Monday, October 03, 2011 with
Leading up to the finale has been such a roller-coaster. There were so many great moments in the competition where I felt strong, confident and so happy to still be competing. But then I had some low moments where I missed my family, boyfriend, friends, and business back home. Being secluded from the outside world and having all your focus on hair can sometimes be draining, but after weeks of long hours, I wasn’t going to give any less for the finale. I was ecstatic when I found out that I made it into the top 3. It was time to finally showcase all that I had left.
There are so many reasons why I wanted to win. I may come off confident in my work but many people don’t understand that we all have our own insecurities. Throughout my life I have worked very hard, trying to become successful not only for myself, but also my family. I have been raised around parents who worked very hard since the moment I was born. My mom and dad taught me to be the person that I am today. When personal and financial issues came up in our family, I knew I had to get my act together and fight for all of us to come back together as one. Winning the money would not only allow me to further my career in building a bigger salon but I would help them get back on their feet. Knowing that I could win against 10 extremely talented stylists would be very gratifying.
At this point both Bossa Nova and Blondie are my strongest competitors. Both have unique styles that are totally different from mine. Bossa Nova is amazing with his foundations. Since day one, with his Demi Moore-inspired piece, I have always looked up to his work. He can be really clean but innovative at the same time. Bossa Nova proved to me that he has major talent.
On the other hand, regardless of how well we did or didn’t get along, Blondie was also a strong competitor as well, but in a totally different way. She was always very confident in her work and always stood by her piece. She was very cohesive. As the competition went on, she grew rapidly and was able to pull out tricks she had never done before. Kudos to both Bossa Nova and Blondie.
I was shocked when we found out that we had to create three hairpieces for three different back-up dancers. How in the hell do you expect these girls who have NO experience wearing heavy pieces while dancing to pull it off without the pieces falling apart or off the head?!?! The only thought that came to my mind was foundation, foundation, foundation. Whatever I created had to be well constructed and had to withstand some head spinning and booty popping. The hot glue gun I used quit often while making these pieces. But this time I didn’t get it on my model’s head. ;)
My three hairpieces were inspired not only by Teyana Taylor’s single, but also by how I end my work week back home. Running my own business can be very hectic while maintaining an active social life. By the end of the week, it’s time to kick back and have some fun! My hairpieces were based off of three fantasy shapes. A square, which resembles working inside my box (salon) but also allowing my creative juices to flow outside the box. A circle, which resembles the end of my workday. My head is spinning around in circles. I’m exhausted and wondering what I’m going to do for the weekend. Last, but not least, a triangle, which stands for no yielding or turning back; time to let loose and let my edgy side out. Party time! I used the same colors and shapes into my outfits in order to make my overall look consistent.
I honestly didn’t know how to feel or react when Bossa Nova freaked out and destroyed his creations. A part of me felt bad and wished he hadn’t done it. This is the most important part of the competition and he decides to throw it all away last minute. I mean really? I can understand if he lost inspiration, but I don’t think he grasped the fact that 8 other stylists could have been in his position competing as part of the top three and I feel it was a little selfish oh his part. Bossa Nova is a great person, and love and passion inspires all of his work. Without those characteristics, he loses his sense of creativity. But, I came here to compete and this only gave Blondie and me an advantage.
Words CANNOT express how AMAZNG it feels to win! The fact that I won Hair Battle still doesn’t seem real to me. This is one of the greatest moments in my career where I will always look back and remember when I’m having a bad day. Knowing that I won excites me every single time I think about it. I’m not exactly certain what I will be doing with the prize money but I do know I will ensure the well-being of my family. It would be great to open another salon but currently I’m evaluating my options.
I have gained so much from being on Hair Battle. I am lucky in the fact that I can take everything that I have learned from the time being on the show and use it in my everyday life. I’ve learned to be comfortable in my own skin and to stick up for my beliefs. After winning various challenges I started to realize that there was no reason for me to be critical towards my skills. I’m not extremely happy with some of my “diva” moments, however I’m hoping everyone will look past that and see who I truly am, an Asian boy from Nebraska with a passion for hair, life, success, family and friends! Moving forward, I’ll be sure to take the judges’ criticism and utilize them in my future endeavors.
I want to thank everyone who has been an influence in my life. I would not be here if it hadn’t been for my family, friends, clients and fans. When I was gone during this adventure, my business wouldn’t have survived if it hadn’t been for my boyfriend and amazing assistant Brogan. Words can’t explain how much I LOVE YOU ALL! To all of the contestants and judges, you’re all amazing and have inspired me. I’m so grateful to have been a part of this show.