Hair Colour

Conversations on Colour: Jonathan Turner and Sophie Gibson

by akesha / last updated April 20, 2020

sophie gibson and jonathan turner

Schwarzkopf Professional Colour Technician of the Year at HJ‘s British Hairdressing Awards Jonathan Turner and Sophie Gibson share where they go for their colour inspiration and the issues that are facing colourists today…

What do you love most about being a colourist?

Jonathan: The creative opportunities with colour are endless, which is what I love about being a colourist. Whether it’s used for something visual like a shoot or something more salon friendly. Colour allows us to really push ourselves in our work and take it to the next level.
Sophie: For me it’s a combination of the creativity and making people feel amazing, simply by changing their hair colour.

Where do you go for your colour inspiration?

Jonathan: I love art and I’m always really inspired by what’s happening in the fine art world. Observing a colour palette in a painting can lead to interesting colour combinations for hair. My favourite artist at the moment is Matthew Stone, who uses brush strokes of colour in a digital 3D format. You should check his work out, it’s fascinating.
Sophie: It’s a combination of social media, magazines and celebrities for me. I love to keep an eye on new and emerging trends – whether it’s hair colour or fashion trends. I also look at nature for inspiration – the different tonal colours in autumn leaves, for example can translate into beautiful hair colour.

What are your favourite colouring techniques at the moment?

Jonathan: I love working with my hands and using my fingers to melt colours together for creating natural balayage. It’s a great visual way of working and the best tools we have been given.
Sophie: I love freehand colour. It allows me to achieve a beautiful bespoke colour which is tailored to each individual client, depending on their personality, lifestyle and face shape.

Which colour trend are you pleased to see out of fashion?

Jonathan: It would have to be chunky striped highlights. Natural looking is much better so hopefully stripes won’t be making a comeback anytime soon.
Sophie: Ombre – I am so glad this trend has gone out of fashion!

Are there any colouring trends or techniques you’d like to return?

Jonathan and Sophie: A beautiful full head of highlights with a brighter fringe or toned with high shine all over colour. Balayage is so popular these days it seems to have taken over from a full head of highlights.

What are the biggest challenges facing professional colourists?

Jonathan and Sophie: Seeing colour work on digital platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest puts a lot of pressure on professional colourists. Clients see photoshopped or filtered images and have unrealistic expectations. The images may not be achievable for the client’s hair or simply not possible. We need to be honest with clients about this and stop putting ourselves under so much pressure as we are the experts.

What’s been your most memorable colour consultation?

Sophie: I have a new client who found me via social media. Their first consultation lasted 45 minutes as we had so many ideas. She is open to anything and allows me to do what I like – as long as it’s a bright statement colour. She is so much fun to work with as I can really get creative without worrying about her reaction as she 100% trusts me.

What colour creation are you most proud about?

Jonathan & Sophie: It has to be our School Yearbook collection, which earned us the title of Schwarzkopf Professional British Colour Technicians of the Year. Winning this was a dream come true for both of us and something we are incredibly proud about. Putting together a colour collection involved an enormous amount of hard work but it was so worthwhile.

What advice would you give to a trainee colourist?

Jonathan: Be confident! Play around and experiment with colour as it can always be corrected. You’re the artist – so don’t be afraid!

Sophie: Listen to your client and take your time during the consultation to make sure you are both 100% clear on what you are going to achieve with their colour. It’s also vital you always back up your opinions with facts so do your research.

Check out Jonathan and Sophies award-winning collection here

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