MENS

It's that time of the year again. The North American Hairdressing Awards Ceremony or NAHA is here. Before we kick off the celebration, get to know our finalists for this year's competition.  MODERN SALON recently spoke to the North American Hairdressing Awards or NAHA finalists. These uber-talented stylists invested considerable time, talent and energy into their entries. Click the name of the (Andrew Carruthers, Sal Misseri, Mark Santarossa, Matthew Morris and Guy Auclair) you would like to meet.

Don't forget to tune in on July 14, 2013 at 10pm EST for the EXCLUSIVE live broadcast of the 2013 NAHA Awards Gala at modernsalon.com/naha. And be sure to join the conversations on twitter with the hashtag #NAHALIVE.

 

Meet the NAHA Finalists: MENS

 

                             Andrew Carruthers

                                                              Lunatic Fringe

What did you do when you found out you were a NAHA 2013 finalist? Who did you tell/call first? 

"My wife who did the wardrobe for my shoot, and I were watching the nominations at home.  I had already seen the other three nominations for our salons before mine came up, so we had already been bouncing around the room yelling.  When my nomination came up, I think we yelled in each other’s faces with tears running down our cheeks for a solid minute. From there, the first few calls and messages were to my fellow nominees from Lunatic Fringe. Of course, my mom and sister were next, followed by my family at Sam Villa."

Describe your inspiration, vision, and theme for your NAHA entry.  

"When I saw there was a men's specific category being added, I knew I wanted to enter. I wanted to create a gritty image that showcased the rawness of a true man. I saw a picture of Brad Pitt on the cover of Interview magazine that was incredible. Every flaw and mark in his skin was exaggerated and there was such a rough and rugged feel to the shot- I had found my photographic inspiration.  The theme came from what I had been doing in the salon, a modern take on very traditional haircuts. I kept thinking of the movie 'Gangs of New York' as I developed the look and my wife Michelle Boucher took inspiration from the film and 'Sherlock Holmes' to develop the wardrobe."

How has entering NAHA made you a better hairdresser?

"I had been so focused for the past few years on the business aspect of our salon that I was literally starving for artistry. Entering NAHA recharged my artistic side in a huge way. Developing the story, creating the looks, collaborating on the wardrobe and then finally shooting and editing my own pictures reminded me of the love I have for the creative process and how essential it is to my happiness."

What is (and when was) the most NAHA-worthy work you have ever created for an actual paying client?

"Honestly, I see them as different avenues. The work I do photographically is to challenge myself artistically and to push beyond the boundaries of most clients. The hair I do behind the chair is more about making my guests feel beautiful and bringing them happiness, not necessarily to feed my inner artist. I don't want to give the impression my clientele doesn't allow me to push boundaries and be artistic, but a flawless simple bob that makes my guest the happiest woman in the world is just as 'NAHA-worthy' to me is any creative work I've ever done."

What year did you first enter NAHA?  Who helped or inspired you?

"I think the first year was 2003 and I don't know if there was much outside influence at that time. I only entered one other time between then and now because I was a little turned off by the direction of the photography.  I don't personally love highly photoshopped images and it seemed that, for a while, that was what was winning.  I saw Kris Sorbie in Chicago back in November and I shared my concern with her, she encouraged me to get back in the game and she felt like this was the perfect time for some different photographic aesthetics to have a chance at a nomination. My business partner, Jake Thompson, was the one that inspired me to shoot my collection myself and basically told me he wasn't going to allow me to not enter this year.  I'm so thankful for his support."

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Meet the NAHA Finalists: MENS

 

                                 Sal Misseri
                                       Ladies and Gentlemen Salon

What did you do when you found out you were a NAHA 2013 finalist? Who did you tell/call first?

"I jumped from the chair I was sitting in and stood there speechless. I didn't need to call or tell anyone, everyone important to me was already watching the video where ever they were so we all found out together."

Describe your inspiration, vision and theme for your NAHA entry.

"My inspiration almost always comes from the model. I need to see how the model looks, their type of hair and lifestyle to create a look they will feel beautiful in. I don't try and do hair that is crazy or edgy just for the sake of NAHA. If I do something more creative, I do it knowing the model will feel confident wearing it. I never go into a shoot with the hair completely planned out. I may have ideas, but at the end of the day it’s collaboration between the model, the theme and me. The theme for the Men’ Hairstylist of The Year Collection was a modern day mob concept. I wanted the men’s collection to look and feel very expensive. The men needed to look powerful and command respect. I love very polished but still high fashion looks, I didn't want the men to look like boys with no style."

