There has rarely been a question about what one can do with their hair. However, one hair artist from Ukraine, Rebecca Mateydes, who uses her hair as her medium, styling it with pop culture references and other visual art, has set herself apart from other hair stylists. Her unique style has distinguished her from others and gained the traction of 43.4k followers on Instagram.
Combining a shaved head and some paintbrushes, Rebecca creates fun and funky works of art. We asked her some questions about her craft, read the full interview below.
Q: How have your daring hair looks been received before? Is it a positive reception?
A: Honestly, when I shaved my head for the first time ever, I was kind of scared of how people were going to accept me with my new look. I was really insecure because people in my country aren’t used to seeing loads of girls with shaved heads. BUT, the support from my friends, followers and basically people in the street was overwhelming, it was definitely a positive reception and I feel incredibly happy about it! The other cool thing about shaving my head is that on a daily basis I get messages from girls who were inspired by me and they shaved their heads, too. I’m really proud that I’m a part of that!
Q:Since the shaved head has become a trend during quarantine, why do feel it is so popular?
A: Every day I see more and more people with shaved heads, and it feels good to be part of this movement. I think people feel braver and freer regarding their appearance nowadays, they are not scared to look different. I’m sure even more people in the future willjoin us! I definitely feel more confident now that I was before, and I think people can feel my positive energy and that’s why I’m getting this over whelming support from everyone.
Q:What inspires you to create using hair and makeup?
A: I find inspiration in everything around me. It can be a song, a movie, a piece of art, a picture from Pinterest or Instagram. Every time I open Instagram, I see loads of cool things which inspire me, and I feel the need to redo it on my head so even more people can enjoy it!
Q:What has been your favourite look you’ve achieved so far?
A: In the beginning of quarantine we did the ‘STAY HOME’ drawing and it kind of blew up. Loads of big magazines and accounts reposted it, and it felt so good that I was able to give out a meaningful message with my art. It’s definitely my number one favourite look we have done so far.
Q:What has being in quarantine taught you?
A: Quarantine definitely taught me that it’s okay to see my friends only through Facetime, that it’s okay to stay in bed all day doing nothing, to overeat! It’s a pandemic and the only right thing for us to do is follow some rules and stay safe at home.
Q:There is a lot of ’stigma’ around dying your hair too much as people feel it is damaging. Do you have any tips in keeping your hair in good condition whilst committing it to art?
A: Dyeing your hair most of the time is totally okay, because most hair dyes contain substances which will make your hair even softer than before. Bleaching your hair will damage it and I highly recommend doing it as rarely as possible (once in two-three months).
As I barely have any hair on my head, I do a bleach wash every other week. To do this I mix bleach powder with a low percentage developer with shampoo to remove the colours I have on my head. Of course, it’s damaging but I keep shaving my head every two weeks, so I cut the damaged parts off. My advice to everyone whois dyeing their hair is to wash their hair with cold water to keep the colours longer and ALWAYS use hair conditioner, hair masks and avoid bleaching your hair too often!
Q:What advice would you give people who wish to experiment?
A: Before I started experimenting with my hair, I watched a TON of YouTube tutorials, on how to bleach your hair at home, how to avoid mistakes during the process, what's the right way to dye your hair. If you want to learn more about bleaching your hair, and dyeing it, I highly recommend to look up Brad Mondo on YouTube. He's a professional hair stylist and I learned basically everything from his videos.
Q:And, finally, what are your favourite products and tools to use?
A: We basically use two things when doing drawings on my head: hair dyes and paintbrushes. We use Bleach London and Uberliss hair dyes and I LOVE them, the dyes are semi-permanent, and they washout pretty quickly; the colours are vibrant, and my hair is always super soft after I wash off the dye. I use paintbrushes to apply the colours and we have variations of them, from professional ones (you can get those in a craft store)to basic ones (from a dollar store).
Rebecca’s looks radiate positivity and joy, with some of her most popular artworks conceptualising The Powerpuff Girls or decorating her hair with hearts, clouds and animal print.
She is definitely one to watch in the hair industry; Rebecca’s work encourages and inspires her fans to be brave, confident and expressive.