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Conversations on Colour: Christel Barron-Hough

by charlottegw / last updated August 25, 2020

Christel Barron Hough

The founder and director at STIL and global technical director at TIGI shares her favourite colouring techniques of the moment and why this is the best time to be a colourist.

What do you love most about being a colourist?
I’ve always loved my job and there are so many fantastic elements to being a colourist. The part that gets me every day is the impact colour can have on a client’s life and how it can bring their style to life by just adding the right shade for their image. Colour is linked to so many amazing emotions and feelings and you can transform someone’s style and image with colour. Plus, a slight subtle change makes a huge difference.

Where do you go for colour inspiration?
It really depends as I love to research. If I have a theme I would research as much as possible around that through film, fashion and past eras. I love the 1980s for colour as it was so fun and the new romantic era is amazing for all-round inspiration. Flowers are a passion of mine and a great source for creating different palettes.

What are your favourite colouring techniques at the moment?
I love lux colour which is a new trend based on freehand painting. This trend is all about creating seamless bright effects which can be difficult to do as it’s so pure looking. I also love a colour pop placement, which has contrasting bright effects.

What colour trends are you pleased to see out of fashion?
1990s Spice Girl-style stripes.

Christel barron hough moodpboard

Are there any colouring trends or techniques you’d like to bring back?
The new romantic era had some amazing colouring looks. Cindy had amazing colourful hair and it always looked slightly raw and untouched which I would love to see in fashion again, as a lot of current trends are perfect looking.

What are the biggest challenges facing professional colourists at the moment?
We are blessed because today’s colour industry is extremely developed and the products we work with are outstanding with so much choice. As a colourist, you just need to be up on your A-game in terms of your skills and trends as clients are aware of fashion and what’s on offer. It’s important to stay up to date with new products, methods and techniques so you can deliver to all of your clients.

What’s been your most memorable colour consultation?
I’ve been very fortunate to have many amazing clients and experiences. My most memorable was when singer and songwriter Lauv was last in London as he loves colour and gets so involved with choosing fun pastel shades. He loves talking colour, which is a dream for most hairdressers.

What colour creation makes you most proud?
I’m super grateful for my past British Hairdressing Awards collections, sponsored by Schwarzkopf Professional as they started a journey in hairdressing that has taken me to so many amazing places and given me so many fantastic career opportunities.

What advice would you give to trainee colourists?
Work hard and give full commitment to our industry as hairdressing comes from the heart and it takes love, passion, drive and dedication to succeed. If you do, the opportunities and rewards are endless.

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