Hair stylist Gwendolyn Sneed of Groom the Salon talks to RAW about her love for hair artistry. Watch her beautify the runway at the next San Diego showcase on Friday, July 30th at the Se Hotel in San Diego!

Tell us about yourself. 
I started doing haircuts on the neighborhood kids when I was 8 years old for a $1.  I must have been good, because the kid's moms were calling my mom on a weekly basis! 

How did you first get started as a hairstylist?
Well, in a nut shell, I became a hairstylist because my parents were afraid of me becoming a street artist!  So, I signed up for cosmotology school when I was in the 12th grade.  That was 15 years ago. I work at Groom the Salon (619.238.4711 - a little plug).  I also do quite a bit of freelance work ... magazines, advertising work, portfolio stuff.

From where do you draw inspiration for your work?
Mostly from nature, architecture, and what is happening in fashion.

What do you love most about what you do? 
It is really conducive to my A.D.D. personality!

When you aren't styling hair, how do you like spending your free time?
I spend my time thinking about the next shoot, work day, my business plan (for a product company), and then if I have time...I surf.

Do you engage in, or draw inspiration from, any other forms of art ?
I am fortunate to work a block away from Alexander Salazar Fine Art Gallery. He has the coolest art in there! Lots of inspirations! I am currently working on hair pieces, as an art form.  They will not be made with hair, but will have a strong resemblance of it.

What sort of techniques do you most like working with?  
Um, well, my techniques are ever changing with whatever the current opportunity is. My passion is styling and creating something new.

Are there any hairdressers, or perhaps any decades/styles, past or present, that strongly influence your work?
This is easy. I was hired by one of the few world renowned female hairstylists, Jeanne Braa.  Her influence on me was in a personal and spiritual way.  She created hairstyles because she had a passion for what she did.  Her leadership was made by the people who noticed.  Just a short list of others...Patricia Moreles, Serge Normant, Maurice Pierot, plus more!

Any previous accomplishments that you are most proud of? 
Having my work in magazines, working with accomplished hairstylists, and being inspired are proud moments, but my FAVORITE, making people feel great about themselves and making people laugh! 

Any goals or aspirations for the future?
I'm currently working on some hair tools inventions (can't talk about, or I'll have to make you disappear). I would love to see my work in Italian Vogue someday.

Who styles YOUR hair?
I'm a Groom the Salon hobo.  Whoever is available, because everyone is great!

Why showcase at RAW?
Are you kidding me!?  Why would you not!  No matter where you are in your career, to have an organization that supports the art and fashion industry, is something to be a part of!

Any current rising stars within the scene that you would recommend we look out for?
Flora Wade and KC Whitcamp.  Both are phenomenal makeup artists!