EDITORIAL: Using buzzed heads as a blank canvas, hairstylist Brenda Huerta creates extraordinary designs
Hairstylist: Brenda Huerta
Interview: Sonya Mazuryk
Your style is very unique. How would you describe it in your own words? I would say my style is unique because I don’t put myself in a box or follow any beauty trends. All of the work I create speaks to who I am and all of the things I’m passionate about, not just hair. I don’t search online for inspiration, I create art that feels good to me.
"I don’t search online for inspiration, I create art that feels good to me"
Can you tell me a bit about your working process? How do you come up with ideas and implement them? When I’m coming up with new ideas I am always inspired by nature, music, fashion and love. I might be out on a hike and see shades of green I like on some trees and I’ll take a photo to reference later on. My client’s and their personal style also have a huge impact on what I decide to create. I want to give them something they’ll love and wear proudly.
"I might be out on a hike and see shades of green I like on some trees and I’ll take a photo to reference later on"
So when was the first time you created a painting on hair? I can’t say that I remember exactly when was my first time painting on hair. While I was in cosmetology school I practiced a lot on doll heads. A close friend of mine who is also an artist that goes by the name Six Sev was one of the first people to trust my creativity and allow me to paint designs on his hair.
"Six Sev was one of the first people to trust my creativity and allow me to paint designs on his hair"
And how did you feel about the final result? I am always excited and surprised when I see the final result because I constantly push myself to do things I’m not so sure I can do. Sev is definitely always asking me to do the impossible which allows for me to take risks. The results always feel like small victories.
"Getting your hair done is such a freeing feeling and to be the person behind is so rewarding"
I saw your early IG posts where hair mirrors the surroundings. In what way does the outside world affect your body of work? As mentioned before, I am extremely inspired by nature and other arts like music, fashion and fine art. I have always been a creative even before doing hair so naturally I have endless references in mind that I’m always incorporating in my work.
"My client’s and their personal style also have a huge impact on what I decide to create"
What does hair offer as a medium that other mediums don’t? Hair is the ultimate form of creative expression. Whether you color it or not, the way you wear and style your hair says a lot about who you are. Hair is our only natural born accessory that we get to manipulate to express ourselves and it totally transforms you. You go into the salon one way and leave a new person with a new look and perhaps even new perspective, leaving the old you in the past. Getting your hair done is such a freeing feeling and to be the person behind is so rewarding.
"Hair is our only natural born accessory that we get to manipulate to express ourselves and it totally transforms you"
While talking about art, how did the idea of recreating Jean-Michel Basquiat’s art piece come about? Recreating Basquiat’s art pieces was a no brainer for me, he has been a huge inspiration since I was very young. It was only a matter of time before I found the perfect canvas for this project.
"All of the work I create speaks to who I am and all of the things I’m passionate about, not just hair"
When working within beauty and fashion, how do you keep pushing yourself to avoid settling for accepted beauty standards? Settling is not something I do at all, not within the beauty industry or my personal life. It’s very cliché but being yourself will take you so far. I don’t compare myself to anyone else, I am only inspired by others. As a Mexican woman from Compton CA, I grew up with a community of people who set the beauty standards of today. The black and brown women in my life are the true trailblazers.
"I don’t compare myself to anyone else, I am only inspired by others"
Let’s talk a little bit about the clientele.. I guess there is a certain excitement of an image being painted onto one’s hair. When you work with a client, do they come with a precise idea of what they’d like to wear or is it a conversation between both of you? My clientele is so diverse, each person comes in with different ideas. Sometimes they will have a very specific vision for their look including designs and colors, and other times they have no idea and allow me to have complete creative control. It’s great when clients have photos on hand of their inspiration if they have a vision and if not I have no problem taking over. Either way, there is always conversation. Talking to my clients helps me learn more about them which helps me create something I feel will resonate.
"I want to give them something they’ll love and wear proudly"
Lastly, as a trend setter, what would you recommend for creatives who are just starting out? As I mentioned before, being yourself will take you so far. You have to believe in yourself wholeheartedly even when you’re taking risks. Nothing worth having comes easy. Staying consistent and having a clear vision of what you want and what those things mean to you will keep you motivated and striving to be the best. Not following trends is way cooler than putting yourself in a box. Love for yourself and your passions is all you need.
"You have to believe in yourself wholeheartedly even when you’re taking risks"