Erika Nash

When not in the salon, Erika Nash, an apprentice at Root Salon with locations in St. Paul and Linden Hills, MN, tries to keep herself busy by doing mini photoshoots of her work and entering in hair competitions. Recently, she heard about Wella Professional’s Nationwide Illuministas Contest through a group of stylists/colorists at her salon, so she thought she would enter. After submitting her style, and waiting a couple months, Nash found out good news­—she had taken the top spot and Grand Prize in the contest. As part of her winnings she was invited to New York Fashion Week to go behind the scenes with Wella’s Artistic Director Eugene Souleiman’s Team to do color prepping; received $500 in spending cash and an opportunity to attend an Illumina color class at the Wella World Studio.

Nash says it was a bit of a process coming up with her entry. “After hours of consulting, finding out the perfect ratios of reds and golds, I created a candy apple red hue with hints of brighter dimensional pieces for my model, Kiah,” Nash explains. “The overall look has spunk and edge. As for the cut, I loved the natural texture Kiah had and wanted to maintain some of that when working with her new cut. I have always been a fan of clean, precise lines and wanted to showcase that in the detail work around her hairline. The top was left longer, giving her a lot of versatility and femininity to the hair.”

This isn’t the only honor that’s been bestowed on Nash, she also had a NAHA honorable mention in Beacon at PBA Beauty Week, and she was an Edwin Neill finalist for an Aveda make-up entry. So what’s in store for Nash in the next five years? “Hopefully to teach and travel,” she says. “I think it would be a fun outlet to express my creativity than just being in the chair. That’s my biggest goal while I am trying to get the hang of everything in the salon.”

Nash says if she has any advice for other beauty graduates it would be to always stay confident. “Even though you don’t know everything, and I know it’s a bewildering feeling, but always have confidence. I started out really small getting experience with a friend who was a photographer. We would go out and take pictures of my styles for fun. Do everything you hear about even if it’s really small, then you can work out the little bugs, and then eventually aim higher!”

Star-worthy Style Takes Wella's Grand Prize