I recently viewed a DVD on a new Balayage product. Part of the DVD was a question and answer session with the stylist. One of the questions posed to the stylist, “What inspires you?” really stuck with me today. I think inspiration comes from many things but lately I’ve been influenced by hiking and the Arizona desert.

Contrasts that inspire

I’m definitely inspired by the contrast that I see in the desert. I have observed how oppositional forces come together to create a stark beauty I’ve only seen in the desert. While most of the terrain is coarse, with jagged rocks and prickly cactus, I oftentimes see little fuzzy cottontail rabbits taking refuge in the cactus.  That soft rabbit seems completely out of place, but at the same time right at home, hiding in the spiky foliage.

The other contrasting form that I have seen and am greatly impressed by is the close juxtaposition of life and death. One day I observed a Saguaro that had long since collapsed. The outside had fallen away to expose its inner core. The straws that had once supplied water and nutrients to the mighty cactus were now nothing more than a pile of collapsed, empty sticks. However, in the center of all that disintegration and ruin, a little baby Cholla had taken root and was thriving. Taking refuge just like the cottontail.

I also love looking at the bold color contrasts early in the morning with the portions of the desert that are still shaded and the portions that are freshly blasted by the morning sunlight. I get up early and climb the mountain as dawn comes over the city. I especially like Dreamy Draw. It has trails for all hiking abilities and is right in the heart of the city. It’s great to reach the top of the peak and watch as the colors of the desert come alive with the morning light. One moment there’s darkness and the next a wash of light floods the valley. It definitely inspires me!

How does this relate to styling hair?

Now you may be asking yourself how this inspires me in the aspect of hair styling. Well, my desire to see contrast extends from the trails of the Arizona desert to my chair in the salon. I can create that special, exciting contrast in my client’s hair that helps them stand out from the crowd. Consider the Bob; the bottom line must be super clean, crisp, and tight.  That sharp stark line must then be balanced by ensuring the crown volume is properly created to give it a rounded softness. If done well, the cut goes from one extreme to the other while creating a beautiful overall look. Contrast in motion!

The colors in the rocks on the trail also give me ideas. These rocks show me the harmony between cool and warm tones. I have actually been inspired by those colors and developed concepts for hi-light/low-light combinations. As a matter of fact, it was those very rocks that influenced my own fall hair color.

So now that the weather is getting cooler I highly recommend you take some time and get out on a trail yourself.  Take your time and really look at what’s out there. Hiking can be fun and its great exercise for your body and mind.

I hope to see you on the trail!