How has entering NAHA made you a better hairdresser?

"I think NAHA has helped me gain more confidence and helped me to see the evolution of my work. NAHA is such a great way of putting yourself and your work in front of everyone in the industry. The competition tests your skills against some of the best stylists around and that is such a great learning experience."

MS: What is (and when was) the most NAHA-worthy work you have ever created for an actual paying client?

"I have the opportunity to work on some very artistic clients due to our salon being located next to the Art Institute of Chicago. A lot of the looks you see in my collections, I have cut versions of on a real paying client. Some of the models I use, I have found from doing their hair and them giving me full creative freedom to do what I thought would look best."

What year did you first enter NAHA? Who helped or inspired you?

"2012 was the first year I entered NAHA. I was inspired by geometry and the coordination between the three primary colors and three basic shapes. I have a team in Chicago that I have trained to help me on all of our shoots and shows. Jen Roskey, who is also a finalist for NAHA Hair Color this year, does the color for my collections and I do the cuts for her."

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Meet the NAHA Finalists: MENS

 

                           Mark Santarossa
                                                          Ego Salon

What did you do when you found out you were a NAHA 2013 finalist? Who did you tell/call first?

"I didn't tell anyone that I entered. I didn't want to jinx it. I checked my phone all morning the day I knew they were announcing the finalist. My phone was having problems, so I went home and my wife was watching TV and on the phone at the same time. I figured I’d check now since my computer is attached to my TV. I thought that if I didn't make it I would just switch it back to what she was watching and she wouldn’t know what happened. When I saw my name, I started screaming. My wife was scared and confused. When I told her, we both went nuts."

Describe your inspiration, vision and theme for your NAHA entry.

"My inspiration, vision and theme was to take three looks from late 80's and early 90's and put a very new modern 2013 edge to them. I wanted each look to be from a different fashion category. One style is "punk" inspired with an extreme undercut. The second is 'hip hop/urban' inspired with a slanted cameo look that was called the "gumby.” I added a strong part to update the look. Finally, the third style is "prep" inspired with a classic side-sweeping fringe, lots of lift at the root and then sweep across the face."

How has entering NAHA made you a better hairdresser?

"Entering NAHA makes you a better hairstylist because you have to expand your horizon from hair to every single aspect of the fashion industry. Hair, makeup, wardrobe, photography and art must all be taken to perfection. You must learn how they all feed off each other as one entity. As you sharpen those skills you see your work reaching new levels."

What is (and when was) the most NAHA-worthy work you have ever created for an actual paying client?

"My most recent pictures for NAHA are my most NAHA-worthy work, as all my models are my clients. They are the type of clients that trust me and want something unique with a high fashion look.  Since I have been the photographer for my own shoots for some time now, I'm learning to see if someone has a look that will pop on camera."

What year did you first enter NAHA? Who helped or inspired you?

"This is my first year! I have always been inspired by all of the past entries and winners I've seen from Naha.  I love the inspiration I get when they post all the NAHA winners. You just stare in awe for hours.  After doing well in many Canadian hair comparisons, I thought it was time to go for the big leagues and give NAHA a try."   

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Meet the NAHA Finalists: MENS

                               Matthew Morris
                                       Matthew Morris Salon and Skincare

What did you do when you found out you were a NAHA 2013 finalist? Who did you tell/call first?

"My manager, who had uploaded all our entries, called me over to watch the video during a super busy day in the salon. As we watched, I was thrilled to see our salon was nominated three times. People started gathering from the salon around us and everyone watched it over and over. We posted it on Facebook right away. However, it was bitter-sweet, because I knew friends that entered some amazing image, who were not nominated."

Describe your inspiration, vision and theme for your NAHA entry.

"Honestly, we just followed the directions for commercial, wearable men's hairstyles. I pictured styles that were exaggerated, but could easily be seen on the street."

MS: How has entering NAHA made you a better hairdresser?

"Entering NAHA heightens your attention to detail. If you think it's perfect, it's not. NAHA does you a favor by pushing yourself and making your work better."

What is (and when was) the most NAHA-worthy work you have ever created for an actual paying client?

"I've created styles for national hair campaigns and manufacturers to use in education."

What year did you first enter NAHA? Who helped or inspired you?

