Meet the Artist – Sharing Inspiration with Robert Eaton
HJ’s current British Hairdresser of the Year and Wella Professionals’ Technical Director shares an insight into his current inspiration, the techniques to watch in 2020 and how to juggle working in the salon with working for an international brand…
How does it feel to be the current British Hairdresser of the Year?
It’s incredible! I genuinely didn’t expect to win at all. I was just so happy to be nominated by people in the industry. I was bowled over by the response on the night as well. I’ve been working towards this dream for so long. In fact it’s been a 22-year journey to get this far. It’s fantastic to achieve it for myself but also for my family who have been so supportive of my career.
What plans do you have for your winning year?
2020 is already very busy with shows, shoots, seminars and events. I will also continue working hard in our two salons in Leeds and Barnsley to make sure they’re successful.
What made your 2019 British collection stand out to the judges?
My aim was to create a colour trends forecast for 2020. I also wanted to demonstrate a broad variation of hair textures and hairdressing techniques in a commercial and consumer-friendly way. The concept was really to make sure there was a colour that would stand out to all of the judges and to ensure that at least one or more of the pictures was something they loved.
Where do you go for colour inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere – whether that be fashion trends, lifestyle influences or the evolving trends I see working with our teams.
I’m very proud to still be a salon-based hairdresser. I work with clients most days and I think it’s easy for us to focus on super creative shapes and colours, however, for me, it’s always important for my work to relate to what everyday clients want to wear.
What are your favourite colouring techniques at the moment?
For me it’s all about creating a bespoke colour service for each individual client. Our client’s requirements are diverse so it’s important for colourists to adapt their skillset to each client. We are currently working on some exciting new techniques with Wella Professionals – watch this space for when these are launched!
What colour trends are you pleased to see out of fashion?
This is a difficult one as there are so many different trends and techniques that we are using now, however one of the things I really love about hair colour now is that we create looks that grow out and evolve effortlessly giving clients beautiful hair all the time.
I think there is also a move away from over worked, heavily coloured hair, it is much more about beautiful shine and condition. It is very much about creating a colour journey and plan for our clients.
Are there any trends or techniques you’d like to make on-trend again?
I love interesting and clever colour mixtures, not everything has to be bright and bold. For me I love all techniques and trends as long as there is a high level of taste in both placement and colour.
How do you juggle working in the salon with being the Wella Professionals’ technical director?
I love the blend of working within our own brand and with Wella Professionals. I feel very grateful and lucky to have this role. I feel it fulfils both my artistic journey in the industry alongside the satisfaction of seeing our own brand grow. It can be very time consuming, however it is something I love.
What’s been your most memorable colour consultation?
There are so many consultations and clients that have been memorable for both good and bad reasons and I am sure all hairdressers can relate to this. I do think now, more than ever, client’s expectations are exceedingly high. We’ve all had to become much more direct and realistic with some clients to manage these expectations and really ensure we can deliver the best results.
What do you love most about colouring clients’ hair?
Everything – I love how you can transform someone’s look instantly just by changing the colour of their hair.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
The best advice I could give would be to focus on the foundations of your training to give a good grounding in the industry. To watch and learn from as many different hairdressers as possible, as well as looking at other influences such as make-up artists, fashion designers, interior designers and as many creative influences as possible.
Also, it is essential to practise, practise and practise! Learn from both the positive and negative experiences you may have, but most of all enjoy what you do as we are lucky to work in such a fantastic industry.