We met Rachel Lynn Carr after she took first place at the Sebastian Whats Next Awards. We happen to be standing next to her adorable Hair Hubby, Richard, who cheered louder than anyone in the place! Rachel has always had a passion for the arts. She studied writing and arts at the University of Pittsburgh shortly finding herself better suited for the beauty industry. She is a go-getter who never stops learning and is often found on set to capture her work for competitions and editorial spreads. Hair Nerds like Rachel make the hair world go round, setting goals and conquering them while inspiring other to do the same. ~ The Hair Nerds

How did you hear about the competition and what made you want to compete?

I heard about the contest from Sebastian’s Facebook page and I wanted to compete because I felt like Sebastian was a good fit for me stylistically. They are true artists and they pay great attention to silhouette and subtlety in texture. I am very attracted to their editorial work.

We were so excited when they announced that you won!! We were right next to your husband Richard through-out the show, and we can definitely vouch that he too was super excited. What were the thoughts that went through you when you heard them call your name?

I was so… confused. I was just in utter shock. I had been bracing myself for the possibility that my name wouldn’t be called, and then when it was, I just couldn’t believe it. But it was great because Carole and Christina were there and I could see their excitement for me and I was just so thrilled! And pumped that I would be able to stay an extra day for the American Salon shoot.

What was the experience like working with the Sebastian team before the official stage day?

I met a lot of the Sebastian team at a cocktail party a few days before the show and was able to have some great conversations with a lot of the team and many of the folks on the business side of Sebastian. Everyone was welcoming and charismatic and just plain fun to be around. It was fun to see everyone getting to work the next day and just continuing to get to know the team members.

We are blown away by your work and would love to know where do you find Hairspiration?

I get a lot of inspiration from music and nature. This was especially true for my San Francisco inspired piece because from Woodstock to present day, I think San Francisco has housed lot of immensely talented musicians. Also, I grew up on the west coast and I miss the Pacific Ocean terribly while I am away, so that was part of the inspiration for the waves in my model’s hair. I also love the craft, do-it-yourself vibe of San Francisco and I wanted her hair headband to look crafty and detailed, like something she could’ve found at a flea market or craft fair.

As someone who competed in a student competition, what advice would you give to other student’s who are interested in competing?

Don’t be too theatrical or over the top with props or lighting or set design. Just create a cohesive and interesting hairstyle. I would also recommend making a mood board (a lot of people I know use Pinterest for this these days) so the model, photographer and makeup artist are all on the same page stylistically.

By looking at you submission for What’s Next, we have come to realize that you are very detail oriented. Do you feel like your eye for detail helped you through-out the competition?

I am very detail oriented and I do think that has helped me. However, I am striving to take more steps back throughout the process and think more about overall shape. I think for great art there needs to be balance between details and silhouette and I believe I have work to do in that regard. My background is in painting and sculpture and I always struggled finding balance in those disciplines, but my best work always had grand shapes and also intricate textures. I think it is important for people to see any kind of artwork from afar and have something suck them in, otherwise what is the point of having detail work? My favorite work has always been the kind that looks interesting, yet simple, but the more you look at it the more you find, and the more you want to just keep looking at it.

If you could choose three stylist’s to work with, who would they be?

Oh! Tough question! Sebastian has assigned Anthony Cress as my mentor/coach for the year and he is definitely on the list. He has achieved so much at a fairly young age, and he is such a nice guy. I also love Richelle Evans, she is a killer stylist, a hard worker and just plain sweet as can be. She is so positive and energetic. I would also love to shadow Thomas Dunkin, I really respect his style, it is so subtle, but always conscientious.

Hair Nerd Carrie took the Sebastian Infinite Possibilities Editorial Class with Richelle Evans and had the most #UuhMazing time!  

Do you have any plans to compete in any other competitions in the future?

Sebastian is sponsoring me for NAHA this year, so that is a definite. And then Trendvision next year and probably the What’s Next Awards again in the professional category.

Besides competing, what do you see in your future in the beauty industry?

In the short term I am just trying to learn everything I possibly can about hair, building my clientele at the salon, working weddings for speed and skill building, working on my beauty blog (http://rachellynncarr.wordpress.com/), and doing photo shoots around Pittsburgh. I have some very specific goals that I am certain will be met eventually, but I don’t want to force them. I am a go-with-the-flow type of person and I am open to a lot of paths at this point, just trying to keep busy and build my skill set. I have a friend that says, “Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.”. I am just working hard so I will be ready when opportunity arises.

I Knew I Was A Hair Nerd When…

Probably in college when I went to Pitchfork music festival and was paying more attention to the construction of people’s haircuts than the music (and the music was pretty awesome that year…)

Nerd Stalk Rachel Carr on Hairbrained or her Beauty Blog