62c941d198328a9d20fc danielle keasling naha

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 2017 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 Editorial Stylist of the Year Finalist, Danielle Keasling.

With a love of fashion and a true artistic edge when it comes to hair, Danielle Keasling knocks her Editorial collection out of the park. Shifting the focus to hair color, she puts the hair front and center. Take a peek at her gorgeous collection and get to know more about the artist behind the images!

How did you decide on entering “Editorial”?

I basically started my career in education with my recognition for my editorial work, so it is an incredibly strong passion of mine.  I love everything about fashion.  What makes and image great is everything coming together: the styling, makeup, hair and photography, not solely the hair.  I love the collaboration with the other artists and I love the challenge of telling a story through imagery.

What was the inspiration behind this collection?

Fashion, hair and movement.  The fashion is white, metallic and muted.  I wanted to create a strong contrast with the hair by using bold colors, strong shapes and immense texture and movement. 

What is your collection saying about today’s trends?

Color melting and braiding are still both very strong trends and in this collection both are not only featured, but celebrated.  I also incorporated holographic hues in many of the colors keeping it current to what the Matrix brand is currently speaking to. 

How did you work with wardrobe to craft the final image?

Argie is an incredible stylist and when I sent her my inspiration board she was inspired and recreated my vision accordingly.  The hair was the hero but the wardrobe needed to compliment the nature of the story.  The reflective accents in the wardrobe reflected the holographic metallic feel in the hair and the movement in the fabric mimicked the movement in the hair and story. 

What was your biggest challenge?

Hahahaha, waking the makeup artist up at her home at 4:00 am to drive to Jacksonville without waking up her entire house. The rest was really relatively easy and a great experience.

How did you work with your team to bring your vision to life?

Plan, plan and plan some more. I have an amazing team in my salon, Salon Karma, which helped me prep for the shoot.  I also have an amazing Matrix team that are not only willing to travel but are hungry to learn and eager to excel.  I can’t say enough about the level of talent coming up in this industry.  They are really raising the bar and it’s so exciting to be able to watch them evolve! Everyone from my support team, to makeup, photography and my models were all on board for this shoot.  It was a long day but we walked away with so many amazing images to choose from. 

What does this collection mean to you?

This collection was a chance for me to really push a color story in a fashion editorial.  Many times as session artists, we do the hair to compliment the fashion without over shining it.  This was an opportunity to make the hair the hero and compliment the wardrobe to stand out with the hair. 

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

I have worn many, if not all hats, in the hair industry and currently own Salon Karma in Bluffton, SC. 

I have been nominated 2 times by the North American Hairstyling Awards for Editorial Stylist of the Year: once for Editorial with HairCBC, and another time for a Texture nomination.  My passion for session hair landed me a ongoing relationship as a Great Lengths USA guest artist, an image consultant for HairuWear, and a position on the Chrystofer Benson Collective team as a educator and representative for CBC Hair. 

I continued to build my career and industry path as an Artistic Director at Matrix, a division of L’Oreal in 2016. That same year, I was also promoted to Global Design Team for Matrix.  I am so grateful to be able to travel the world as one of the key spokeswoman for Matrix, connecting with hairdressers and consumers alike in print, online and video tutorials.

I am also a member of Intercoiffure and now part of the Ulta Beauty Pro Team. This year has been very exciting!

I solely believe that success never comes from what you do occasionally, but what you to consistently.  “ I will never inspire others by being perfect, but I can share my imperfections and help stylist’s combat daily challenges whether it’s a salon contract gone wrong or a stylist wanting to reach for the stars and enter NAHA.  It’s all perspective and drive.  Be thankful for what you have, be fearless for what you want, and always reach out to me for anything I can do to help you in this industry.” 

How do you Vegas?

With the crazy world we live traveling, Vegas turns into a pool day vacation for some R&R (on day 1) and then one big celebration. 

NAHA is a time to celebrate the most talented hairstylists in the industry.   It’s a time to connect and network with the best. I am getting older each year and my Vegas days include getting to bed earlier and earlier, but I will proudly be supporting all of those finalists and winners.  Just having the courage to enter is a win all around!    

Salty or sweet? 

Give me a potato chip any day!  Wine is my sweet indulgence but that’s about it!

What did you learn about yourself through creating this collection?

That sometimes I really need to take a chill pill and not do too many looks!  This entire collection ended up being about 10 looks total.  I do love the collection and it’s great to have things to choose from but sometimes I am my worst enemy when it comes to over doing things.  I had a GREAT team though and everyone was very excited to work together, some for the very first time so it was a mix of excitement and drive that pushed us to create such a big collection.  Everyone from the photographer, to the models wanted to get “just one more look!”

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

That’s a big question!  I really don’t think my life would change that much. I have worked so hard for so long to be able to really enjoy everything I am doing now that I would just keep on doing what I do!  If anything, I would love to fund projects for more stylists wanting to experience the photographic world of what we do and I would also take the money and take my Salon Karma team on a really big trip and indulge for the week!  They support me through everything and they always seem to keep my salon going even when I am unable to be there.  They truly are a great group of girls!  Love you ladies! Xoxoxo.

To see more of Danielle Keasling's gorgeous work, be sure to stalk her on Bangstyle and stay tuned for even more NAHA inspiration!