On Our Radar: Aura Friedman



Responsible for some of the most defining hair moments in recent memory— think Lady Gaga’s pink tresses, M.I.A.’s ombré and model Soo Joo Park’s platinum mane— Aura Friedman isn’t exactly afraid to take risks when it comes to color. But then again, when her candy-coated work is at the root of catapulting celebrity careers, why should she be? Based in New York City at the Sally Hershberger Salon Downtown, Friedman says her foray into beauty happened haphazardly: “It was actually an accidental circumstance. I moved to Northern Virginia right before 10th grade so my mom suggested I get a job to meet people and stay busy. I applied at every place in a strip mall and was hired by a hair salon. I [ended up] working as an assistant all through high school. Because I was in many art classes at the time (my art teacher always loved my color schemes), I loved studying color theory so it seemed the most logical way to go.” Indeed, today, Friedman’s ingenious colorplay is by-and-large what sets her apart. Whether she’s working with honey blondes or celestial lavenders, she recreates the tonal spectrum found in natural hair meaning even her pastel jobs have an organic element to them (it’s the hair of our My Little Ponies dreams). Besides her Tumblr, Color Makes All The Difference (yes, you can kill some solid hours on here), her work is regularly featured in glossies like Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel, T Magazine and CR Fashion Book, on the runways of designers like Peter Som, and, of course, on the streets thanks to private clients— the least of which include Sky Ferreira, Lauren Hutton and Jennifer Lawrence. “I love meeting new people and learning about their lives and what they do. I get a lot of satisfaction in making people feel good about themselves,” says Friedman. After she came personally recommended by CITIPHILES like Elaine Welteroth, Elle Strauss and Leslie Kirchhoff, we knew we had to get “Friedman-ed” ourselves. We met up with the award-winning colorist to get the low-down on everything from hair care essentials to New York standbys, all the while receiving our best color yet. Check out the full story below.


Before; Prepping hair.


BEST BEAUTY ADVICE FROM YOU TO US: Be an individual and do what is most flattering for you. That means enhancing skin tone and eye color by choosing a complimentary tone; suitability is important. Ask about maintenance and what to expect with hair texture. 

Friedman decides "cool tone blonde" is the look and begins to paint hair.

Friedman decides on “cool tone blonde” and begins to paint hair.



LOOK OF FALL/WINTER ’15: I’ve been playing with iridescent tones inspired by opals, mother of pearl and fresh water black pearls, and oil spill colors! It’s got a great buzz at the moment! 

Our new favorite hair assistant, Edward begins the blow-out.

Our new favorite hair assistant, Edward begins the blow-out.

Edward begins to twist the hair with a round brush while blow-drying to create a tousled wave look.

Edward begins to twist the hair with a round brush while blow-drying to create a tousled wave look.

S/S ’16 TRENDS TO WATCH: Opal/mother of pearl tones; graphic hair inspired by birds of prey (“splashlight” stripes); rich, shiny, healthy brunettes; subtly sun-kissed; warm honey blondes; contoured blondes using richly-toned highlights to enhance bone structure and depth of hair.

Tousled wave look complete.

Tousled wave look complete.

BEAUTY ESSENTIALS: OlaplexMilbon Plarmia Hairserum Treatment, Shu Uemura Color Luster Shampoo, Sally Hershberger Cashmere Keratin Rx Spray (detangler) and Sally Hershberger 24K Dry Shampoo.   


Friedman applies the finishing touches.

Friedman applies the finishing touches.

Aura’s New York

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: Hudson Clearwater (MAP IT, x), Marlow and Sons (MAP IT, x) and Dudley’s (MAP IT, x). I also go to Cafe Mogador in Williamsburg (MAP IT, x) quite a bit.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: Fresh juice margaritas from Donna (MAP IT, x) or Dudley’s.

HEALTHY STAPLE: Hu Kitchen (MAP IT, x) or Beyond Sushi (MAP IT, x).

CLOSET CHECK: I’m drawn to vintage, lace, sheer… the nineties. Shopping at The Reformation (MAP IT, x) is just easy; another favorite is New York Vintage (MAP IT, x).

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: Lillya for waxing and Angela for facials at the Face Place (MAP IT, x).

BEAUTY SECRET WEAPON: Milbon Plarmia Hairserum Treatment from Sally Hershberger Salon Downtown (MAP IT, x). 

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: My first NY moment was the discovery of egg and cheese on a roll for a buck 25… then I gained so much weight! But for real, my NY moment was at my first big show in the tents. I headed the color team for Cynthia Rowley and watching the finale, I can’t describe the excitement and pressure. It was a great feeling that all my dreams were coming true! CP

Two girls and their hairs.

Just two girls and a hair party.

*For appointments, contact Sally Hershberger Downtown, 25 W 26th St., 2nd fl; 212.206.8700. 


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