“Circus” Series. Photography: Heidi Gress, Styling: Heidi Gress and Heggy Gonzalez, Models: Rachel Howell and Hannah Maybe, Hair: Heggy Gonzalez and the Aveda Institute AMP team, Wardrobe: Jordan Halversen and Heggy Gonzalez
Upon first appearance the Aveda Institute in Provo is just another hair school. Located in a strip mall the interior is lined with black salon chairs, mirrors and mannequin heads sporting various wigs for practice. However, after waiting for a bit, you can hear the constant chatter about one of their lead instructors, Heggy Gonzalez – things like “Heggy said that we need to do it this way, Heggy told me that this was the hottest trend.” Every time her name is spoken it feels like they are discussing a celebrity whose primary job is trend setting. Within a few minutes Heggy came over to greet me. She has purple hair this time – I believe the last time I saw her it was platinum or black perhaps. She practices what she preaches and is a chameleon of hair and make-up.
She takes me into their backroom where they are organizing the clothing for a shoot and starts to laugh about the concept. Their upcoming event on April 13 for Earth Day celebrations at the institute is Circus themed. Her laugh is infectious and soon everyone in the room is giggling and having fun. The following hours are spent working on models as Heggy goes from group to group discussing tips and tricks to get that hair up high or slicked down to perfection and she knows what she’s talking about.
Before joining the Aveda Institute where she trained under Dale Lemonds, Heggy was in Denver learning editorial styling from award winning hairstylist Charlie Price. Taking what she learned under Price and applying it to her teaching at the Aveda Institute in Denver, Tucson and most recently Provo, Heggy has certainly made her mark in a very short time. There’s supremely little in fashion that Heggy Gonzalez’ talented hands haven’t touched as of late. Since her move to Utah she has been published in international and national publications, traveled to Europe, became a color educator for Aveda Corporation, premiere lead on numerous fashion photoshoots (including the latest for Ballet West Couture in Motion), a regular on ABC4’s The Daily Dish, and, most recently, crowned the RAWartist National Hairdresser of the year.
What many don’t know is that Heggy is also a talented seamstress and fashion designer. She created a mini-collection that premiered at Red Butte Garden all out of repurposed materials, including a skirt with over 2000 zip ties hand attached to netting and full gown sewn entirely out of old denim jeans. “I live to create, whether the canvas is hair, face or fabric and I constantly am working on the next project. I am constantly working on expanding my skills so I don't know what's next for me but whatever it is I'm ready.”
Currently Heggy is organizing two events for the Aveda Institute’s hair and makeup show "Circus" on April 13 at the Aveda Institute Provo, and the Aveda Trashin show on April 21 at The Complex.
“I am inspired by fashion and beauty, but most of all my Future Professionals (students). They challenge me, at times drive me crazy but most of all they inspire me to be my best by helping them reach their goals from the first to last haircut they do while at the Aveda institute,” she says.
As we were chatting about the racks of colorful clothes from designers Jordan Halversen and Andrea Hansen (Pretty Macabre), I asked her why she thought people like these particular designer want to work with her. She smiles and shrugs and simply states, “I don't think I have a set style, and I think that sets me apart.”
Judging from her extensive portfolio she is probably right on. Many people say cheating on your hairstylist is like cheating on your husband or wife. If anyone has ever had stylist Heggy Gonzalez work her magic, it would certainly be like a walk down the aisle.