Life of a Stylist – Vision to Fruition with Simon Ellis
For this edition of Life of a Stylist we spoke to Simon Ellis, the corporate vice president and creative director at Schwarzkopf Professional. He is a pro when it comes to searching through Instagram to discover the next big trend so naturally we quizzed him on his colour predictions and go-to Instagram accounts.
How did you get to where you got to where you are today?
I always believed the future of hairdressing lies in great training and I always wanted to create positive change. When I came to Schwarzkopf Professional, my aim was to make Schwarzkopf Professional a hairdresser-driven brand. My goal was to combine the brand’s German quality with British creativity.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
I’m thrilled that the Essential Looks collection we create every year is now a global initiative that has been sustainable for over 19 years. Secondly, I’ve created a global education network that keeps us at the cutting-edge of the physical and digital space. I’m also extremely proud that I’ve kept the greatest team – they’ve been with me since the beginning.
What advice would you give to hairdressers today?
If you like it, stick with it – our industry is not easy, but the rewards are huge! It’s all about staying power and if you can put up with it all you can have an amazing career. Hairdressing is a social leveller – it’s one of the few skills left where you can touch someone – it’s trust-based and allows you to build a relationship with someone. It’s also a portable skill that you can take anywhere and apply at any time.
What are the biggest issues facing the hair industry today?
In many countries – the biggest issue is recruiting staff. Hairdressing has a negative image for whatever reason, but it means we don’t attract the right quality of youngster. It’s partly driven by the lack of regulation and low pay. The second threat is the rise of social media and the internet hairdresser. As a result, some young hairdressers believe they don’t need to work in a salon or have a team. As an industry we need to improve our marketing and develop how our different social channels integrate with one another.
What’s the future of colour?
It’s becoming more premium again – expensive hair is coming back. We’re beginning to see that hair is becoming more finished. Clean and ultra-gloss are the buzz words at the moment as well as punk/rebellious and anti-establishment looks but they’re being softened up.
What are your go-to accounts to follow on Instagram?
What’s next for Schwarzkopf Professional?
Schwarzkopf Professional is our innovator and premium brand and we’ve been achieving 7% to 8% growth thanks to our innovation on colour, care and styling. We’re going to be pushing the Session Label, which is going to have salon exclusivity.
What’s next for you in your role?
Latin America and Asia is a focus for us moving forwards. We now have regional teams so we can adapt and implement local pushes and collect data so it’s an exciting time for us!