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Q & A with 2015 NAHA Finalist Lindsey Olson

Lya Navarra

Author Lya Navarra

Lindsey OlsonLindsey Olson is a seasoned stylist who thrives on inspiration. Her passion and dedication to this industry is truly felt in her innovative creations as a nominee in the 2015 North American Hairstylist Awards category for Contemporary Classic & Texture. We caught up with Lindsey, as we wanted to pick her brain about this captivating collection. There is a lot to take in and learn, especially for those looking to enter this prestigious competition in the future.

Hi Lindsey, we are grateful to have some time with you, let’s begin with what challenges you?

I love to challenge myself in numerous measures. I push myself to accomplish things I have never done before as I know by challenging myself I will develop and grow as an individual. This has proved relevant for me from entering NAHA for the very first time to running marathons and traveling to the other side of the world to experience culture unlike the world we typically live in.

How long have you been doing hair?

I have been working in salons for 17 years and have been a licensed stylist for almost 13 years. Working in a salon was my very first job. At 16 years old, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do for my future. I thought about doing hair and wanted to see what that looked like. So I applied and was hired at Amato Hair Design in Frankfort, IL. This salon was everything! They were busy, modern, involved in the community, hosted classes with Redken top educators, and was the home for Leah Freeman, my first mentor. I quickly observed Leah’s strengths and confidence in color and deigning. She truly inspired me and I set my goal of one day becoming a Redken artist. I began as a shampoo assistant. I was also responsible for ordering color, shampoos and treatments. I was able to observe haircuts, color, styling, and perms, all of which taught me more then I could have ever imagined and I loved every minute of it! I continued to work at Amato through beauty school, landed an associate position with Leah, and progressed as a stylist behind my own chair. Those were some of the best years of my life! It still amazes me to think that my first job in high school shampooing hair brought me to so many places, events and the opportunity to meet the most amazing talented people in the world. I could never imagine life without any of it now.

What inspired you to enter NAHA 2015?

I decided to enter NAHA just to have the experience, the chance to create and challenge myself. I know as artists we have moments when we want to create and be challenged but NAHA was different for me. I knew there were really no limits and I would be able to put my heart and soul into the entire process to show beautiful work. And as a designer and colorist who works behind the chair full time I do not find many moments where this is all possible.

Tell us a little about the preparation leading up to the shoot.

I reached out to Redken Artistic Director, Kris Sorbie for mentoring, as she is an incredible talent and she had the NAHA experience under her belt. I felt if I was going to engage in this endeavor I needed to reach out to one of the greats for some advice. I already knew it would be difficult to land a nomination and honestly, I never even imagined I would be a finalist, I just wanted to do it and that drive led me to move forward and go for it! I hired an amazing team, all who had a ton of experience. We collaborated with images and storyboards to create a strong vision. It’s a great feeling to work within a team!

Can you share some experiences with us about what went on during the shoot?

I know! Working with this tremendously talented team was seamless, we worked perfectly together and I couldn’t have been happier about that! I had a very busy mind during the shoot and I suddenly felt out of my comfort zone, so much was going on around me as I was working solo on the hair. My team had all this experience and although I had previous experience working on three photo shoots prior to taking this on I felt like a newbie. My vision was defiant. I had a story and I needed to let it happen. My team was incredibly supportive and I finally began to relax. I just needed to let myself create the hair the way I knew how and suddenly the looks began to come alive! My take away was learning if you try too hard sometimes things just don’t work. Letting it all go was huge for me and I am incredibly grateful for everything!

Wow, what an experience! Tell us about your previous experiences and accolades, have you been published and where did you obtain the skills that brought you to where you are today? 

I am part of the Redken family as a Redken Artist! Redken literally changed my life both personally and professionally. The skills and experiences I have acquired over the years are a direct result of the training Redken has given me to facilitate my sincere passion for this industry. I had the distinct honor to have been chosen as a facilitator to work with many talented Redken Artists at the number one education facility in our industry, The Redken Exchange in New York City. And as a Redken Artist I continue to share what I have learned with other salon professionals so they too can be successful! My accolades include the publications Salon International Magazine, Hairdressers Journal, Peluqerias from Helen Oppenheim and online publication Bangstyle– all of which published my 2015 NAHA finalist collection. I am humbled and obliged, it’s an amazing feeling to be recognized and published!

Now for the Collection, we are on the edge of our seats, what inspired you for the looks to enter the 2015 NAHA Contemporary Classic & Texture Category?

My inspiration for this collection came from simplicity; I love classic, clean simple lines, nothing too busy. I was thinking about women and their arrivals to Ellis Island in the 30's. Although the women had experienced many struggles and disappear along their journey they still looked beautiful! Their clothes were dragging but their hair and faces were well kept, a little dirty and disheveled but glamorous...I went with a weft-like feeling. I love finishing and up-styling! I created the looks wanting something timeless; images that could be forever admired. Styling options are endless and can change it all, even if it's for a moment.

Lindsey was gracious enough to share how to create each of the three hairstyles that were finalists in the 2015 NAHA Contemporary Classic & Texture Category. Scroll down to view the looks.


Click here get the how-to to create the textured hairstyle below.

Chantell Hairstyle NAHA 2015 Lindsey Olson NAHA 2015 Contemporary Classic & Texture Category Photographer: Nico lliev | Hair: Lindsey Olson | Make up: James Vincent | Wardrobe Stylist: Miranda Cazin | Models: Fenton

Check out Lindsey Olson's other NAHA how-to hairstyles by clicking the links below.

Follow Lindsey Olsen on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK for inspiration & education. If you have any questions or comments for Lindsey about shooting for NAHA, leave them in the box below.