We are thrilled to partner with the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) to promote all the amazing artists who are finalists for the 2015 NAHAs (North American Hairstyling Awards), the most prestigious hair and beauty award in the country. Bangstyle had the pleasure of getting to know the incredibly talented Cynthia Valdez, one of this year’s finalists in the “Newcomer of the Year” category. Check out our exclusive interview with Cynthia to learn a bit more about her collection and what fuels her passion for hair.

Tell us a bit about your nominated collection this year. What was the inspiration behind the looks? How did the creative process unfold?
This collection was inspired by a vintage Vogue cover from 1943. I love the classics and that is what inspires me the most. I added a twist to it by having no accessories and making a focus on the hair. The story I want to tell with this collection was inspired by my newcomer life in the beauty world. This girls are in blank spaces trying to stand out and break away and be free. I wanted to show how beautiful the struggle can be and once you break through all those challenges you face in the first years of your career and let yourself be, beautiful things happen.

Hoping people see in your art what you are trying to say was the most difficult part. Creating looks that are cohesive and tell a story took me months, but after gathering all my materials, models and details, I just went for it.

I made sure I had fun doing it. I surrounded myself with a team that was excited about my ideas and in the end it was great see the vision come to life!

Were there collections in other categories that you found inspiring or particularly appealing?
I was very impressed by Robert Grimes' collection. So much detail and work. Great concept, getting nominated multiple times definitely ain't easy - some great talent to be looking out for.

Is there a category you are really interested in competing in next time?
I love playing with art direction and styling A LOT so maybe I'll get a good concept together to try for Editorial. In the long run, I have hopes and dreams to style for fashion editorial, so I believe this can definitely be a great path to explore.

If you became King/Queen of the entire Hair Industry tomorrow, what is a new change you would bring, or initiative you would start?
I would develop a program where beauty students as well as young professionals learn about the opportunities available to them, in every beauty school for as little as may be. We can form a stronger culture of collaborate efforts and create opportunities for the people that live in small towns that dont have accees to all this information on showcasing your talents. I come from a small town in Texas, so having to leave home in search for opportunity is hard, that is why I would totally focus on reaching out to people that love the industry as much as I do, emphasize on lending a hand to those great talents with more resources to succeed and do great things in the beauty world together.

What time of day do you feel most creative?
I am a morning person, that's when I'm at my best. When I wake up, I feel possibilities are endless for the day ahead. I check my pintrest and instagram in the morning and it inspires me to get up and make things happen.

What’s your favorite hair texture to style?
Highly textured hair is hands down the must fun. The possibilities are endless when you have a little bit of texture. 

Who are your idols in the hair industry? Have you met any of them?
Phew! so many.... but those who inspire me most are: my mom, stylist since the age of 15 and I've never seen her have a bad day or frustrated because she loves what she does so much. Such an inspiration! 

Stephanie Kocielski, who I have met and is the most open and down to earth hair hero ever. DJ Muldoon's cutting style is awesome and I love his attitude toward the beauty industry. I really hope to meet him someday. Of course, Allen Ruiz's upstyling is amazing. I love his dedication to the industry and working for him has taught me a lot, both behind the chair and behind the scenes.

What draws you to competition work?
The creative process of an idea evolving and making hair art makes my heart race. This feeling draws me to keep competing, put my best work out there in the universe and maybe inspire someone. We inspire each other, competition is the fuel that makes me turn those day dreams into realities.

If you hadn't found Hairdressing, what do you imagine you'd be doing instead?
I have a deep love for design in general, so I would probably be in graphic design or fashion marketing.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Well... even though you will find me in a lot of alternative music shows and festivals where I will occasionally geek out on some obscure band.. my guilty pleasure is being a pop princess fangirl. Haha I love Katy Perry and Taylor Swift (like every other 15 yr old out there) ....also i have the cheesiest 90s CD collection. Alright, it's out there now. Phewwwww!


Be sure to Stalk Cynthia Valdezto see more of her awesome hair art and to wish her luck at the upcoming awards!