Change is good. After closing its education centre in Mississauga, Ont., earlier this year, Wella Professionals is building a new studio in the heart of Toronto’s vibrant Liberty Village.
Opening in September, the nearly 5,000 square-foot space will be Wella’s third studio in North America, offering a wide range of classes for hairstylists in all stages of their careers. “We want our Toronto studio to be a platform for all professional hairstylists to learn and share amongst the Canadian hairstyling community,” says Sherman Wong, education leader for Wella Canada. “We are building this studio with the objective to connect stylists and elevate the industry.”
With two classrooms and a theory room, the studio will provide hairstylists with practical, hands-on experience and in-depth, theoretical learning. “We’re always looking at what the hairstylist community needs; whether it’s a senior hairstylist that wants to work at Fashion Week or try competitions, or a hairstylist that’s just starting out and may be curious about Wella,” says Fay Linksman, studio manager. “Toronto is another big city like Los Angeles and New York. With our new studio, we’ll be able to bring in a lot of really great talent.”
The space will include ultra-high ceilings and windows to maximize natural light, and combine industrial and high-end finishes, such as polished concrete, natural wood and brass, along with splashes of red and white (Wella’s signature colour palette).
In addition to its convenient ground-floor access, the studio will also house Wella Canada’s corporate offices. “It’s important for the people working on the brands, especially from a sales and marketing perspective, to see what we do every day,” she says. “Our customers are the hairstylists using our products and are inspiring their clients with Wella, so I think it’s great and it keeps our team closer.”
Accommodating more than 20 hairstylists per class, Wella has partnered with Green Circle Salons for all of its North American studios to help reduce its carbon footprint.
Education at a Glance
“We are committed to bringing the best-in-class education to Canada,” says Wong. “This is a place where hairstylists at different stages of their careers can receive education.”
The studio’s online booking website and class schedule are self-service tools, allowing users to easily search and navigate a monthly calendar for class descriptions and availability.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the Toronto studio’s upcoming classes:
Backstage Pass with Aubrey Loots
A renowned South African hairstylist based in California, Aubrey Loots is known for creating extraordinary hairstyles for Fashion Weeks around the world. “You will learn end-to-end how to work with a designer and a team. He teaches you a lot of editorial techniques,” she says. “It’s a great experience to learn how to take that editorial and session-styling approach. It’s also very applicable for the stylist—skills that they can take back to the salon.” And that’s not all. Any participant who takes the two-day seminar is eligible to work with Loots and his team at Fashion Week in New York or Los Angeles.
The studio will host a range of complimentary, product knowledge-based Discovery classes, designed for hairstylists that are new to Wella or may be interested in learning more about its brands. “We have Discovery classes for our colour and newest innovations, along with Sebastian, Nioxin and ghd” says Linksman. “And in 2019, we’ll begin offering nail education in our OPI room for aspiring nail technicians.”
Assistant Program Series
For new hairstylists, the Assistant Program Series is a four-day program over four months that teaches the basics, such as draping and shampooing a client, understanding and applying colour, along with styling and finishing techniques. “We felt that there was a lot of need for getting young hairstylists salon ready, so they can hit the ground running,” she says. “We’re teaching them the techniques and verbiage, so they are able to walk into a salon and have that basic knowledge.”
Master Color Expert
With two parts consisting of five days each, the Master Color Expert program covers everything from the science and technology behind Wella colour products, to understanding hair types and mastering consultations. “It’s the crown jewel of our education program,” says Linksman. “We’re one of the oldest hair colour manufacturers in the world and we’re very proud of our technology. We want to make sure we can share that knowledge with the stylist community, so they can really understand it—not the how, but the why.”
This program is open to hairstylists with a minimum of five years of colour experience. There are also pre-requisite courses—Wella’s Color Craft seminars, which are within the brand’s core education curriculum. However, the Master Color Expert program has the ability to elevate a hairstylist’s colour knowledge and skill set to help them become a top colourist in Canada. “Invest in this Master Color Expert program not only for the certification, but for the passion to master the craft,” says Wong. “Mastery requires knowledge, repetition and practice. This course will take you on a memorable journey to colour mastery.”
All of Wella’s classes utilize a combination of education tools. For the Master Color Expert program, they are introducing a new methodology called Intelligent Play, which includes interactive activities and games designed for the human mind, so learners can immediately turn their new knowledge into practice. “The learning become sticky and the knowledge remains relevant, so they are able to recall that information on a topic really easily,” says Linksman.
The Wella Approach
Wella educators receive training minimum twice a year from the brand’s Global Education Academy, which provides innovative teaching techniques for delivering education that is impactful and resonates with learners.
While offering a comprehensive learning experience, Wella is also mindful of teaching hairstylists skills that are applicable on a daily basis. “We make sure what we’re presenting is salon-relevant. A lot of the time, what we see in shows is inspiration. There needs to be a balance with what you do behind the chair every day,” she says. “I want hairstylists to be able to leave the seminar with what they learned, build something from that and grow their business.”
To view Wella’s 2018 education calendar and to book classes at the new Toronto studio, visit www.wellabooking.com/eventscanada.aspx
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