MODERN interviewed NAHA’s finalists in the Student and Hairstylist of the Year categories. Here’s what they had to say about their entries:

What was the inspiration for your entry?

SHAWNA PARVIN,
educator for Aquage from World’s Local Parvin in Austin, Texas
A French drawing inspired me, and with the assistance of my team (Holly Bronko, Medea Lee, Shirley Pinkson) I was able to develop this into my NAHA series.

SHIRLEY GORDON, from Strands Hair Studios in Wheaton, Maryland
I imagined “A Time That Has Yet To Come.” My thought was, “What will happen in the future?” From this thought my imagination allowed me to envision futuristic looks. I wanted to bring the future into the present—through my creative styles, cuts and contours.

STEVE ELIAS, from Elixir Salon Spa in Berkeley, California
I was inspired by music. At the time I was listening to this amazing electronic artist named Annie. The futuristic sound and amazing cover art from her album Don’t Stop inspired me to do a modern Jem and the Holograms!

TONY RICCI, from Ricci Hair Co. in Edmonton, Alberta
The name of my collection is Cyber Vixens. I became inspired by designer Yohji Yamamoto’s collection, which looked very futuristic and spacey. I wanted to evoke this sort of sci-fi feeling into the clothing and hair shapes.

ANTOINE VADACCHINO, from Salon Pure in Montreal, Quebec
My photos are a black-and-white interpretation of morphism. We shot ink underwater and we wanted to have the hair flow with the clothing. Everybody shoots on what the “judges are looking for,” but I also wanted to do what I wanted to do—to create a complete photo.

What does being a hairdresser mean to you?

PARVIN I have the freedom to experience a creative life, which allows me to grow and improve myself everyday. NAHA reinforces that personal growth through creating images. Beautiful images mark your progress as a hairdresser and being a finalist for NAHA is a very rewarding experience.

RICCI Being creative, keeping up with current fashions, creating fresh ideas, meeting people, changing how they look and feel. NAHA is a great outlet for us hairdressers to showcase our work and be recognized. Without the NAHAs, we would not be able to let our creative spirits shine.

How did you feel when you heard you were a finalist?

GORDON I received the call from NAHA and was first told I was nominated in the Texture category. Then I was told I was nominated in the Fashion Forward category. My feeling was WOW! So, imagine my level of excitement when I was told that I was nominated in the Hairstylist of the Year category!

ELIAS
I was totally beside myself! Especially since I had received four nominations! One is amazing, but four felt like an out of body experience.

VADACCHINO
It blew me out of the water. It was a really big surprise and a beautiful compliment. As humans, we always depend on the opinions of others and judges, and it’s important to win the mercy of them. I’m so glad I was selected out of all the participants.