"Color Zoom is the best thing that'e ever happened in my career. Not just because I won, but also because it helped shape my skills and push my abilities. It's not just my name represented in that photo – it's an entire team. Building those interpersonal skills, working with people outside my salon, working weekends and stretching myself – all that helped bring out skills I didn't know I had in me until Color Zoom." 

-Daniel Rubin, Global Color Zoom Gold Winner 2016

Meet Daniel Rubin, Color Zoom Global Winner 2016

 Color Director at Trio Salon and now a member of the Artistic Team at Goldwell. Daniel Rubin clearly has some Color Zoom mojo. He was a semifinalist in (2013), a finalist in 2011 and 2015, a finalist in 2012 and 2014, and in 2016, he took the top prize as the Global Gold Partner Color Zoom winner.

With his impressive Color Zoom creative track record, his victory this year was certainly well earned. But even Daniel felt something special when he first saw the 2016 Color Zoom D!SRUPT Collection. "I immediately felt connected to the collection – it reflected my approach to color and hair, and I knew I wanted to enter and create my own representation," he says. "The trend is about just enough color accents and vibrancy with a neutral overall store – which reflects me really well."

Similarly, Rubin loved how the collection approached shape and texture, giving a raw edge to classic shapes that really showcase the color. In fact, with D!SRUPT, Rubin started vision boarding his concepts around the haircut shape – something he doesn't always do when he prepares for a competition.


"The model you choose sets the tone..."

One thing Rubin is known for is the value he places on choosing the right mode, and he gives a lot of credit for his win to the great canvas he had this year.

As he has done in the past, he recruited a local beauty school student to take the Color Zoom journey with him. "New students usually haven't done much to their hair yet, so their hair is uncolored and easy to work with," he says. "Second, beauty students are often excited about process and the experience – so they're willing to put their hair in my hands, maintain the style, and go the distance with me."

His model this year had long, uncolored hair and a great attitude – and she was totally on board with the style he had developed for her – a very classic shape with an avant garde edge.


"Every Color Zoom collection is salon-friendly..."

Because Trio is a high-end salon with a fairly conservative clientele, extreme fashion color isn't something Daniel's clients ask for daily. But Rubin believes whole-heartedly that Color Zoom concepts can be adapted for real life. "Every Color Zoom collection is salon-friendly – you just have to flip the script," he says. "The fashion color may not suit my clientele, but the color placements and the vision can be easily adapted for them with a different palette."


Rubin feels his Color Zoom work has definitely informed the work he does at Trio – teaching him how to stretch his creativity even within set parameters. "I see a huge amount of growth from my first picture to my last," he says. "The competition has pushed me to be better in the salon and in my editorial work." He says he's grown in other ways, too – becoming a better collaborator, learning to work outside his comfort zone, and building new relationships within and outside the beauty community.


"You don't always need a lot of money, you need relationships..."

As for advice for stylists thinking about entering Color Zoom, Rubin has some smart strategies to share.

In addition to recruiting models at your local beauty school, he recommends looking for models in progressive work environments where an edgy haircut and color won't be frowned upon...

He also has tips for making the process more affordable. "I've never paid a model – I just find someone who is enthusiastic about the process and the possibilities," he says. He does the same with his makeup artist and wardrobe stylist. His partners are paid in recognition and with fantastic photography they can use for promotion. He recommends that stylists build relationships with artists who will benefit from the Color Zoom process and work on a trade-out basis when appropriate.

And while the one partner Rubin does pay is his photographer, he says never underestimate local talent. "I've gotten great results from both local photographers and national names, so it's worth looking in your area," he adds.

"I would encourage any stylist to consider this competition as a chance to represent your country on a global level and to elevate your skills both in front of the camera and behind the chair."

"I would encourage any stylist to consider this competition as a chance to represent your country on a global level and to elevate your skills both in front of the camera and behind the chair."


"I'm just going to let it happen..."

What's next for Rubin? While as a Global winner he can't re-enter the competition for three years, he doesn't rule out participating in the future. "Although after so many years, I think people would just roll their eyes," he laughs.

In the meantime, he's looking forward to working on the 2018 trend. "I'm trying to keep an open mind and enter the collaborative process without preconceived notions," he admits. "I'm normally a control freak, but in this case I'm just going to let it happen."