Hair Awards and Events

Hair The Love 2021 Exclusive Live Panel Brings Hairdressers Together

by laurahusband / last updated February 12, 2021

The Hair the Love 2021 exclusive live panel hosted by L’Oréal Professional Products and Hairdressers Journal International brought the industry together to celebrate what it means to be a hairdresser and the essential role that hairdressing plays in everyone’s lives.

The Hair The Love 2021 event, which was streamed live on HJ’s official Facebook page on 11 February (just in time for Valentine’s Day), was hosted by HJ’s executive director Jayne Lewis-Orr and L’Oréal Professional Products Division UK & Ireland managing director Béatrice Dautzenberg.

Meet the Hair the Love 2021 exclusive live panel

Hair the Love 2021 exclusive live panel

The Hair the Love 2021 exclusive live panel featured three key members of the hairdressing industry who are shaping society in different ways. Plus, a consumer journalist who has spent the past 12 months writing about the importance of hairdressers and the hairdressing industry for the wellbeing of her readers (your clients).

  • THE IDENTITY MAKER – Sally Brooks at Brooks & Brooks
  • THE HEART OF THE HIGH STREET – Josh Miller at Charlie Miller Hairdressing
  • THE COMMUNITY CHAMPION – Stewart Roberts at Haircuts4Homeless
  • THE BEAUTY CONSUMER JOURNALIST  – Sonia Haria at The Telegraph

Click here to watch the full Hair The Love 2021 Exclusive Live Panel Event now!

The Hair The Love 2021 exclusive mini documentary

The Hair the Love 2021 exlusive live panel event started with a mini documentary featuring the powerful stories of the three hairdressers on the panel – Josh Miller, Sally Brooks, and Stewart Roberts. Each hairdresser’s story reveals what they love most about hairdressing and the impact it has had on their own lives as well as the people they transform on a daily basis. You can watch the mini documentary in full below.

Download The Hair the Love 2021 exclusive social media tile to spread the love with clients and colleagues on social media

L’Oréal Professional Products has teamed up with fashion designer Gareth Pugh to create a social media tile that says ‘My Hair Belongs To…’ to be shared on social media in time for Valentines’ Day and if you post with the hashtag #HairTheLove2021, L’Oréal Professional Products will donate to the Hair and Beauty Charity and Haircuts4Homeless.”

The aim is for your clients to share the social media post on their own Instagram accounts and shout about the fact their hair belongs to you – their beloved hairdresser. Simply click the link below to download the post and add it to your public Instagram account with the hashtag – #HairTheLove2021.

Gareth Pugh social media tile

Download the social media post

For each qualifying post, L’Oréal Professional Products will donate £1 to the Hair & Beauty Charity and £1 to Haircuts4Homeless up to a total of £10,000 (£5,000 per charity). Click here for the full terms and conditions. 

The Hair the Love 2021 exclusive live panel Q&A

How has the awareness of the hairdressing industry been heightened over the past year?

Sally: “Firstly. I just want to say the mini documentary makes me miss cutting hair. I just want to get back and see clients and cut hair. It brings it home what we all do and how amazing we all are. Clients are starting to realise that hairdressers are more than hairdressers – they are their friends.”

Sonia: “Speaking on behalf of your clients, I don’t think we appreciated how much we love our hairdressers. The ability to connect with a person you see every six weeks – it’s a human connection you can’t get in any other way.”

Josh: “Our industry is not allowed to go to work right now so clients being without hairdressing, helps them to realise what they need. It’s having their hair done, socialising, going out, seeing people and clients becoming more aware about where we fit into society.”

Stewart: “It’s only when we stop doing our craft that we realise how much of our work heals not only our clients but us as individuals as well. For me, I feel like I’ve had my hands cut off and I can’t wait to get out there again. Everything passes – we take up the slack and we move forward again.”

What makes the hairdressing industry different to other sectors?

Sally: “We are so resilient – we can overcome anything. I’m sure it’s the same for all of you but you go in when you’re sick because you don’t want to let your clients down. Hairdressers just don’t phone in sick because we just get on with it to be there for our clients and fulfil their needs.”

Josh: “We look after people. If a person is not in a good mood, we get to feel good by trying to make them feel better while they are sat in our chair and that is special.”

Sonia: “When you go to your hairdresser you are being looked after. It’s one-on-one time and it’s just about you. The past year has been all about fight or flight but a hairdresser’s chair is the one place where you can relax and feel looked after. It’s what all of my friends and family can’t wait to do after lockdown.”

