A Conversation with

Jamie Dragon

When Miss Vermont 2012 Jamie Dragon takes the stage to compete for the Miss USA crown this weekend, she抣l not only be representing her home state, but the entire hairdressing community. Dragon owns Lush Boutique, an Oribe Member Salon in Stowe, VT, where she says her team focuses on empowering women and making them feel confident in their own skin.

Why did you decide to enter the Miss Vermont/Miss USA pageant?
A friend and I dared each other to enter after walking into orientation thinking it was for modeling.

Miss USA is all about empowering women. How does being a salon owner and stylist allow you to make a positive impact?
Being a salon owner/stylist allows me to positively impact people by being able to work with and donate to charities of my choice, including Women Helping Battered Women, as well as being an inspiration to young women in my community.

How do you decide on hair and makeup for the pageants? Do you do it yourself or do you let another professional do it?
I am very particular about my hair, so I typically don't let anyone else touch it. Preparing for a pageant can get a little hectic, though, so if I have the opportunity to have someone else do it and let me take a breather, I do. I usually stick to one look since there isn't much time to switch it up in between rounds. I always use Oribe Hair Care products, but I also mix in some Farouk since it is an official sponsor of Miss USA.

Do you get tempted to fix other contestants hair and makeup? Do they look to you for beauty tips?
The reason it took me seven years to win Miss VT USA is because I always helped other contestants prepare, which didn't leave me time to prepare myself! I am still tempted to help them, but have finally learned to put myself first.

How have you changed your beauty routine in preparation for Miss USA?
I抦 used to doing my hair and makeup everyday anyway, but my routine takes about an hour longer since I had hair extensions put in.

Do you get nervous before competing?
Even though I've competed several times, I still get the jitters before each phase of competition. There is a lot of pressure knowing you are constantly being judged.

If you win Miss USA, how do you plan to balance your duties with life back at the salon?
If I win, I抣l move to NYC and my manager will take over my business for the year.

How have your clients and coworkers reacted to your Miss Vermont crown and the upcoming Miss USA competition?
Everyone has been so supportive and helpful since they all know how hard I worked to have this experience. I couldn't ask for better people in my life.

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