NAHA Student of the Year finalists

July 10, 2011 | 10:28 PM

MODERN SALON talked to NAHA's Student of the Year finalists for 2010. Here's what they had to say about their hairstyle photos that they entered.

What was the inspiration for your entry?

NAHA Student of the Year finalistsPATRICK MATHES, from Aveda Fredric's Institute in Indianapolis, Indiana
My school and surroundings. I went through various magazines to find inspiration and elements for my work. Red hair styles really popped out at me-and it ended up being a big part of my work. I also looked at Daniel Holzberger's work and I took inspiration from him.

NAHA Student of the Year finalistsJOSH PARKIN from Taylor Andrews in West Jordan, Utah
I followed the Vidal Sassoon website. I constantly try to keep up with new trends and I find ways to put my own spin on styles. I try to be competitive with what's the latest and greatest out there.

NAHA Student of the Year finalistsREBECCA COWLES from Aveda Frederic's Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio
I had different levels of inspiration; a lot of it came from Antoinette Beenders-I got powerful feelings from her work. I started off by creating a portfolio of all the photos I liked, and then I decided to create an industrial feel. When I first started at my school, they had a big banner of all the past NAHA winners, and I knew right then and there that's what I was going to do.

NAHA Student of the Year finalistsSTACIE NIEMANN from Eric Fisher Academy in Wichita, Kansas
I looked at a lot of hair magazines, different fashions and interpreted a lot of trends that have been popular this year, and I made them my own. Recently at our school, we did ethnic hair for a party of people and I just came up with something off the top of my head, and it ended up being really similar to one of my NAHA entries. All of the final results came together in different ways.

What does being a hairdresser mean to you?

MATHES I love that there is something new everyday and that I don't have to sit behind a desk! Being this far into NAHA has really reinforced my creativity and it has helped build my passion for hairdressing.

COWLES Hairdressing to me is art in raw form. I feel it's one of the only forms of art that hasn't transformed into some kind of computer software. I feel like NAHA supports that idea by supporting all of the hard work I've done. Being a finalist is a dream come true.

NIEMANN I really like the people aspect of my job. People can come in having a horrible day and then we can make them leave feeling like a million bucks. NAHA helped me bring together all of the inspirations I got from the music and fashion industry and focus it back into hair. It was my outlet for creativity.

NAHA Student of the Year finalistsASHLEY HALL from Paul Mitchell The School in Santa Barbara, California
All I really wanted for my career was to make a living doing something I loved. I love that I get to work in such an amazing industry and make people feel good about themselves every day. Being a finalist for NAHA definitely does make me feel like I am finally on the right path.

What do you think helped put you into finalists' territory?

PARKIN Having a great team and a huge support system. We did a bunch of run-throughs, weekly meetings, and I styled so much hair. I started off with just an idea, then that evolved into thumbnail sketches and getting other people's opinions. I don't think this is a personal achievement-the people I worked with sacrificed their own time to help me achieve this.

I think my editorial background helped a lot. A few months after I started school I got into doing photo shoots and fell in love instantly. I love every aspect from planning, model selection to the actual day of the shoot.

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