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Not Your Everyday Hairstyle

Organizers collected 100 pieces of art created by kids. The Royale Hair Parlor stylists chose a picture that would serve as the inspiration for a hairstyle.

  • lindsay stringer, octopus hair

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    Photo: Annie Corrigan/WFIU

    Lindsay Stringer models her octopus hairstyle, created by her sister Erin Gammon.

  • steve halderman dying hair of justice halderman

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    Photo: Annie Corrigan/WFIU

    Steve Halderman paints rainbow colors onto his son Justice's mohawk.

  • Justice Halderman

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    Photo: Annie Corrigan/WFIU

    Justice Halderman and his outrageous rainbow-colors mohawk, created by Steve Halderman.

  • bridget divohl hairstyle

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    Photo: Annie Corrigan/WFIU

    Bridget Divohl spent two days dying the extensions she used in creating this "hair hat."

  • hair models next to paintings

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    Photo: Annie Corrigan/WFIU

    Three models stand next to the pieces of art that inspired their hairstyles.

Family Affair

The tools you would usually see at a hair stylist’s station include scissors, a hair dryer and a variety of styling products — not googly eyes and pipe cleaners. And describing a hairstyle as “of the sea” is typically not a compliment.

But this is not a typical day at Royale Hair Parlor.

“It’s a purple octopus with googly eyes. We used purple extensions to cover that and then put purple pipe cleaners in her braids to make them more tentacle-like, and then hair chalk over all of that to make it a little more purple,” says Erin Gammon, the stylist behind this fantastical hairdo on the head of her sister Lindsay Stringer.

Gammon isn’t the only stylist to have enlisted a family member in their follicle experiments. Steve Halderman’s son Justice is in the chair, watching his father transform his blonde locks into a rainbow-dyed mohawk.

Creativity For Charity

Organizers of the second annual Children’s Art Show in Bloomington, Indiana collected over 100 pieces of art created by area kids. The Royale stylists chose a picture that would serve as the inspiration for a hairstyle. The kids’ art was then auctioned off to benefit Monroe County Court Appointed Special Advocates For Children.

16-year-old Hikari Nakagawa is one of the oldest artists participating in the event. She painted a seascape featuring that purple octopus, a pufferfish and lots of other underwater creatures. She purposely included many different characters in her painting to give Gammon plenty of inspiration.

“It’s interesting because it’s like somebody else’s rendition of what they took from my art and I think that’s really great. I really like it,” she says.

Reluctant Artists

The kids proudly claimed the title of “artist,” but the hair stylists were more hesitant. Many of them said that focusing on meeting clients’ expectations can stifle creativity.

Bridget DiVohl is the owner and master stylist at Royale. “It’s easy to get burnt out based on people’s demands every day.”

She spent two days mapping out her design and preparing the extensions. She created a “hair hat” in the shape of a flower, inspired by a 9-year-old’s painting titled Dream Big, Worry Small.

“I haven’t taken the time since I’ve opened the business to do really a creative project where I actually marked out two days to be totally immersed in something creative,” she says.

Back with Steve and Justice Halderman. Theirs is by far the most involved hairstyle at the event, so they are rushing to finish up before the runway show begins.

Stepping outside the box and into the avant garde not only keeps things fresh creatively, it’s a chance for stylists to try new techniques. That’s true for Halderman, who is a junior stylist at Royale.

“That’s why I like this so much because it’s absolute creation,” he says.

Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

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