BANGSTYLE: NAHA Finalist - Daniel Rubin | Hair Color


Hair: Daniel Rubin

Makeup: Melissa Musseau

Photography: NoAmy the Photographer


We are thrilled to partner once again with the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) to promote all of the talented artists who are finalists for the 2018 NAHAs (North American Hairstyling Awards), the most prestigious hair and beauty award in the country. In this feature, get to know more about this year's Haircolor Finalist – Daniel Rubin.

A classical guitarist from age 4-18, Daniel Rubin has always had a love for the arts. In recent times he finds himself taking in Broadway and Off-Broadway musicals and saving a special place in his heart for modern dance. He loves expressing his voice through his art of hair and has always had a strong focus on color. Learn more about this NAHA nominee below and see his beautiful collection: Ki-Mai-A-Tae, a gender-fluid collection that is expressed beautifully through the use of interpretive colors.

What is your favorite aspect of haircolor?

Hair color has the ability to subtly influence a shape or a part of the whole haircut. However, it also can dominate and be the focal point of an entire look without letting the shape dictate the look. Color is a new favorite trend to express one's individuality and I love bringing that to every client and model I’m privileged to work on.

What was the inspiration behind this collection?

Called Ki-Mai-A-Tae, this collections’ name came from a skit during improv class. The topic was to describe drag speaking in gibberish. Somehow, that name stuck with my makeup artist and I.

My best friend is not only a hairdresser but also a well-known drag queen (Natasha Douglas). The art and world of drag in all its forms constantly inspires me. Gender neutrality is a focal point, thus making each model “gender fluid”.  My fashion influencers were the other wordily designs of Gareth Pugh, Rick Owens, and Comme Des Garcons.

What was your biggest challenge?

Using a white background with white makeup. We did three makeup trials and through a drag secret, we discovered a product called clown white. We the teams always say, “Clown white came through”. The other struggle was getting the right shot using two models at once. Creating a color relationship between the two models one having mostly pastel with a vibrant accent of their counterpart was easy. What was more challenging was getting the models in the right position to showcase the hair and show the overall mood in each image.


How did you ensure the colors came out as you envisioned?

I made sure that each model was paired with the appropriate counterpart. This collection was not only telling a color focus story, but also one of mood. I wanted to make sure each model complimented one another’s color and shape. Therefore, I made sure each model was the dominant force either the boy or the female and their counterpart was a softer version. Using the most vibrant part of their counterpart I chose a softer pastel route for their image pairings. I’m hoping the world sees this message conveyed when studying the collection visually.

Are you predicting any color trends?

I see reds coming back with a strong expressive voice (I’m a secret red lover). Blondes will stay naturalized and even sandier and quite more sophisticated still on the search and wanting a color that can express their individuality through tone. Brunettes are moving spicier and highly reflective in tone. Overall, all spectrums longer (stretched) regrowth will be more prevalent.


How do you Vegas?

Well, being I have been sober for almost 13 years; I don’t stay out too late or drink and gamble (I play a little blackjack that’s it). Otherwise, you can find me at the pool or spa taking on the best high end relaxing facilities that Vegas offers. I do love some of the shows. I haven’t seen Cher yet, so I may go.

Salty or sweet?

Sweet all the way (starburst and red vine addict).


What did you learn about yourself through creating this collection?

That I can really go all the way when it comes to creating what lives in my heart and my crazy mind. I love NAHA because it sets no limits on creating. As long as it’s sophisticated, cohesive, and makes people experience “what was he thinking (hopefully in a good way) when he created this?”... Then, I feel I have created exactly what I want to showcase.  Having no borders or algorithm to go by, I create from the most pure form of the principles of design.  Overall, competitions strengthen all your skills in hair, fashion, attention to detail and developing different techniques to compliment your overall intended vision.

If you won the lotto (or slot machine) tomorrow, what would you do?

Give half of it to the homeless/ trans-LGBT Youth of Chicago and keep the rest for my friends, family and of course me (girls got to have his labels;)).