Season of Giving

What Have you Learned About Hair Over the Past 10 Years?

by laurahusband / last updated January 6, 2020

learned about hair

To celebrate HJ’s Season of Giving and the start of a new decade, we ask hairdressers what they’ve learned about hair over the past ten years in terms of techniques and working as a hairdresser behind the chair.

Robert Eaton, HJ’s British Hairdresser of the Year and Creative Director at Russell Eaton Salons in Leeds and Barnsley… 

“I’ve learned that hard work and dedication pays off. We really are so proud of what we have achieved at team Russell Eaton. Our Leeds salon is now 10 years old and we have been lucky enough to be involved (and successful) in some amazing industry events, shows and competitions. All of which have been achieved through the hard work and dedication of our team. This hard work has also seen my hair line disappear over the past ten years – I am now nearly bald – ha ha.”

Kerry Mather from KJM Salons… 

“My hairdressing techniques and philosophy have changed over the past decade. I encourage my clients to embrace their natural hair, not to overly blow-dry or use heat on their hair, to “love” the natural texture and wear it with confidence and sass. I carefully research and recommend products to my clients that allow them to get the very best out of their natural hair type and enjoy being unique.”

Mark Creed, Director and Colourist at idlewild, Oxfordshire…

“Trend-driven hair is still more on-trend than ever before. The introduction of social media and it’s adoption of all ages and social classes mean that more of the general public are exposed to ‘fashion hair’ than ever before. Also, we have found that the past 10 years have seen steady growth in all-things-colour as we try to emulate our on-screen idols.”

Salv Mulé, Salon Director Academy Salons UK

“I’ve learned that styles have become much more free-hand and soft trends genuinely come back around. Full fringes and the lob style have become very popular as has the ombré. Now when clients talk about hairstyles or colour they use social media as a reference, before this was always done with a magazine. Clients heavily rely on social media images and this has made me become more computer savvy. Clients now know exactly how that want the hair to look with celebs having a big impact on their choices. Barbering is massive and is still growing and grooming is now an essential in most men’s lives. Retail products have improved so much in quality and choice which has led to more sales.”

Lisa Shepherd  Balmain’s UK Creative Ambassador….

“Less is more has always been my motto, with colour and styling products. Using the right tools brushes all create the perfect end result but sometimes something “undone” can be much harder to create. Creating negative space in colour has been essential over the past 10 years and is quite a skill as you are correcting as well and utilising visual placement. Balayage has dominated but we’ ve seen clients coming back less and lazy hair isn’t good unless it’s intended so lifting balayage up higher has been essential and needed for foot flow visits!”

Phil Smith, Smith England…

“More than ever, I’ve learned that hair is like fashion. Style comes round again and again and the key to keeping the style relevant is product. Product technology is moving at such a rate that the options on how to finish a style keeps it contemporary. The classic techniques never change but the way the style is expressed comes round in a cycle. In theory, it should be easier to predict trends for clients.”

Brett MacDonald, Founder of CULt…

“I feel social media trends in general have led to a more visual presence of hairdressing trends in the industry.  From technical advances in styling tools such as the arrival of ghd and Brazilian Straightening Systems. During this 10 year period, we’ve seen stylists take hairdressing back to basics with styling hair becoming a trend in itself. Right now we are playing with new treatments that mirror the flex based treatments and more recently new colouring techniques like Airtouch and Illuminum colour. Nowadays we share so much more these days with social media and digital speed, from great education to new colouring techniques right through to specific regional approaches that are interpreted and reinvented and produced on a global scale. Personally I feel this global uniting of our industry adds weight to ideas and new approaches and the massive social and financial change that we now have means in the next decade I believe we will have far larger and amazing changes in how we approach the humble head of hair.”

Carly Price, Partner Stylist at Muse of London…

“Hair trends are constantly changing but what is noticeable is that trends reoccur. Throughout the past ten years colour has certainly boomed with the introduction of hand painting services like balayage taking the industry by storm. With social media constantly growing and celebrities and influencers showcasing more vibrant hair looks I believe this has also encouraged clients to become more experimental with colour, coming in for brighter and bolder hair looks. In terms of styling, this used to be very groomed and glossy but I think in the past few years hairstyles have become a lot more natural and effortless by simply using texturising products to give the hair a bit of bounce and grit instead of using styling tools.”

Kevin Paul Finnell, Creative Director, F&M Hairdressing…

“Over the past 10 years I’ve learned that continuous investment is key, and your team are your greatest asset, so that’s where we focus most of our investment. I’ve also learned that you need to believe in yourself as it’s too easy to get complacent! Head out of your comfort zone to push yourself further.”

Brian MacMillan, Salon Director, F&M Hairdressing….

“The one thing I’ve learned is that you need to plan ahead. Whether it be a refit, expansion, staff training or something completely different – planning is the key to success. I would also advise any salon to stay away from cut price discounts as that way you can invest in your business and attract the caliber of staff that you want.”

Ross Charles, Owner of Ross Charles Hairdressing…

I have worked very hard throughout the past ten years and I feel really proud of where I am today. Having finalised for both Men’s Hairdresser of the Year and North Eastern Hairdresser of the Year at the British Hairdressing Awards, my creative hairdressing skills have advanced and developed which really excites me. Creative hairdressing is my passion and working on photo shoots from the photography to the hair is an incredible feeling. I have also learned that teamwork is key to the success of a salon and nurturing and educating the younger members of your team is important for the overall development of your business and allowing you as the director to focus on the aspects you are passion.”

Akin Konizi, HOB Academy…

“The biggest thing I’ve learned is that hair is a material. There is no mystery or magic needed in our armoury – it’s all about craftsmanship. I’ve learned that as our skill levels have dropped over this decade, there is a danger that the power to make our clients delighted and enthralled is under threat. I’ve discovered that we are milliners/tailors of the head. We need to perfect and keep developing our skills of manipulation and suitability to recreate the illusion of us as wonderful magicians. Back to hard work, practice and bleeding fingers to make sure we are respected as craftsmen first and artists second.”

Sam Ashcroft, Brooks & Brooks, London

“This is my first decade working in the industry, but from when I started to now, there is such a consciousness on how salons act towards climate change and as an industry how we can deliver a greener service to our clients. From herbal colouring to being responsible for recycling our colour wastage, re-using the hair clippings and everything else in between. Australia has a salon company called ‘Sustainable Salons’ which recycles 95% of salon wastage and the clients pay a fee of £1 added on to their bill for it, and the rest of the world is following. Our clients want organic products and ask if the brand is cruelty free.

When I first began working in this industry, it was about glamorous Cheryl Cole blow dries and shiny dark locks, but this has migrated towards more lived-in colour with depth and dimension, allowing for a softer grown out finish. This allows clients a longer time period between their appointments.

The rise of social media has been the most significant of course. My generation can use the tool to attract clients, share formulas with hairdressers on the other side of the world, talk to photographers and make-up artists, as well as find models for shoots and create a name for ourselves that is brand new. The tool is amazing because we can use it to educate our clients, however there is a double edge sword with social media as sometimes we have to explain the difference between Instagram hair and real hair. How this will evolve and develop though the 20’s will be so exciting to watch and I’m excited to be apart of it.”

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