"When creating a pattern on the hair, I sometimes draw it on using oil-based Sharpies, dab it on or use drafting tape to create the design and then apply Kryolan spray paint. All of these methods make it easy to apply lighter colors over darker shades." Nicoletta Gauci
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Art and Soul

Young Nicoletta Gauci's fine art background, dedication and beaucoup talent are fueling an already illustrious career.

May/June 2013 Find in
May/June 2013

She's a homegrown Paul Mitchell artist who's already assisted Paul Mitchell Editorial Director Lucie Doughty for three years and then lived in Italy for two, where she worked for John Paul Mitchell Systems and Green Apple talent agency as a freelance hair artist.

Nicoletta Gauci is also trilingual—Italian, Spanish and English—and has studied fine art for several years.

Did we mention that she's only 26 years old?


Mastermind, Nicoletta Gauci

Now living in Atlanta, Gauci is the Editorial Director and Lead Style Educator for The Mastery by Esani, heads up the company's social media efforts, is a working stylist and a freelance hair artist for photography gigs.

She's also known to work into the wee hours of the morning on her newest passion: wigs.

"When you're doing hair for clients or editorial work, you're always trying to please someone else," Gauci explains.

"Wigs are a great way to please yourself, as well as have instant changeups for the camera.

Having dozens of human-hair wigs is a financial impossibility, so I turned my attention to synthetic hair.

I knew from my background in textiles that synthetic fabrics could be colored using special dyes, so why not wigs?

"I accomplished this by using textile dyes or alcoholbased Copics, Prismacolor and classic Sharpie pens.

For the latter, my method involves releasing the inks from the pens and mixing them with 90% isopropyl alcohol to dilute the colors.

I put the resulting dye solutions in Ziploc bags along with the hair wefts, or spray on the colors and then massage them in.

If I don't want a shiny finish, I dip the wefts in fabric softener to give the synthetic strands a more natural-looking luster.

(Fabric softener also gives artificial hair a more lived-in look.)

After constructing the actual wigs out of the wefts, I generally use Paul Mitchell Hair Sculpting Lotion, rollers and gentle steam heat to set the styles.

All of the pattern designs are drawn by hand!"

Photographer: Laretta Houston; Hairstylist: Nicoletta Gauci with The Mastery; Makeup Artist: Alexis Fagen; Fashion Stylist: Ryan Wharton; Model: Amy Lee Werho with Factor Models
"Because synthetic hair has an even porosity throughout, you always get an even color result. I create multidimensional looks by soaking different shades of wefts in the same solution. For this wig, I used levels 8 and 9 in a dye solution that I refer to as 'emerald mint.'" Gauci   "The copper color for this wig was done with textile dye, which tends to be more vibrant than Copics pens. The herringbone/feather patterns were done by using drafting tape and Kryolan spray paint." Gauci   "To create this look, I used some all-blonde wefts and left the tips uncolored in others. The stripes were done using drafting tape, which comes in different widths and sticks tight to the hair to prevent any bleeding." Gauci   

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