Q. Where are you happiest?
A. I’m happy when I’m free to express and create my art without pressure or limits. And that’s true no matter whether I’m in the salon, at a show or in the classroom. But I'm happiest when I watch my kids run around, hear their giggles and just enjoy the most important job they have right now—being kids and having fun.
Q. What do you love most about the industry?
A. What I really like is the large amount of sharing and support for one another that I see happening in our industry. Our fellow stylists are now open to sharing their formulations … and I love that!
Q. Who do you admire most in the industry?
One of the women I most admire is Lisa Marie Garcia, the President of Innovation at Farouk Systems, Inc. She is not only a friend and a mentor, but she is also a woman I respect because of her wisdom, her talent and her courage to push for excellence.
I also admire Tabatha Coffey, Sonya Dove, Tracy Hughes and Mary Rector-Gable. These powerful leaders educate through quality, consistency and respect—traits that stand strong because they are both timeless and true.
But perhaps Dr. Farouk Shami—Farouk Systems’ Chairman and Hairdresser and a newly appointed National Defense University Foundation representative and advisor—is the most inspiring of them all. He has always been a hairdresser for hairdressers, and he continues to bring us together worldwide through our craft.
Q. What inspires you?
A. What really gets my creative juices flowing is music—more instrumental than anything else because of my background in classical music. I believe you’re never alone when you have good music around you.
Q. How do you push yourself every day?
A. I am a natural problem solver and a goal-oriented person. So, I thrive on challenges! I have to discover the “how to” to feel satisfied, and then it’s on to the next goal! I find it all exciting!
Q. What do you love doing outside of work?
A. I love spending time with my family—my amazing husband and three kids. But I also I love spending quiet time alone. That’s when I retreat to recharge by painting, reading, playing an instrument or working on home improvement projects.
Q. What do you love most about your clients?
I have such amazing clients who have been there through my journey as a hairdresser, salon owner and artist. They are like family and so supportive. Their trust in me means more than I can ever express in words.
Q. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
A. For me, it’s having balance. I wear many hats, and balance is hard to accomplish in my life, my career and my creative work. My perfectionist side and my creative side have struggled for years to “get along.” But I’m learning when one should lead and when the other side needs to take a step back.
Q. What is your favorite place to visit?
A. I have left a little piece of my heart in many places. Mexico is where I spent a lot of time growing up, so naturally I feel right at home when I am there. And although my heart seems to beat to the rhythm of New York City, the Alps and the Rocky Mountains take my breath away.
Q. What is your favorite cutting technique?
A. I use an array of techniques, including razor cutting that feels natural to my hand. But I always start my cuts with precision cutting as my foundation and then incorporate more activity to my cuts with other texture-enhancing techniques.
Q. What is your favorite color technique?
A. Recently I’ve been adding a concentrated form of pigments to my color melting that has changed the shadow rooting game for me. I discovered it one day after a rookie mistake. Lucky for me and my strength in color, I went with it knowing I could make it work. And I’ve been doing that ever since—it’s flawless! I call it “Concentrated Shadowed Root.” Now it’s my new favorite color technique!
Q. What is your favorite trend?
A. I have to say, I’m really enjoying all the colorful hair! It’s refreshing to see how people express themselves through color. And I love that men are embracing color, too.
Q. Do you use social media to advance your career? If so, how?
A. Absolutely! I use it for my own educational and artistic purposes, but I also use it for my salon company. I have a super talented team of hair designers who I love to show off and brag to the public about. So social media is key for spreading the word and attracting business to my salon family.
Q. Why are beauty shows important?
A. Education, education, education. Staying current with trends and the evolution of products and tools is so important to performing your best. And shows offer all of this in one fun event that will recharge your passion for the industry!
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
A. My dear friend and hairdresser father figure, Mikko Samuli Horttana, gave me a golden nugget of advice years ago that stays with me ’til this day. He said, “Don’t strive for perfection, strive for excellence—it’s much more achievable and far more gratifying.”
Q. Where do you see yourself in five years?
A. I see myself in a panel of strong and confident colorists. I see my salon and my team more successful than they could ever imagine. And I see them with a future so secure and a lifestyle so comfortable through the rewards of all of our hard work and dedication. In addition, I want to leave an impactful footprint and be one of the leading ladies in our beautiful industry.
Cynthia Diersen | CHI® International Creative Artist, Brand Ambassador & Color Talking Head for Farouk Systems, Inc. | Salon Owner and Creative Director Houston, Texas | @cynthiadiersen
What does being licensed to create mean to you?
"To me, Licensed to Create, like art, means without limits, without judgement and without fear. It’s letting your creativity take over and share your craft for others to enjoy."
Q. What are your must-have products?
• Biosilk® Silk Therapy® Lite
• CHI Luxury® Black Seed Oil
• CHI® Set the Stage Blow Dry Spray
• Royal Treatment® Ultimate Control Hairspray
Visit your local Armstrong McCall® Store for your favorite products.
Posted October 1, 2018