Recently I was invited to hear Josh Wood talk at a Redken event, a rare opportunity to listen to an industry icon talk. The subject got onto trends and what Josh thought; it was so interesting because he also feels that because the technology of colour, either from a box or a tube, is so good and getting even better, the only thing that’s going to distinguish us from our competitors is the application. Given that most hairdressers say they do balayage and to some interpretation they do, what sets one apart from the other? APPLICATION. It’s the same for most commercial looks now because the colour choice is what fans the instagram story, but it’s the application that makes it look amazing.
So who said commercial hair colour was boring – because it’s not, it’s what the majority of clients want and what will fill your column with happy loyal customers! Recently 442 colour trends were identified on social media; I couldn’t keep up with that – none of us can – but what we do know about many of them is that colour choice and colour combinations are the trends, but many of the applications are freehand. Pre-lighteners are playing an enormous role in the current colour market, without them where would we be with our balayage and pastels and vivids? I’ve spoken to colourists who see this latest revolution to be all doom and gloom, because the emphasis seems to be on brights, and instagram posts, not on the work. However, I would say that although colour houses have made colouring easier by using technology that makes the job simpler, I don’t think it’s a bad thing, because although some of the mixology has been replaced, clever placement and well executed work can never be put in a tube. I raise my hand and admit I spend my days balayaging away and then glazing (toning), so when course participants ask me if I use colour as well as pre-lightener for balayage, the answer of course is no.
So if all the above is true, then education is king, because that’s where you’re going to find great application and technique with interesting colour mixes. We might find inspiration on Youtube or Instagram, but I doubt very much if it’s going to explain everything to you. I see 2018 continuing to change the landscape in education. Last year I did three things that were completely new to me: a podcast (and people were interested!) a type of webinar that you could pay for and have lifetime access to, and finally a stripped back stage presentation. All were really fascinating to be part of and all have influenced my thoughts on education for 2018. The most enlightening was the stripped back stage presentation: 25 minutes on stage doesn’t give you much time to get a strong colour message across, plus it’s often difficult if not impossible to wash colour off a model at a show! It allows you to showcase with models but not really get into the nitty gritty of application.
So how do you convey a stronger colour message? My thoughts have been that really 2018 is all about application, this is what’s going to separate us from our competition, so for my stage presentation at Pro Hair Live this year you can expect to see me demonstrate clear techniques on doll heads, focusing on the four different types of balayage application that I have identified.
Balayage is no longer a revolution, it’s an evolution, and I’ll be showing classic balayage (root to tip), creative balayage (saturated at the ends and product is loaded in the mid-lengths, not to the root), micro balayage (saturating the ends, loading product just above this and feathering up) and california balayage (a much heavier incarnation of micro; still very soft at the root but much more coverage). Using four doll heads and a wifi signal we’ll be streaming the applications live to the audience to get a fantastic view up close and if you’re unable to attend you can also tune in; I did this for the first time in 2017 and over 12 thousand people watched with over 28 thousand people reached – simply amazing figures and proof that you guys love to learn!
I’m also in the process of launching an online education channel as well as travelling to deliver my in salon education and my education for L’Oreal Professionnel in the UK and worldwide. Whether you’re an individual stylist or responsible for the education of a whole team, there really has never been an easier time to learn!
I hope to see you at Pro Hair Live, and whether you’re there or not you can follow the show on my facebook and instagram pages and message me any questions about colour and technique during the event – I’ll be answering them live on stage.
Follow me on facebook @jackhowardsrh and instagram @jackhoward_srh for a live feed from the Pro Hair Live show. For more information on Jack Howard including course details see www.jackhoward.co.uk
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