Twisted Roots

I had really wanted to create a collection that would showcase my braiding skills. I remember I wanted simplicity for styling with a strong visual neck piece. I also wanted to work with models that possessed the texture of hair ideal for the collection I wanted to bring to life

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This collection was 1 of 5 shoots executed in the winter of 2016 for NAHA 2017. Although it was not nominated, I submitted the collection for publication and was honored to have it grace the pages of American Salon Magazine.

 Braiding hair on model, Centria

Braiding hair on model, Centria

In the past few years I worked with photographer, Clay Cook (whom I was nominated for a mens award in 2014). I had booked make up artist, Isidro Valencia and designer\stylist Genna Yussman Greene. Everyone was on board and loved the concept. 

 with Isidro and Clay

with Isidro and Clay

For booking the models, I had couple in mind that I had recently worked with on other shoots. I was so happy when they all agreed and were available on the day I had set up with the team.  

 

 selfie with model, Centria Kapris

selfie with model, Centria Kapris

 selfie with model, Myah Danielle Winbush

selfie with model, Myah Danielle Winbush

 selfie with model, Tyrah Burton

selfie with model, Tyrah Burton

Practice was imperative and I chose mannequins that had hair similar to the models I had booked. I spent a few weeks practicing different looks on them. I would at some point finish the look somewhat satisfied and  wood return the following day to see if I was still feeling the hairstyle. If I didn't speak to me, I would redo the stylet. If it did then I sought to enhance the overall look.

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I practiced the styles for several hours over a couple of weeks on Pivot Point Mannequins. I would send text images of my mannequins to Clay and Isidro so they would have an idea of where I was taking the hair.

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 photo of my mannequin   image by Derek Hibben

photo of my mannequin 

image by Derek Hibben

The Day of the shoot was on a Sunday at Clay's studio. I made sure to have lots of food and drink on set for the models. The shoot lasted for a total of 7 hours with at least 2 hours prep for each model.  Wardrobe was easy as all models would be adorned with the large necklace. I remember being exhausted with tired hands after the shoot but I was happy because I knew we had made something amazing. 

 set up for success

set up for success

I tend to always overpack for photoshoots so I had plenty of hair extensions, irons and products at hand. The fun part is always creating the mess but not so much the clean up.

 Tag team with my bestie and make up artist Isidro 

Tag team with my bestie and make up artist Isidro 

I invited Derek Hibben on set to take bts images and he did an fantastic job. The looks were inspired by Asian and African hairstyles and from my own imagination.

 on set with Clay 

on set with Clay 

Having a team is so crucial, I love working with Isidro he is able to balance the hair with the appropriate make up. Genna always have amazing ideas and always has really unique fashions and accessories. Working with Clay is always a pleasure, he has a great eye for balance and brings his creative touch to every project.

 

On model Centria I flat-straighten her long hair using Redken's Iron Shape 11.  I deftly cornrowed her hair with Braid Aid 03 on scalp then transition the braids off scalp. I secured a high bun on top with elastic cord and adorned it with some of the smaller braids securing each layer with Fashion Works 12. I finished the look with Control Addict 28 and lots of Shine Flash 02.

 model Centria Kapris  final Image Clay Cook

model Centria Kapris

final Image Clay Cook

 Centria   image by Derek Hibben

Centria 

image by Derek Hibben

On model, Tyrah I diffused her natural texture and used clips and the heat of the hair dry to create and sustain the separation (space) in her rounded hairstyle. I then applied Hardward Gel 16 styling gel to create the braided veil. I did tiny brides around her hairline then forged them together at certain points with black rubber bands. I finished the look with Control Addict 28 and Shine Flash 02.

 model Tyrah Burton  final image Clay Cook

model Tyrah Burton

final image Clay Cook

 Profile shot of Tyrah and the "braided veil"

Profile shot of Tyrah and the "braided veil"

 

For model, Myah I did a directional blow dry the cornrowed her hair with Braid Aid 02. I added several wefted hair extensions that were micro crimped using the Sam Villa Texur Iron and formed into a disheveled, textured bun. I used Fashion Works 12 to separate the style and finished with Control Addict 28 and Shine Flash 02.

 model Myah Danielle Winbush  final image Clay Cook

model Myah Danielle Winbush

final image Clay Cook

For make up I gave Isidro free range. I had sent him only a couple inspirational images. I only request a strong lip of which we choose a bright tangerine for contrast. He created a beautiful arched brow and soft smoky eye. Post shoot Clay asked if I would be open to Black and White and I agreed as it would give a strong effect. 

 NAHA make up artist, Isidro paints model, Myah

NAHA make up artist, Isidro paints model, Myah

 close up of hair and make up on Tyrah

close up of hair and make up on Tyrah

Model Tyrah with close up of make up and braided hair veil

I submitted the images to Amy Dodds of American Salon Magazine. She loved the images and asked for them exclusively for print in the August 2017 issue. I was thrilled as was the entire team. Seeing our work in print is an amazing experience I am so thankful to Amy and the team.

 tearsheet from American Salon Magazine

tearsheet from American Salon Magazine

 tearsheet from American Salon Magazine

tearsheet from American Salon Magazine

 tearsheet from American Salon Magazine

tearsheet from American Salon Magazine

Credits

Hair | Matthew Tyldesley     @hairbymatt              

Photography | Clay Cook    @claycookphoto  www.claycookphoto.com     

Make up | Isidro Valencia     @valencia0612     

Styling | Genna Yussmane Greene @gennayussman

Assistants | Hunter Zieske  @hunterzieske

                  | Louis Tinsley   @louistinsley 

Retouch | Jordan Hartley   @jordanhartleyretouch

Models | Centria Kapris @cen_tria

             | Tyrah Burton (Heyman Talent Agency)  @tyrah_burton

            | Myah Danielle Winbush @myahdanielle

I am so grateful for everyone involved in this project. 

 Isidro going in for the cut

Isidro going in for the cut

 Selfie with Clay

Selfie with Clay

Below is the bts making of video of "Twisted Roots"

Twisted Roots Behind the scenes video