Far beyond the norm of the conventional hair stylists, Aura Friedman is a bonafide color artist. Having created some of the most groundbreaking hair color trends for fashion brands like Rodarte and Chanel, she has become loyal to her clients, including the likes of Sky Ferriera and M.I.A.

For Aura, hair dye is far more than just a teenage Manic Panic bathtub experiment, and it shows in the array of her treatments — whether she is making you seapunk green, or casting blonde laser beams across your mane like Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek. See where Aura finds nostalgic inspiration, and what details determine the best shade for your hair in the realm of this Color Queen.

What made you want to become a hair colorist? 
I love making people feel good about their self-image. I love the science and balancing of color theory and chemistry. I love painting and creating!

What is the source of inspiration for your personal style?
Music has played a large role in my life. Ever since my early teens I was influenced by punk rock, and hardcore music in the San Diego scene, I regard this as my roots and continue to reference it in my work and personal style. It was my most inspiring times.   

What color was your hair when you were 13?
Burgundy, with rainbows that I colored using sharpies.

The artwork in your place is rad. Is it all by the same artist?

It's mostly by my boyfriend Charles Shedden. Sometimes I meet clients in my apartment and it's really inspiring to have his work in the space.

What do you think we can expect next?
More graphic hair, horizontal stripes in hair, neon pastel rainbows — glow in the black light color! Seeing more pretty and unusual gingers or slightly muted fire reds, 60's platinums with soft pastel tones, and dew dropped brunettes.

Do you have any particular hair philosophies?
Whether the color is natural or not, always emulate the look of natural hair. For example: a slightly darker root, lighter ends and hairline. Pay attention to detail. Eye color, skin tone and eye brow color, personal style and job, and of course, their haircut and bone structure.

Have you ever colored your mom's hair?
Yes, and she wants me to make her blue — LOL! 

Find your next hair style on Aura’s Tumblr and Instagram, @auracolorist.