617ac873dce480a01b6b becca may

We are thrilled to partner once again with the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) to promote all of the talented artists who are finalists for the 2018 NAHAs (North American Hairstyling Awards), the most prestigious hair and beauty award in the country. In this feature, get to know more about this year's Men's Hairstylist of the Year Finalist – Becca May.

Men's grooming and styling has never been more popular than it is today. In this collection from Becca May, she brings classic styling into the limelight with her bold silhouettes and expert grooming. To learn more about Becca May and how she created these images, keep reading!

What was the inspiration behind this collection?

I really wanted to stick to what I love, and that is classic men’s hair. Styles from the 1950s/60’s that are timeless, clean, strong and nostalgic.

Did you have a favorite image?

I would have to say my longest of the cuts is my favorite. I really love the shape and structure. I think it is a really strong profile shot.

What is your favorite technique to use this season?

I’ve been really into long trim haircuts lately and have been encouraging my dudes to leave a little length on the sides to play with. I also bought this tiny Denman brush that has helped me get my pompadours higher than the heavens, so that has been a fun tool to play with.

How has the popularity of men’s styling influenced your choices for this collection?

Well for me, I have always been really interested in classic men’s hair and styling. That has long been my favorite part of hair. I think what is different now is that men have become more invested in their hair and because of that, I have more patrons willing to put the extra work to achieve those stylized looks. For me, my first NAHA collection was always going to be classic, so regardless of what has been going on around me, it was important I stuck to my roots.

What was your biggest challenge in creating this collection?

My biggest challenge was trusting my instincts and feeling confident in my work. I think a lot of creative people tend to overthink and critique every last thing. I’m a crazy perfectionist so it was hard for me to step back and stop picking apart the shape. Sometimes you just need an extra voice saying “this looks rad, trust yourself”.

What does your collection say about men’s trends?

I think it speaks to the fact that classics never die. At least that was my goal!

How did social media influence your work?

There are so many amazing barbers and stylists on social media and I think being able to see what other people are doing only helps inspire you to be better. I love that we have so many visual platforms to showcase our work, encourage, and challenge one another.

If you were to describe this collection in one word, what would it be?

Ha, CLASSIC. I think I may be overusing that word.

Tell us a little more about you, as an artist.

I’m actually quite introverted and analytical. I find most of my inspiration from things outside of hair. I love history, music, politics, etc, so for me. a lot of what I reflect on is what was going on at a certain time, what were these peoples lifestyles like, what were they into and passionate about, and how did that translate into their style. I’m kind of a subtext person, so it’s less about what I see at face value and more what is underneath...that’s where I find most of my inspiration.

How do you Vegas?

Well, I’ve only been once before, but I LOVE CRAPS. Those hot tables really suck you in!

If you won the lotto (or slot machine) tomorrow, what would you do?

1) Pay off our house and set the people we love up the same 2) Figure out how to build some great infrastructure in the underserved neighborhoods in Chicago, and help provide support and a voice to the people there. Work with an org that is already doing this and provide them with more resources so they could continue the work they are doing. I would love to cut back from my work behind the chair and support these efforts more. 3) I’d save a chunk to Travel as well. Take a few months off and get some bucket list places checked off. 4) Still, be involved in hair and education in some way. Always. It doesn’t matter how much money I have, I’ll forever be a barber somewhere.

Be sure to stalk Becca May on Bangstyle and check out even more NAHA inspiration here!