What do you love most about being a colourist?
I love the technical parts of hair colouring. I honestly feel like colourists get to be scientists, bakers and artists – all in one job. The measuring part of colouring is like being a scientist, the mixing part is like being a baker and colour application makes me feel like a true artist. I love it!
Where do you go for your colour inspiration?
I get inspired from seeing what up-and-coming colourists are doing. I may not use those techniques on my clients, but I like seeing how others push the boundaries of colour. I also get inspired from those who cut hair. I love thinking how I could colour the amazing haircuts I see on social media.
What are your favourite colouring techniques at the moment?
I’m really into colouring naturally curly hair. Over the past few years this has become my speciality and I've created three curl colouring techniques – Curl Painting, Curl Blending and Curl Smudging. I even have a hashtag #carolyncolorscurls. I believe you have to treat hair types like different fabrics, for example you would treat cotton different to wool. I approach and colour curls in this way so I would work differently when colouring straight hair compared with curly hair.
What colour trends are you pleased to see out of fashion?
To be honest there is not a particular trend I dislike, however I’d like clients to trust our expertise rather than bringing in a picture of someone else and wanting that exact look. Everyone is unique and we need to translate that look to suit our client and their hair. Clients need to understand that.
Are there any colouring trends or techniques you’d like to bring back?
I’ve always liked graphic block and panel colouring. I would like to be doing creative and bold colour like that more regularly.
What are the biggest challenges facing professional colourists at the moment?
I do get concerned that two key techniques and looks are being carried out – balayage and blended brights. Even though these are technical services, they are mainly created on longer hairstyles. I’d love to see more short and textured haircuts on social media so we can colour these cuts and create a real client buzz.
What’s been your most memorable colour consultation?
One of my favourite consultations was when I met Paloma Picasso. After the consultation, we agreed to move her ink black hair colour to a charcoal grey to soften her look and she loved it.
What colour creation makes you most proud?
A long time ago I did a feature in this very magazine where I created the first tie dye colour technique.
It moved into dip dye techniques which have progressed into free hand techniques. I feel proud that I was one of the first colourists to create these looks.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love how colour techniques are evolving and I enjoy teaching and working with hairdressers on enhancing their skillsets. I also love spending valuable time with my clients.
What advice would you give to a trainee colourist?
Learn and master the technical colour basics first. After that you can play with colour on either models or mannequin heads to get creative. A unique colourist is someone who can combine creativity with sound technical knowledge.
"This moodboard showcases what I’m loving in terms of colours and styles. I really like modern mullet and shag haircuts. My colour, style inspiration and hair crush is 1970s Stevie Nicks -I love her combination of nude blonde and golden tones. Mark Rothko is my favourite artist and I love his blend of block colours which I like to translate into hair colour."