Photographer: Duane Tinkey
Stylist: Jessica Miller
Beauty and the Beast: Elanni Sherick, 34
Artist and hairstylist
I’ve had brown hair, black hair, red hair, no hair. This color is a combination of white, blue, lavender and silver. I am not committed to the idea of it being just one way. I like to be whimsical with my hair.
Gray is beautiful and amazing. I tell women with a significant amount of natural silver hair, “Don’t mess with it. Don’t color it.”
After the initial style, I can just wake up, shake out my hair, and tie it in a knot at the top of my head for sleeping. I wash it once or twice a week—it takes an entire day to dry on its own. The volume is natural. My hair is a beast; I’m not kidding. I just decide when to tame it and when to let it be wild.
By Design: Trahvae Freraire, 41
Owner, Trahvae Freraire Studio
I had really long hair for 10 years. Then I woke up one day and was over it. So in 2005, I took a razor to my hair and was bald for six years. Then I thought I’d grow a Mohawk, but back then, everyone had a Mohawk, so I decided to do a design on the sides and back. I ended up cutting the Mohawk—it was too tall and hit the top of my car—but I kept the design.
About every three weeks, I go to my barber, Traví Ford, who works at a barbershop across the street from my salon. I give him complete freedom to trim and freshen the look. He’s the only one who’s cut my hair since I moved to Des Moines in 2002.
I believe that I have to wear the type of hair I want to cut. If I want to work with creative, interesting, amazing hair, that’s the way my hair should look.
People say, “I love your hair. Can I touch it?” And I say, “Thank you, but no, you can’t touch it.”
The Long Game: Angela Rauch, 33
Merchandiser, Campbell’s Nutrition Center
I had long hair as a child but started cutting it really short in high school. In 2012, I made a point to grow my hair out because I was getting married. I haven’t cut it since, other than maintenance trims. Long hair is so easy!
In the past, I’ve dyed and permed it, but the hair I have now never sees a blow dryer and rarely a flat iron. I usually cut my bangs at home, but I have a professional trim done to all of my hair every six to eight months. My hair just doesn’t need that much management. Usually I throw it up into a messy bun. I don’t really think about it—until someone compliments me!
Character Counts: Jodi Stanfield, 48
Singer, actress, yoga instructor
When I turned 40, I gave myself permission to listen to my inner drummer a little more. And I thought, “I think I’d look good in dreadlocks.” Still, it took two more years before I did it, and then I thought, “I’ll commit to it for a year.” That was six years ago. Now my two sons don’t even remember me without dreadlocks.
Each dreadlock is ratted and then permed, which has the effect of fusing and creating the intense knot. I only have to wash it once every two weeks. I get it trimmed about once a year to take off 4 to 6 inches.
At my age, as the hair gets more and more coarse, it gets even better. It has its own character. With dreads, every day is a good hair day.
Lucky Streak: Ernie Baccam, 46
Hair colorist and stylist, Rick Mosley Hair
My gray streak is what I’ve become known for. It came in during my 30s and has gradually widened to a more pronounced streak. I’m lucky that it falls in such a location that it looks purposely fashionable. Jay Leno’s gray started like mine; as he became more gray, he had a black streak put in and let the rest go.
Especially because I’m a stylist, people constantly question if I color the gray myself. But I do not. Sometimes I part my hair at the scalp and show people that the gray really is natural. In most cases, gray streaks exist due to birthmarks or trauma to the scalp. The rest of my hair is also natural—I’ve never colored any of it.