"I first entered NAHA in 2005, and won Editorial Hairstylist of the Year."

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Meet the NAHA Finalists: MENS

                                 Guy Auclair

                                         Eau Clair Hair Care

Modern Salon: What did you do when you found out you were a NAHA 2013 finalist?  Who did you tell/call first?

"At 1:00pm we stopped working in the salon and all of the employees and customers huddled around a computer to watch the announcement video.  I entered many categories, and was disappointed when many passed by without seeing my collection.  I had almost given up when suddenly my men’s collection came on the screen. The entire salon erupted with screams of joy and hugs. I was so happy, grateful and in shock that a dream had just come true for me. There wasn’t a dry eye in the salon. My models were the first people I called, and I announced the news on Facebook."

MS: Describe your inspiration, vision, and theme for your NAHA entry.

"My vision for my men’s collection was to keep the look simple, wearable, and masculine.  I was inspired by the styles I saw on my trip to London in October.  In this economic recession artists are putting fresh spins on vintage looks.  I kept the color simple and wearable, and asked my models to grow out their facial hair.  My goal was to show how a great cut and style can transform down-to-earth clients. These are not professional models, one is a lobster fisherman, one is a mason who lives off the grid and one owns a surf shop."

MS: How has entering NAHA made you a better hairdresser?

"I was always intimidated to enter NAHA, but at the same time I love a challenge and know I it makes me grow when I conquer my fears. Booking my shooting date with my photographer was the deadline that motivated me to get moving. When I’ve participated in hair contests in the past, each time I’ve improved my hair finishing skills. The experience also has improved the consistency of my work and puts me in an amazing creative mode. Clients, coworkers and I, benefit from this energy of creation. The NAHA journey helped me to increase my confidence and to connect with myself. The challenge helped me to take initiative. We started by making a scrapbook with different pictures of inspiration and it evolved into an inspiration wall in the salon employee room. The passion and teamwork was awesome. I really felt the NAHA project created a stronger bond between my coworkers and me. I’m really grateful to have shared this unforgettable experience with them. In the process of creation, I saw my work change and my employee’s work and finishing improve. We are not the same hair stylists we were before. It’s like our vision of esthetics changed and our understanding of hair movement become clearer.  The attention to detail and precision has made us better stylists for our customers. The process has also made us want to stay in this creative high.  It has changed my life as a stylist and given me an experience and portfolio that I would have never had without it."

MS: What is (and when was) the most NAHA-worthy you have ever created for an actual paying client? (Do you have an image of it?)Meet the NAHA Finalists: MENS

"Izzy, a young client, is very pretty and has an interesting style. She loves to change her look often, and she has also been a model for some of my projects. Every time I do her hair it’s an awesome experience, I get into an intense, free, creative mode. She wears the 'wow' look we need for NAHA everyday."

MS: What year did you first entry NAHA?  Who helped you or inspired you?

"In 2012, I completed my first collection and entered NAHA in the Contemporary Classic and Color categories. My collection was very good and I was proud of it, but I wasn’t a finalist.  I learned a lot and it gave me more experience on the methods, ideas and orientation needed for a successful photo shoot. I realized that the total team is really important, and that I can’t take care of every aspect of the photo.  I have to focus on the hair and inspiration and rely on the photographer, make-up artist and wardrobe stylist to do their thing. I realize the hair is the most important, but not the only focus for the picture. I haven’t had the opportunity to work directly with a NAHA finalist on a NAHA photo shoot, but I’ve listened to past winners share their ideas and tips for the process of creating their collection. I travel to London each year for hair classes and there I spend time with stylists like Daniel Benoit, a winner of NAHA several times. Daniel was my trainer for few live contests I did in Montreal. I heard different conversations about NAHA and slowly became interested in it, but I was impressed by the amount of money some people spend. I tried to keep it low budget on the first year, but I think working with an experienced team helped me this year and was worth the investment."

 

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VIEW THEIR ENTIRE COLLECTION BELOW

    MEET THE NAHA FINALIST: Andrew Carruthers/Men's Hairstylist
    MEET THE NAHA FINALIST: Sal Misseri/Men's Hairstylist
    MEET THE NAHA FINALIST: Mark Santarossa/Men's Hairstylist
   

 MEET THE NAHA FINALIST: Matthew Morris/Men's Hairstylist

   

 

MEET THE NAHA FINALIST: Guy Auclair/Men's Hairstylist