Page 6 - January-February 2020 HER
P. 6

 Story by Felisha Butler, photography by Grace Brown
Roswell, N.M. The site of the sup- posed 1947 UFO crash. It is also the town where creative colorist
Melanie Efird set out to blossom into the artist she has become today.
Recalling the first time she experi- mented with hair color, Efird said she just “took off with it.”
“When I was around 12 or 13, I want- ed green hair cause I had seen a girl in a Delia’s catalog who had her hair bleached out and the front of it was green,” she laughed. “I didn’t know how to dye my hair green so I used food coloring and Roswell’s the desert so it’d get hot and I’d sweat and have green melting down my face because I didn’t really know what I was doing.”
Fast forward a few years later, she’s in her kitchen with a pair of clippers.
“One of my friends wanted a mo- hawk and we just took a pair of awful dog grooming clippers,” she said. “And I shaved him a mohawk in my kitchen. It was the first time I cut hair and I was like ‘Oh yeah, looks great!’ It probably looked horrible, but there’s a first time for everything.”
Continuing with helping friends who had dreadful hair experiences, she began the path to an art degree and soon after left the rhythm of a four-year college. With support from her mother who also once had dreamed of going into the field, she began beauty school.
“So I went into beauty school with a poorly dyed black mohawk and what was probably leftover eyeliner. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I walk in and (there were) all these girls. I grew up in Roswell, and it was predominantly Hispanic. So we had a lot of ‘Chola’ girls and they had cool eyebrows and cool hair. And we had a whole lot of these ‘Glamazon’ type girls and I was like, ‘Oh God, where am I going to fit in with this? How do I fit into this mold?’ And I didn’t, which was dope, because people just kind of liked me for me ... I understood it more as a hands-on learner and it worked way better for me than college.”
Efird knew that hairstyling was the route she wanted to embark on.
“I was always passionate about col- oring hair,” she said. “That was my main goal. I went in and I said ‘I’m go- ing to be a colorist.’ And they were like, ‘That might not be your niche.’ And that was bull. It was color. From having (an) art background, it just made sense to me — the pigments, the color wheel, the way it goes together, mixing. It just made sense.”
After working at J.C. Penney and gaining a steady client base that fea- tures both people who prefer a less bold approach to people who sample

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