Founded in 2009 by Gerard Scarpaci and Randy Taylor, Hairbrained is a digital community of devoted hair stylists and colorists. It is there that they can all share their know-how, their love of their craft and the behind-the-scenes world of salons, and shows to enhance and make the art of hairstyling grow. With nearly a half million hairstylist subscribers, 120,000 photos and 4,500 videos, Hairbrained is a veritable anthill of ideas. Meet its proactive founders.
The Birth Of Hairbrained
Randy Taylor and Gerard Scarpaci met when they were both working as trainers for a brand name. Their common vision of the hairstyling craft allowed them to establish a firm friendship. It was over a pizza and beers that Randy first mentioned the idea of creating an online community of hairstylists. Gerard, who had always been devoted to maintaining contacts made during his professional career – at Sassoon, Aveda, in his New York salon or Chez Arrojo – was fascinated by the concept.
“The community was born out of a desire to connect – and to nurture those connections beyond the classroom. Through the Hairbrained platform, we were able to create a bridge between educators and their students.”
The two chose the name “Hairbrained” because “Randy and I always keep beauty in mind,” explained Scarpaci.
These two had indeed met in order to promote the art of hairstyling.
What Is Hairbrained?
Since its launch, the platform has prioritized the image. Randy Taylor, trainer and salon owner, is also a photo and video enthusiast. If Hairbrained publishes a portion of the content, it is primarily the members that make the site work. They share pictures of their work, which is always of high quality. In this way they show their skill and what they are capable of. Original, sometimes extravagant, hair styles, virtuosity in razor cuts, unusual coloring procedures are all equally sources of inspiration for the Hairbrained tribe. “Hairbrained is an authentic, united community,” says Tanya Ramirez. “There is a constant stream of brilliant hair imagery, and I want to be part of that. Just as I glean inspiration, my hope is that I, too, can inspire other hairdressers through my work.”
The members can also discuss techniques, products and accessories or request advice. “Our community is so large we draw from each other’s experience. Everyone benefits!” asserts Scarpaci.
Today Hairbrained brings together half a million hairstylists. In fact, 120,000 photos and 4,500 videos are already posted, with 4,000 subjects for discussion launched in its forums. Hairbrained also organizes contests for the best video – a good way to encourage hairstylists to showcase their work. In addition, the site sets up surveys in order to better see where the profession is going and, potentially, to participate in its changes as they happen. Hairbrained contributes to the promotion of the craft and defends its interests. Patty Gibbons, a member of Hairbrained, for her part is trying to instill a positive work ethic. “Hairbrained has always been a place for hairdressers who strive for excellence. This helps to push the boundaries of the collective,” she explains.
How To Join
To join Hairbrained, nothing is easier. All you have to do is register online to have access to all the site archives. “It’s super simple. We don’t ask anything in return – the fully mobile app is free – but most of our members find that contributing (pictures, videos, knowledge) is fun!” says Gerard Scarpaci.
National borders do not limit Hairbrained. The tribe was born in the United States, but it has members all over the world, and expects to expand further, particularly in Europe and in Asia.
Why Join Hairbrained?
The most important purpose of Hairbrained is training. “It is by sharing that one becomes better” could be the motto of the community. “We aim to inspire our members to elevate themselves, which will in turn elevate the level of craftsmanship within the entire industry. The beauty industry is at a crossroads, and collectively the Hairbrained community is helping to nudge it down the best possible path,” declares Scarpaci.
Scarpaci himself remembers how the razor cut method that he observed Chez Nick Arrojo revolutionized his work. He hopes then that, thanks to Hairbrained, hairstylists will find new creative inspirations and will learn innovative techniques so that they progress in their practice of their craft.
In addition, real connections are being established on Hairbrained. Some stylists are re-establishing old relationships, others are discovering mentors. Affinities are being created and several professionals have already formed work teams for hairstyling events or shows. “Hairbrained’s unique approach to social media has really allowed me to deepen my community connections, and to take my classroom relationships home with me,” confirms Jesse Gaines, who is also a member of the community.
So how about putting down your scissors for a minute and registering on Hairbrained!