What do you love most about being a colourist?
Colour allows you to help a client reinvent themselves time and time again. To be able to open the door into a client’s new visual identity and to improve their self-esteem and mindset is uplifting and liberating. The endless possibilities for a ‘new you’ are very exciting and for me it guarantees maximum job satisfaction.
Where do you go for your colour inspiration?
I love to follow events in the industry calendar like HJ Live and Salon International. I attend them regularly and like to share what I’ve learned with my clients and the inspiration I have for their hair journey going forward. For a colour-savvy guest, knowing their hairdresser keeps on top of trends to develop the latest ideas and techniques earns unwavering loyalty.
What are your favourite colouring techniques at the moment?
After a long stretch of low maintenance looks, with seamlessly blended ombre and balayage, I’m loving that we are seeing bolder looks come to the fore again. For example, I love the Money Piece trend – a frame around the face with a harder line, then a blend from darker to lighter within the same area. This trend is thrilling to do and translates well onto pastel, vivid and natural hair colours.
What colour trends are you pleased to see out of fashion?
Stripy highlights or anything that’s hard-looking or flat. I love multi-tonal looks that suit the complexion, radiate health and look professionally done. Generally, a lot of looks involve some degree of contrast and lightening.
This is perfect for our industry as to achieve these looks, with a glossy finish that pops, requires some degree of experience.
Are there any colouring trends or techniques you’d like to bring back?
Not in their original form as I feel that trends should have a respectful nod to the past, but look towards the future and be relevant to the times we live in today. The fixed solid looks of the past I can see being revised in a softer way. With the popularity of The Crown and the sartorial creativeness on shows like Bridgerton, it’s possible this may affect client’s hair inspiration. With the third lockdown in full swing, people are influenced by the shows they are binge-watching more than ever.
What are the challenges facing colourists at the moment?
Client education and managing expectations are ongoing challenges. With amazing inspiration online, educating clients on the time and expense involved can be a diplomatic mission. Some of the most beautiful and desirable colours involve multiple processes and the colour appointments quite often take more time than clients expect. Clients willing to invest time, budget and trust will always be the ones that come out happiest in the end. Due to COVID-19, colour correction is the normality now until we can eventually be creative again. This requires organisation, teamwork and stamina.
What’s been your most memorable colour consultation?
The experience of realising that I had mastered the fine art of saying ‘no’ as a professional was a game changer to me, both for my mental health and to help me be a better hairdresser to the other wonderful clients on my column. I don’t do it often but it’s a skill I believe every hairdresser should master and the first time I did it, and to be honest every time I’ve ever done it since, it always stays in my mind. If both you and your potential client disagree about what is achievable in their time and budget and what is best for the ongoing health of their hair you will never be a good match. Not getting partnered up in the first place is
so much better than a ‘hairdresser divorce’. See it as a positive and create a column you can’t wait to get to work to see, and you’ll soon be able to choose who you see.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Definitely the diversity in our clientele. We believe feeling good about the way you look is something that all ages deserve. I’ve always believed that an open-minded salon develops your skills. Spending time with youthful talent keeps a fresh outlook while those with experience can share techniques and ideas.
What advice would you give to a trainee colourist?
Start simple, perfect it, then progress steadily. Have your own ideas and place yourself in a team that nurtures your passion. Enthusiasm is infectious, people love it and it is just as valuable as money, if not more so.