Jerica knew in her heart she was born to do hair. She is living proof of what can happen if you believe in yourself.
Jerica is truly outrageous.
Truly, truly, truly outrageous.
(This will make sense once you read the interview.)
Hair Stylist and Master Colorist
Brand Educator, Wella Professional
Ginger Snap Salon | Sudbury ON
What drew you into the beauty industry?
I spent my high school years at a performing arts high school majoring in film and visual arts. At that point in my life, surrounded by so many artistic people, I really began to express myself visually through my hair, makeup and clothing. I wasn’t working yet so I would cut and color my own hair and would even color my own clothing using bleach and fabric dye (mostly everything I own ended up various shades of pink).
I began to develop a reputation for my style and ever-changing hair color and other kids at school would approach me to do their hair. I started doing haircuts in between classes and in kitchens. I would spend hours after school reading blogs about coloring hair and how to achieve the dramatic results I was looking for. After experimenting with film and visual art, I found my medium. After high school, hair school was just a natural fit.
You said winning tickets to the Contessa Awards in 2009, changed the path of your career. Tell us a little about that experience.
I won tickets to Contessa about a year after graduating hair school. I went to a small private college in my hometown of about 250,000 people. Although I loved my career from the beginning, I didn’t fully understand all the places it could take me.
I had a lot of people in my life discourage me from pursuing hair styling because they felt it was a waste of my potential, but I knew in my heart I was born to do hair.
Contessa opened my eyes to the infinite number of paths you could follow in this industry. It inspired me with the levels of true artistry that could be achieved in the hair industry, that I had never really seen until that point.
I was seated at a table with some stylists who talked to me about continuing education classes, Vidal Sassoon and a multitude of other things that lit a fire in my heart to grow.
They encouraged me to chase my dreams. So I did.
What drives your passion as an artist?
Definitely education. For the first few years of my career I would often find myself very frustrated that I was unable to create hairstyles as I saw them in my mind. Once I started taking classes I started to understand what I needed to do to achieve my desired effect.
This felt like power to me, this knowledge, and I chased education at every opportunity.
You are a brand educator for Wella Professionals. How did that opportunity come about?
From my understanding Wella contacted a local distributor asking who he would recommend for a brand educator position in the area. We were friendly and over the years and he had seen how passionate I was about the industry and with Wella as a brand so he recommended me.
I remember getting a phone call asking if I would be interested in the position while shopping then squealing with the delight in the store after hanging up.
It felt like a dream come true!
This year you made it to Los Angeles for the North American Trend Vision Awards. I think you’re the only Stylist I have interviewed who said their model was a big part of their inspiration. I think it makes total sense – when you think about how hair color and cuts go hand in hand with skin tones and facial features.
How did your previous experiences entering Trend Vision help you this year?
Leading up to this year’s competition I really tried to prepare myself by learning as much as I could about the trends in advance. I tried to seek inspiration outside of the hair world by looking at things like architecture, nature and fashion. This is something I was taught to do by a previous employer, Ilona Garson, who won Canadian gold while I was working for her. I also studied my model, who I had worked with in the past, really considering how to translate the trend to best suit her, while in previous years I would get so excited about my vision that I didn’t focus enough on the suitability to the model.
To educate oneself is THE most important thing one can do to become better at their craft.
– Antonio Quintieri
You recently participated in the Cut Craft with Diego Raviglione and Antonio Quintieri. Even though you have been in the industry for quite a while, how do these courses and creative shoots help you grow as a stylist?
They remind me how important it is to remain technical with my execution.
Creativity doesn’t have the same value if it isn’t executed skillfully.
I feel like they force me to take a step back and examine my bad habits. I also find it very inspirational to learn from artists like Diego and Antonio whose work I admire. I try to approach the craft with the same level of respect and professionalism they do.
How was it meeting Stephen Moody?
It was awesome!
I had been a fan for a while and was walking down the street in L.A. when I noticed him having dinner on a patio. I pointed him out to a friend who insisted we walk over and meet him. He was super kind and gracious!
You have had every hair color under the rainbow – what inspires your different looks?
Movies, magazines, comic books, cartoons, pop culture – I was named after Jem and the Holograms and have often worn pink hair as an homage!
Since we are a fashion and beauty blog, would you mind answering a few personal questions?
Not at all.
Do you have a daily beauty routine?
I do. I start by cleansing my skin with a moisturizing cleanser then follow with serum, moisturizer and sunscreen. I then have a seat at my vanity, turn on YouTube and get creative. I find spending the time on my makeup in the morning very calming.
What are some of your hair and make-up must haves?
For hair, I can’t live without Potion 9 by Sebastian Professional or Wella Professionals’ Oil Reflections. I have an addiction to hair treatments, too, I’m always trying something new.
As far as makeup goes, I swear by NARS Sheer Glow Foundation and Milk highlighters. I also can’t live without a warm-toned eye shadow palette like Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Modern Renaissance. My makeup collection is out of hand, really.
How would you describe your personal style?
What is your favorite way to pamper yourself?
Watching Netflix in an epsom bath with a hair mask on.
Finally – what three words describe you best?
Creative, nerdy, perfectionist.