Celebrate Hilton Head_Fran Peterson

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Fran Peterson enters a room like a bottle of fine Champagne. She is passion uncorked, sparkling from within—an explosion of joy that bubbles over the top, delicate and powerful all at once—the embodiment of the beauty industry she represents.

At age 24, Peterson, artistic director, educator and hairstylist at Salon Karma in Bluffton, is not only on top of her everyday game behind the chair; she’s stepping up to the next level by entering the North American Hairstyling Awards competition for the second year.

Last year, Peterson entered and was nominated in the category of texture, attending the gala presentation, and finishing in the top five. This year, she’s going for a nomination in the editorial category. (An editorial stylist is typically the person in charge of choosing the look of the model before a photoshoot. These photographs are used in a variety of “editorial” material: print and digital ads, album covers, magazine spreads and other visual creations.)

“The whole vision for editorial is different, because it has to be about the mood, too, not just the hair. I feel like that’s why I got nominated the first time, because there was sort of a mood about it. It was kind of grungy and pretty at the same time,” Peterson said.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Peterson describes herself as a creative person. “Since I was little, I was always creating something whether with glitter, tape, glue, clothing, makeup, hair—anything I could get my hands on, which led me into the beauty industry,” she said. She began her career at Élan Hair Studio in New Jersey at age 17. There, she gained experience and was introduced to the world of hair competition, serving as an assistant and soaking it in like a sponge.

“I wanted to do more,” Peterson said. “Year before last I started to play around with some editorial work on my own— playing with fashion and creating concepts with different scenery, finding inspiration everywhere. My brain literally did not stop!” She bought a camera and began practicing at home on the weekends. “It made me realize that you see everything behind the camera; every strand of hair has to be in the right place.” For the 2020 competition, Peterson decided to up the ante by hiring an award-winning hair and beauty photographer in New York City, Roberto Ligresti. “Shopping for this shoot was my favorite part. I pulled inspiration from the place where I grew up: the Jersey Shore,” Peterson said. Using peachy tones and pearls as part of the fashion, she employed different textures to create waves in the hair, like waves in the ocean, to support the beachy vibe she was after.

Working with professional models was also an important part of the process, she explained. “Features and personality play

Local hairstylist to enter prestigious hair competition Collection/Hair: Fran Peterson Photographer: Roberto Ligresti | Assistant: Dylan Prescott | Makeup: Renee G | Model: ?

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