What do you love most about being a colourist?
Colour is a way to express ourselves and I love that you can never stop creating with colour. There’s always a new palette to discover or a new shade to create. With colour there are no limitations, which means things are always changing and we never stop learning.
Where do you go for your colour inspiration?
I look for inspiration from film, past decades, art and fashion. My biggest influence for current seasonal trends is what is going on in the world at that moment. We are all guided subliminally by what is happening with social and financial issues and we see this filter into film, fashion and even how we shop.
What are your favourite colouring techniques at the moment?
When we came back after lockdown last summer I loved seeing how involved my clients became with not only their colour but techniques. My classic and commercial clients were loving our new highlighting techniques at HOB that myself and my colour team developed. The Chroma Lights technique, for example, is a progressive balayage that brings lightness around the facial canvas with a combination of freehand and micro lights to suit all hair types. Chiaroscuro on the other hand takes inspiration from Italian art. It uses the same tonal quality but changes the level in sections to add dimension and texture.
What colour creation makes you most proud?
The one that springs to mind is from my collection Pop Colour which was for Infringe magazine a few years ago. The whole concept for the shoot came from the application of colour and the sectioning patterns. The photography was inspired by the art form – pop art. I remember the shoot being such a great experience and it was a fantastic day.
What advice would you give to a trainee colourist?
When you start a career in hair, holding a tint brush or a pintail comb can take you on so many different journeys. Whichever path you take remember we are painting people’s happiness, memories and self-expression, whether it’s a salon client, or an editorial shoot. Our job is hard work and you never stop learning. Our craft is something we can always improve.
What colour trends are you pleased to see out of fashion?
I am a firm believer in there being no such thing as a bad trend. For me, it’s the story and the inspiration around it that excites me. We are all individuals and how we truly express ourselves is unique to us. If my clients show me a colour or a technique that might not suit their lifestyle or hair I always focus on the positive around what they want, and adapt it to ensure it feels like a collaboration.
Are there any colour trends or techniques that you would like to bring back?
Not so much techniques but for me what I love about my job is exploring looks from past decades. What I would love to see is how expressive and bold everyone was in the 1960s and 1980s. We have become so city-centric in our thoughts that trends and cool hair exist mainly in the big cities. In those past decades no matter where you lived, your budget or your background, people embraced change. There were so many different tribes of people and fashion. What I create from my research is seasonal trends for the salon group to excite not only the team, but to encourage our clients to embrace change as well.
What are the challenges facing professional colourists?
From a creative point of view COVID-19 really sucks. As hairdressers we love human interaction, but we have no control of when we are working or not at the moment. I've found my own creative juices going stale at times. I think it’s so important to feed the mind and body with whatever keeps you positive. I do believe once this second wave has gone our profession will skyrocket.
What’s been your most memorable colour consultation?
My most memorable colour consultation was with Dame Vivienne Westwood. I was very lucky to have had the experience. She is an icon not only for fashion but for her role as an activist for our planet. While doing her hair the knowledge and wisdom she passed down helped me, not only in how one person can make a difference, but also to develop a new way of communicating hair colour.