Hairdressers Journal
Hairdressers Journal


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Is long hair killing the hair industry?

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“We all need to evaluate the haircuts we offer and accept long hair may cost us our craft in future”

“Everywhere you look women have long hair – there’s not much individuality, hardly even a fringe. As an industry, we have to take some of the responsibility. Celebrities set trends and the global economy means people are cutting back on salon visits. We have been promoting short, aggressive haircuts that are created for hairdressers and are not realistic for the everyday consumer.

Consumers have revolted and opted for ponytails and long hair they can style at home. Don’t get me wrong, there is no less skill in creating long haired looks, blow-drying and dressing hair. But we also need the diversity and variety of shorter hairstyles to keep clients motivated and our workforce skilled in our craft. 

In the eyes of the consumer there’s not much skill in a trim and their sisters and friends can do that for them at home. I believe we have an opportunity now to talk to our clients about having an individual look – not everyone wants to look like a mermaid with long hair. Everyone would benefit from a fringe, layers, movement or some volume and we are the only ones who can give them this advice.

Hairdressers should know all the basics – graduation, layering, texturising – but there may be a whole generation who are not skilled in these techniques and the skillset as an industry is potentially diminishing. If fashion returns to more varied styles and lengths, our workforce may be unable to produce what clients want.

There was a similar crisis in the 1980s and we tackled it by creating styles like the wedge. It developed into the stack which needed perming and created new skills that revitalised our industry. From our creativity new fashions were born with volume, anti-head shapes and geometry, and it was all about hair again. We need to re-evaluate our services and understand long hair may cost us our craft.”

“It’s a myth that long hair is bad for our business – it doesn’t mean less upkeep for clients”

“Long hair is popular on the catwalks, streets, social media and red carpets. People love it because it’s beautifully feminine. Once hair is past your shoulders you can wear it differently every day. Wear it straight, style it into waves, tie it up, have a half-up half-down or mess it up. Long-haired clients will also spend money on weekly blow-dries, treatments and products. 

Long-haired clients are an important part of the TONI&GUY business and always feature in our campaigns. You only need to look at your own clientele to see how important they are. We need to excite them as much as we would short-haired clients.

It’s a myth that long hair is bad for business – it doesn’t mean less upkeep and needs just as many trims, colour and treatments as shorter hair. Hair is like a piece of clothing – a trouser is a trouser, but it’s the small details that make it modern with the current seasonal trends, whether it’s the shape of the pockets or pleats. If you just see it as long hair it will be boring. You need to keep it looking fresh through cutting techniques, colour placement and styling know-how. There are many techniques that are ideal for longer hair such as highlights and balayage. We have a Styling and Finishing course dedicated to the art of dressing long hair.

Every time a long-haired client sits in your chair you should discuss new techniques and wearability. It takes a specific skill to ensure long hair looks current and it’s no coincidence there are so few long hair experts in the industry. Like short hair, it’s a fabric which can take on a new lease of life depending on what you do with it. 

Our industry needs to engage with long-haired clients and keep our skills in dressing long hair up-to-date. There’s so much more to it than adding a few layers!”

This article appears in the December 2020 Issue of Hairdressers Journal

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This article appears in the December 2020 Issue of Hairdressers Journal