating videos that capture the essence of the craft.
Through film, we can share triumphs, challenges, and ultimate joy. Movies have the power to hook you in, make your heart skip a beat, and allow you to solve the insolvable. At Hairbrained, we know that these captured bits of footage, cleverly woven together, tell valuable stories about our craft – and they serve to make education and inspiration widely accessible to hairdressers in the far corners of the world.
The Hairbrained Video Awards (HVA’s) were created to honor this unique form of expression. Representing a true grass roots movement, the HVA’s eschew traditional contest guidelines – and set an unprecedented standard for excellence among the hairdressing community. We love the pioneer spirit – and we appreciate that anyone can create great films regardless of their background or budget. Whether you’re independent, sponsored by a manufacturer, from a big city or live in a remote location, you can capture your best work and share it with your community. And this is important, because simply put, encapsulating your work in action is paramount to capturing the essence of the craft.
Unlike many other awards, you don’t have to submit an entry form: you just have to upload your videos to Hairbrained throughout the year, and you’re automatically entered to win. The categories are as follows: Even Further, Behind the Scenes, Instagram, Humorous, Stories, Steps and HVA Video of the Year. A select panel of judges will choose from category nominees, deciding on a winner from each of the six categories, and picking an overall Grand Prize Winner.
Winners will receive accolades at the HVA’s much-anticipated fourth annual blowout event, in association with IBS New York, set to take place at New York City’s Arena Night Club on March 12, 2017. The event features a jumbo video screen and a killer sound system, perfect for enjoying the nominees ART, as attendees party and celebrate. Category winners receive $500 each, plus a fabulous, bronzed videocassette trophy. The grand prizewinner will take home $5,000 to help fund future projects.
At Hairbrained, we believe in our community and want to show the world what you are capable of. So, creators keep imagining, your visions inspire us all; and you never know, your next video could earn you an HVA.