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 – Jamie Digrazia.
Jamie Digrazia shows off her beautiful influence over not only the industry but movements within it as well. Working hard for change and acceptance she opened one of the country's first gender-neutral salons. Through this collection, she reinforces the idea of looking outside of the box and seeing shapes and silhouettes for just that, not who is wearing them. We absolutely love this work and the message and hope you can gain some insight into this amazing artist by seeing what inspires her most.
What was the inspiration behind this collection?
Crystals and sacred geometry were my inspiration. Lately, I have been collecting and working with crystals because of their healing properties. Their shapes and beauty have inspired me in many ways. They all grow in so many different natural textures and form, just like hair, it was easily translated into the vision for this collection.
Did you have a favorite image?
I love all of them so much, It’s really hard to pick one. I love them all as a collection. Each one gives me a very powerful, empowering feeling. I submitted the first image into peoples choice awards because of the model's facial features and the composition of his body and hair. The way the light is hitting it, it is just so liberating.
What is your favorite technique to use this season?
Free-hand clipper cutting as far as cutting length and also carving designs into the hair.
How has the popularity of men’s styling influenced your choices for this collection?
I feel like the world of cosmetology and barbering are fusing together. Each industry is inspiring to one another. Just as I feel traditional men’s styling is inspiring to women and non-binary folks. The shapes I created can be worn on anyone, they are out there enough that they don’t belong to any one gender and I also wanted to showcase that in the images. They are just really great shapes and I want anyone who likes them to feel empowered to have them created within their hair.
What was your biggest challenge in creating this collection?
The biggest challenge for me is trying to deliver the message of inclusivity. While I create short hair designs and barber inspired looks, gender is never an issue as the techniques used aren't exclusive to men. Finding models that were men, had various hair types, and interesting features was a fun challenge. It was really important to me that the models showcase diversity and inclusion.
What does your collection say about men’s trends?
Being seen here are strong shapes, hard lines and angles, structured and tailored styles that still have flow; they are fluid. I think it speaks to being bold and unconventional and I believe that is what is happening in fashion and beauty currently.
How did social media influence your work?
Seeing what others from all parts of the world are creating is an endless supply of encouragement. Having all different aspects of the industry at your fingertips makes inspiration, education and motivation infinite.
If you were to describe this collection in one word, what would it be?
Tell us a little more about you, as an artist.
I love learning, collaborating and sharing all things hair that allow people to feel empowered by their look. For me, hair is the fabric of your likeness. It is used to create self-love, self respect and self esteem. It can be used as a medium to nurture and express yourself. Hair shouldn't be limited in anyway by gender, race or sexual orientation. I constantly encourage myself and others to view hair in this way and to inspire the industry as a whole to do so as well.
How do you Vegas?
At the pool.
If you won the lotto (or slot machine) tomorrow, what would you do?
Purchase the building my salon is in and turn it into a beauty/barber school, adapt my salon into a healing center and safe space that supported LGBTQ youth.
Looking for inspiration? Be sure check out all the NAHA finalists here.