Béatrice: “By the end of the lockdown we’ll be reconnecting with our social lives and our communities but we also want to reconnect with ourselves and that’s what hairdressers do for clients. Hair The Love is a time to celebrate all of you and what you do for all of us.”

Stewart: “We get our feedback from the mirror – we don’t need a three-monthly review from HR. I was cutting the hair for one homeless man who was really down and had too much to drink and was talking non-stop but by the end he stopped in his tracks and he couldn’t speak. I just said ‘that’s you – that’s the real you’. You can find people’s identity behind the chair – regardless of whether they are homeless or not. We’re exceptional at reading people and body language and understanding what the person in our chair really needs.”

Will hairdressers appreciate what they do as much as clients appreciate it?

Sonia “We got reader’s letters, emails, Instagram messages because we became a portal for updates on the hair and beauty industry for members of the public. The knock-on effect when we had a date for hairdressers reopening is that it really highlighted the craft of hairdressing. The public have realised that hairdressers are highly skilled at what they do. In this latest lockdown, for example, more people are thinking I’m just going to wait to see my hairdresser and pay for their expertise.”

Stewart: “I agree and wee need to value what we do as hairdressers and believe in ourselves.”

How are you connecting with clients right now?

Sally: “Clients are a little more laidback this time round. We connect on Instagram posts – they comment on what we’re doing or message to say how are you? And it’s a real ‘how are you?’ message – it’s a way of connecting with clients like I would with my friends and family.”

“We’re not as scared as we were last time. We knew we’d be busy for 4-6 weeks but that the wheels fell off and we had to work out how to restructure and make it work. I think this time everyone is sitting back a little bit because we know we can rebuild again.”

Josh: “It’s a different experience this time – everyone is a bit quieter so it’s about timing. It’s about being ready to peak at the right moment. Our teams are coping, clients are coping so it’s about ‘when’. Once we have a reopening date we can start to wind it up and engage with them. It takes a lot of effort to get back into any habit again so for clients it’s about helping them to ‘choose’ seeing us again in the salon. Some clients will have to reset their habits for getting their hair done regularly, while some clients will be desperate to get it done.”

What do you see as the future of hairdressing?

Sally: “We’ve been recognised much more during the pandemic so we should use this to talk to colleges, kids and parents and continue to shine a light on our industry. We need to coninute talking about our work as a profession.”

Josh: “In terms of technology we’ve accelerated by five to seven years during the pandemic and as more people work from home more often they will come into contact with other human beings less often too. We touch people and clients will need that more often in future. There are not many parts of an average person’s day where they are touched. Having your hair washed involves lying back and having it done to you. When our apprentices begin we have to say to them you’re not used to touching people and it’s about learning the value of that. It’s about understanding the wellbeing that comes with how we look and being the best version of ourselves. Every time we brush our hair it’s to make ourselves feel better.”

Béatrice: “When salons reopen it will be the rebirth of hairdressing and after every tough period in history there’s a period of creativity. It allows people to transform themselves so Believe creativity will flourish. Hairdressing will be at the forefront of inclusivity, diversity and sustainability and we will be here to support you.”

What message should be giving to young people?

Sonia: “Hairdressing has been on everyone’s minds over the past 12 months. What’s great for the younger generation is that hairdressing is one of those industries where you can build your own business, be an entrepreneur and make your mark. For school leavers and gen-z – that’s what they want and they want to be creative.We’re all stuck in front of our computers right now so I think creativity is going to be an area of growth and hairdressing will really shine.

It brings the creativity into your hands and allows you to be whoever you want to be.

Sally: “It’s so important that we get the right people coming into the industry and I think that’s the responsibility of all of us. We need the profile of hairdressing to be there so we can continue to raise the bar. Hairdressing can take you through every phase of your life. It’s an industry that is a life industry. It can take us from the day we start to the day we finish and vary at different points in our lives.

Josh: “I didn’t want to be a hairdresser but I wanted to be in the industry. I said to my daughters – you have to find the industry you want to be in and there are a multitude of different roles you can have within that industry. You can be a journalist working at Hairdressers Journal International, for example and be in the hairdressing industry. I’m not worried about the future – I’m intrigued about where the future will bring. I think the teenagers coming in over the coming years will be different. It’s going to be really interesting and young people can choose to work in a salon or work for a company within the industry. What we do is so varied.”

Click here to watch the full L’Oréal Professional Products Division #HairTheLove2021 exclusive panel event.

For more information about the #HairTheLove2021 campaign and to download the Gareth Pugh social media tile to share with your clients click here.

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