Cutters, colourists and countrymen, lend me your ears.
Our livelihood, our business, our craft depends on two things… Cuts and colour. These two actions set the bar for everything we do. Knowing the rules of cutting and colouring well enough to break those rules is what creates our artistry. These are not talents to be taken lightly: Not expected to be learned quickly and cannot be learned on YouTube. This is not braiding!
My question to all manufacturers, distributors and platform artists is why are we spending so much time, money and effort on something we can learn from a 16-year-old with her own YouTube channel?
Don’t get me wrong. All hairstylists and colourists, from newcomer to master stylist, should be aware of trends. Go online (it’s free for heaven’s sakes), and learn and practice them. Master all the twists, fishtails and sock buns.
Learn how to cut and colour hair! You can’t shatter a bob until you can cut a bob. You can’t layer hair until you understand the geometry of the head. And if you don’t know that tint won’t lift tint, then don’t even think about hair painting.
I understand we’re in a “hairstyling” moment now rather than a “haircutting” moment; long flowing goddess waves, extensions, beachy effortless hair. “I just need a dusting.” In my many years I’ve never referred to a haircut as a “dusting.”
Furniture, I dust.
I cut hair.
I am someone who was lucky enough to have learned from stylists that bridged the hairdressing/haircutting eras of hairstyling. Because I was taught the art of dressing hair, I’ve never met a tail comb or French twist I didn’t like! My heart skips a beat when I see a set of hot rollers. By first learning how to brick lay a roller set and wrap a perm, we develop the dexterity we need in our hands and minds. With that dexterity we can then weave highlights, make partings that section the head into regions. We learn how the hair reacts to heat and tension. We begin to understand what we can do with this “medium.” Yet after all the up-dos, chignons and marvel waves we were reminded, “it’s all about the cut.”
And what about colour, you ask? I speak for my clients who have never asked for peek-a-boo highlights or pixilated bangs. I can tell you that all they ask from a colourist is that the end result looks expensive! Be it a blonde bombshell, lavenderlicious or subtle ribbons of light turning just brown into a glorious brunette may look like it was at the hands of a master, not an online tutorial.
So the next time you book a class, go to a show or pay for continuing education, think about what you’ll learn that you will forever keep in your back pocket and ready to pass on to the next generation. Tell those kids with magic in their hands that we can all learn to braid. Bridesmaids, Bar Mitzvahs and blowdrys are a breeze and easy cash in the bank.
A long and successful career takes a lot more thought.
Image: Salon52 Facebook, Contessa 2014 Gala