As a past Contessa winner, Thelma Bento has excelled at bringing her hair vision to life. For her Contessa 2017 Ontario Hairstylist of the Year finalist collection, London- based Bento combined structured styles with soft texture and colour for looks that are both fashion-forward and true to her style.
“When I was shooting this collection, I was really inspired by braids and cornrows. I wanted the models to be fierce, so I chose to incorporate a bit more texture and movement in the looks.
I wanted them to be like warriors, but have softness in the hair; hair that’s flowy with movement, and with soft, pastel tones in the bob with the curls. I used soft highlights, balayage and hand-painting techniques,” says Bento. “I try to change the game a little bit and think outside the box—do things my way and not worry about what anyone else is doing.”
Like many hairstylists, Bento uses mood boards to plan all of her shoots—gathering inspirational images online, from Instagram and Vogue Italia because “they tend to be ahead of the game a little bit, so I always like to see what’s trending over there, take it home and translate it into what I think is going to work.”
Up for the Challenge
According to Bento, the Contessa Awards have helped her embrace both her competitive and creative sides. “Competing keeps me driven and motivated, and not stagnant,” she says. “I love my day-to-day salon work, but [when competing] I get to be creative and get to work my brain a little differently than it works every single day. There are no borders with it—I get to do whatever I want.”
With one Contessa award already under her belt, Bento continues to see competition as an opportunity for growth. “It keeps me working towards my goals,” she says. “I own my own salon here in London, Ont., so I want to keep my team motivated, too, and keep them striving for more. For me, it’s not the competition part, it’s [realizing] I’m in the top five in Canada. That’s so amazing.”