Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a course at L'Oreal, London that was exclusively for L'Oreal Colour Experts with the unstoppable Sophia Hilton from Not Another Salon and her highly skilled team: Harriet Stokes and Lucy. It was so great to be back in the L'Oreal building in Hammersmith, that I spent so much time in whilst working in Cheltenham and as a L'Oreal ID artist many moons ago.
The course consisted of the Harriet and Sophia demo-ing some of their unique techniques - from backwash balyage to their flawless 'bleed' method that Not Another Salon is so famous for.
As well as all of the inspirational demos and hands on practical we also spent the majority of the afternoon touching on the 'unreal expectations' that our clients might have in what is fundamentally an 'instagram era'. As a group we discussed the difficulties we have found with clients wanting un-achievable looks that may not suit them and also significantly damage their hair to the point of no return. As a colourist and salon owner the condition of hair comes above everything else we do at YOKE, so it was refreshing to have my own thoughts & methods backed up as well as understanding the psychology behind addressing expectations during a consultation.
Although personally I love instagram and use it for so much of my own creative inspiration, it can also make our jobs as hairdressers even more difficult when we are competing with heavily filtered images and 'demos' that to be honest just aren't real!
Living in such a celebrity driven era we are so used to seeing celebs jump from blonde to black - to long to short - to red to platinum. All we see are the instant changes and not the real life timeline of what their hair actually goes through. Therefore we are always missing out on the unavoidable bob length ginger stage and just seeing the final colour or a full head of beautiful hair extensions (and sometimes even a wig).
Even the queen of colour change & Olaplex ambassador Kim Kardashian was caught on video saying her hair felt 'gummy' when she last had it bleached - yer Kim... that's because you've effing well bleached it to death and it's lost all elasticity & it's snapping off!
At one point in the afternoon Sophia acted out a consultation with her N.A.S newbie assistant Lucy (who is actually an ex-West End actress) so we could understand more of the psychology behind what people say they want and possibly what they mean and how this can be misconstrued.
It was so awesome to be on such an inspirational course that was both practical and creative, in such a safe environment where we were actively encouraged to come together as hairdressers rather than 'compete' against each other. This is something that Steve and I feel so passionately about as we have lots of hairdresser friends in the industry that support us and we support back - and why would we not want to be part of a bigger community?
Sophia's mantra is one that definitely resonates within our team - "Be really great at your job and be really, really nice".
Lucky for me I'm already booked to attend another of Sophia's courses held at her salon in Brick Lane in October, so i'll get the chance to learn even more of her techniques & suck up more knowledge soon!
Thanks so much to L'Oreal for hosting and Sophia Hilton, Lucy & Harriet Stokes for all the inspo- see ya soon!
P.s we ALWAYS offer complementary indepth consultations at YOKE with all of our stylists and we bloody love talking about hair so please book in for chat soon!