SILAS QUESTIONS SALLY
What do you think about Canadian hairdressing?
Canada is definitely one of the countries that we look to for creativity. You have many amazing talented people and a different vision that is really refreshing.
What are your tips for those with a small photoshoot budget?
For me, any award is about quality and a forward-thinking vision that represents the whole industry. The awards are also about producing hair that speaks to other hairdressers, so work out what you want to say and the best way to capture it. It is a hairdressing competition so the hair is always the hero, yet sometimes it is the last part people think about. A low budget shoot means great models and making sure the looks are not forced upon your models. This can be models cast from the street – but it isn’t your mum or sister. You will have to work harder on the small details – is your model photogenic, what lighting can she take, what hair will fit and what are you trying to say with your collection? It will force you to think outside the box and if you get it right, it can really resonate with people.
What lessons or advice would you give to your younger self?
Sally: I would tell my younger self to be more confident and enjoy every adventure. I’d also tell myself it was right to say ‘yes’ more than ‘no’ even if it put me out of my comfort zone. The more knowledge you have, the more you will achieve.
How do you deal with the struggles you face in hairdressing?
Sally: There are definitely struggles along the way. We have a habit of only celebrating those who have won awards, travel or do exciting things. I believe we need to celebrate the everyday hairdressers who keep our industry going. Being successful is not only about winning awards, it’s also about being happy. Running a column and buying your own property is equally as important. My best advice is to write five things you want to achieve at the start of the year and a week later look at that list and prioritise one. This might be entering an award, increasing your salary, standing on stage or assisting on a show. Do it well, work towards it and it will happen. You have to focus on it because if you don’t, someone else will and they will do it better. It’s about taking baby steps; and suddenly all those baby steps add up and you begin to walk like an elephant – it all clicks and comes together!
SALLY QUESTIONS SILAS
How do you stay motivated and keep your ideas and inspiration fresh?
Silas: The talent in the industry motivates me to differentiate myself continuously. What inspires me is seeing others create such beautiful and unique collections and wanting to emulate their success.
What is your biggest highlight and lowlight of your career so far?
Silas: My biggest highlight was winning the Canadian Hairstylist of the Year, Northern American Hairstylist of the Year and the British owner, I think the Hairdressing Awards International Collection, all in 2020. In terms of being a salon lowlight was when I renovated my salon structure to be a satellite academy in 2013, only to realise that it was the wrong business decision as people were not interested in using the space.
What changes would you like to see within the hairdressing industry?
Silas: Before and even more so since the beginning of the pandemic, a lot of hairdressing education has transitioned to a virtual format. However, this usually leaves the learner only watching, not doing.
The current attitude with many learners is that watching makes them an expert. While I think that many things can be learned through seeing, I feel that experience can only be gained through practice. I hope to see the industry’s attitude shift back towards valuing hands-on training, once it is safe.
What advice would you give someone that wants to enter awards?
Silas: Before the photoshoot, be prepared and have a vision and inspiration. It is impossible to create a collection without material, products, hair and tools, so make sure you have enough and more to allow for flexibility. You should have several looks prepared to shoot and a guiding vision for when you’re being spontaneous with a look.
What is left on your bucket list?
Silas: I’d love to see the Terracotta Army with 8,000 solders, 130 chariots, 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses. It’s extraordinary how each of the soldiers were built and have different faces, hair and armour. I’d love to draw inspiration from creativity that is over 2,000 years old.
If you were not a hairdresser, what would you have been?
Silas: I would love to know what it’d be like to have my weakness as a strength, so I would have a career that involves lots of speaking, such as a lawyer.