What do you love most about being a colourist?
Colour is so intrinsic to style — it can communicate so many things about an individual. It conveys mood, personality, emotion, identity and self-expression. I find it a joy to turn a vision into a reality!
Where do you go for your colour inspiration?
I try to get my inspiration from traditional media — sometimes social media can become an echo chamber of the same looks, because they use algorithms to show you content you already like. Instead, I look to music, cinema and interior design to see where the trends begin. I truly believe innovation starts with our more traditional mediums before our Instagram Explore page. Over the past five years, trends in TV, decor and cinema have been all about the 70s. Currently this is all shifting towards the 90s and 00s with things like neon lights, wicker furniture, hundreds of houseplants and even a remake of The Matrix on the horizon.
What are your favourite colouring techniques?
I love precise placements – from a perfectly painted money piece to a whole under panel of lilac to pop against glossy dark hair!
Are there any colouring trends you’d like to bring back?
Bold and defined highlights! They're reminiscent of celebrities like Nicole Ritchie, JoJo and Lindsay Lohan in the 00s. If you want to try a bolder Y2K look I suggest grounding and shadowing the roots to keep a seamless blend while still creating an intense colour effect.
What are the challenges facing colourists right now?
Now more than ever clients are interested in aftercare, the impact of the service on their hair’s health, and impact on the environment, while also expecting a flawless customer service experience. It’s important to stay knowledgeable of the entire aspect of the service, from knowing what active ingredients set your colour apart to why you chose a semi-permanent colour over a permanent colour.
What’s been your most memorable consultation?
A regular client broke down and confessed she had just been diagnosed with cancer and was preparing to begin her chemotherapy treatments. She had always dreamt of trying the ‘unicorn hair’ trend but never felt brave enough. We lifted and tinted her hair all shades of lilac purple, blue lavender, pastel pink and mint green before we inevitably went short for her chemo sessions. It was a super emotional time for both of us, because it made me realise how important our hair is on our psyche. Years later, I’m happy to say she is in now in remission.
What colour creation makes you most proud?
The colour creation I’m most proud of is a double petal pink melt (pictured left). One of my favourite clients are twins who love coming in together for their hair. Everyone knows how hard it is to formulate pastel fashions colours… but to replicate that on another head of hair exactly the same is even more difficult— but super fun!
What advice would you give to a trainee colourist?
Don’t get stuck into the social media recycle. Reach deep and look at classic techniques, you need to know the rules to break them and classic techniques will give you a strong foundation. This industry surprises me and humbles me on a regular basis. Nobody can know everything and techniques evolve and change so often you will never be bored.