Congratulations to Melissa Gilbert from Chilliwack, BC., on her first-place win in the “So You Think You Can Style?” Love is in the Hair contest! We caught up with Gilbert to find out more about her winning look.
Gilbert has been working as a hairstylist in Chatters Hair Salon in Chilliwack, B.C. for more than 13 years. With a strong passion for hairstyling, her career started when she saw Wayne Grund, an international award-winning stylist and founder of Surface Hair Care, doing a stage show. It featured “smoke and lasers, and I was hooked. I signed up for beauty school the next week.”
For this contest, Gilbert showcased gorgeous colours in her work, which was inspired by all of the beautiful colours in nature. “I was so inspired by all the flowers and blossoms popping up all over my neighbourhood [in the spring],” she says.
To create the look, the prep took longer than the actual styling. The blow-drying and crimping took approximately 45 minutes on the day of the shoot, but the braiding and application of the flowers was just a 20-minute process. The most time-consuming part was the gluing, which took a couple of extra hours.
When it comes to her tips and techniques, Gilbert glazed her client’s blonde hair with a mixture of Redken City Beats in City Ballet Pink and a touch of Midtown Magenta. She used a texture iron on the majority of it and added in some hair extensions for fullness.
In addition, she used artificial flowers, bobby pins, a hot glue gun and a lot of texturizing powder to help create the volume in the braid and give the pins a good base to anchor into.
“Adding the flowers and foliage separately
really helped me to build the shape and the silhouette I was looking for,” she says. “I wanted it to look like a crown of flowers and being able to individually place everything really let me showcase the different shapes, colours and sizes of the flowers.”
Gilbert reveals that the main reason why she loves her career so much is that there are so many different areas to focus on. “I have always had a hard time choosing just one specialty service because I am extremely education-driven,” she says. “I would say learning and evolving is my favourite part about doing hair. But I always get excited when I see a creative colour appointment on my books. I have a few guests that come in with no plan in mind and give me full control, and that’s the dream, right?”
One piece of advice that Gilbert has for other stylists interested in photo shoots is to always be flexible. “I usually go into shoots with a plan in mind but I also love having different options for styles, outfits and poses so that I can follow any inspiration that may strike on the day of the shoot.”
Congratulations also goes out to our second-place and third-place winners, Rana Hyat and Susan Jones!