We spoke with Ali Pike, who took home the Atlantic Hairstylist of the Year award at the 30th annual Contessa Awards.
Tell me about your collection. What was the concept behind it? How did you decide on which colours and techniques to use?
I wanted to portray vagabonds. If you stopped into a gas station in the Midwest you might see these women halfway between nowhere and somewhere. I envision them caravanning, or on an old motorcycle touring the desert, letting the wind carry them. I revel in the idea of the free-spirited gypsy lifestyle. This time I found my wardrobe first, so I let the fabric colours and patterns dictate the hair.
What does winning this award mean to you?
I have been entering Contessa since I attended hair school, a little over a decade ago. This year I was shooting simply because I needed a creative outlet, as I was off for maternity leave. It feels like the year I let go and just did it for me is the first year I won! I couldn’t be happier!
Who is your mentor or someone you look up to?
My hair school teacher, Mary Gabriel Cadigan, was the first person to show me how much opportunity there is in our industry if you really work for it. I’ve worked alongside so many great stylists, but Marjorie Clarke and Elizabeth Winters lit my fire for photoshoots with their creativity, passion and precision. The way those women can turn hair into fabric still blows my mind!
How would you describe your style when it comes to photoshoots? Any special rituals/how do you stay on track/what’s in your kit?
I would describe it as eclectic. My ideas have been inspired by shapes, fashion, sometimes just a feeling or vibe, but once the idea is in my head I start story-boarding. Over the years I’ve done this with different mediums, but I always like to keep a notebook and make good old-fashioned word webs. My thoughts are often fleeting, so this way I can just jot down words, phrases or draw shapes as they come to me. It doesn’t all have to make sense in the beginning, but by collecting it all along the way I can look at it later and create the big picture.
If you weren’t a hairstylist, what do you think you would be doing?
Probably working in wellness. I love making people feel good.
What’s next for you after your win? Anything you’re working on or any goals you have that you are hoping to achieve?
Right now, I just want to keep having fun! I recently joined the team at The Seahorse Salon, working alongside my best friends. We have started some creative projects recently, so you should be seeing more from us in the near future.
Name/Nom: Ali Pike
Category/Catégorie: Atlantic Hairstylist | Styliste Provinces Atlantiques
Salon: The Seahorse Salon, St. John’s, Nfld.
Makeup/Maquillage: Katie Sullivan
Wardrobe/Styliste Mode: Ali Pike
Photos: Apryl Stead