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This year for Redken Im probably conducting more in-salon classes than I ever have, and Im really enjoying them. Im finding that salons are looking for the hands-on, up-close-and-personal experience. That works great for me, because I believe in principle-based learning: make mistakes and learn from them. We use top-quality mannequins, which are easy to work with and let the stylists focus on the cut instead of worrying about pleasing a live guest. Some salons dont go for the hands-on; they want me to demonstrate as they observe and ask questions. Thats okay, too.
Recently I held a class at Salon Blue in Raleigh, NC, and then I went to Kansas for classes at The Hair Loft in Salina and Encounters Salon in Overland Park. In Louisville, KY, I did a hands-on sponsored by a distributor and attended by 24 hairdressers from various salons, which brings in lots of different styles and an exchange of ideas. Its cool when I get to work with a group of people like that! I was assisted by another Redken artist, Tim Cowan, whos very well-known and respected in Louisville. The following week I was in Ohio, driving from Bellazio Salon and Spa in Dayton to Lucias Salon in Cleveland, and I realized what a beautiful state Ohio is! When I lived in California I drove everywhere, but now Im on foot in New York City. Maybe I miss my car more than I thought!
Owners bring me into their salons to motivate the staff, but also everyone wants to know: whats fresh, whats happening? In response, Ive developed what I call the buzz. As I traveled from salon to salon this summer, I had a lot of buzz to talk about!
First, theres a big decade happening right now, and its the 80s. Go into a club, and youll hear 1980s music in a remix that makes it more saleable. Were doing the same in hair, reaching into the past in order to create the future. Todays shapes take a twist on classic styles and traditional techniques.
One example is disconnection, which is the strongest element of design today. Its the way were now disconnecting the hair that gives it a sense of looseness, movement, volume and versatility. Just looking at the hair, you cant even tell its disconnected rather than blended or created with normal layers. Youd have to turn the head over to tell. The challenge for me is to get salon professionals to understand how marketable it is.
In fashion, this is already selling. You see women wearing a cardigan sweater over a plain dress; theyre disconnected but they work together. In hair, were also seeing textures collide. A large curl may sit next to a small curl, or a slice of straight hair next to a bunch of curl. Sleek can mix with wavy, and all of this creates the new gentle edges youre starting to see.
Thank you, Posh Spice, because you drove women back into the salon. Clients came in for bobs, and as a result many of them cut their hair short for the first time. They got tons of compliments. What will happen when women tire of the bobs? Some will want to go shorter, and the rest will grow it out to a medium length. Salons have to be prepared for both, so in the classes I walk the stylists through two looks.
Everyone loves the first hair cut, a medium length or longer cut that looks like its been razored because its disconnected and sectioned to create asymmetrical, soft layering. To style it, I demonstrate how to use a flat iron to supply heat while manipulating with a round brush to produce movement, volume, bevel. This is layering thats going to float, and its beautiful! Then I tie the hair into a ponytail, shake the head, and out pops a bob! That gives the client the best of both worlds. She can have a bob if she wants; only from the side can you tell that its actually a ponytail.
Next, I have the hairdressers take the same mannequins to do a short hair cut. Its a classic Mia Farrow or Sharon Stone, but with more length, a little bit like Rihanna. Clients who dont want to let their bobs grow out are going to be asking for this look.
We also have to start thinking in terms of clients who are going green, which is why I encourage colorists to use Redkens Chemistry System. Its amazing how many colorists will give their guests a chemical service without any conditioning treatment! Theyre afraid to charge for this, but it benefits the client.
Clients need product information. I show the stylists how to brush Vinyl Glam on top of natural curls to calm down frizziness and flyaways, and how to use a leave-in conditioner like Butter Treat or All Soft Heavy Cream to calm down any nappy, frizzy hair and reshape the curl. Often clients dont know they have these options, so stylists must educate them, the same way I educate stylists to use proper tools like the Sam Villa line of tools weve developed at Allvus.
When I come out of these in-salon classes, I have such a natural high going. As I flew home from Cleveland, I thought about how much I love going into the salons because its so cool to watch the stylists faces when they get it! Younger people, especially, just eat up all of this education. Thats what makes it worth it to me every time.