Contessa 2016 Men’s Hairstylist of the Year winner, Dorothy Tsang, explains how she plans her collections, and what she’d like to accomplish next in her hairstyling career.
Salon Magazine: When do you first know you want to be a hairstylist?
Dorothy Tsang: I knew I wanted to be a hairstylist when I was 16 years old, but I never really pursued this dream until I was 21.
SM: Where do you draw your styling inspiration from?
DT: I take my styling inspiration from every experience I’ve come across through my travels. Having the opportunity to train in London and Paris, I love the edginess of British fashion and the feminine touch from France. With hairstyling, the artistic, modern and structured work of Sassoon has been my biggest influence.
SM: What’s your secret weapon (tool or product)?
DT: For my collection, my favourite tool is the Sterling clipper by Wahl. Also, the Detail Master from Shu Uemura is incredibly verstatile; it’s great for creating a creative or structured look.
SM: What’s the next milestone you want to achieve in your career?
DT: I would like to challenge myself to go Paris for Haute Coiffure Francaise. I love competing in live competitions, it’s almost like doing a full day photoshoot.
SM: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone entering the Contessas for the first time?
DT: My advice for anyone entering the Contessas for the first time would be to never be discouraged. Competing is a huge commitment and first step.
SM: What are your top tips for working with a team, both in and out of the salon?
DT: Our team is young, passionate and energetic. We meet with each of our stylists once a week to discuss their points of improvement and future goals. Listening, providing support, sharing knowledge and spending time to motivate each other have been essential in the growth of our salon.
SM: What is the your process to plan your collection?
DT: 1) Decide how many collections and categories I will be shooting.
2) Set up a schedule and plan with our photographer.
3) Brainstorm ideas and themes for each collection and then discuss with our photographer how we want to present it.
4) Find the venue for the shoot and the stylist and make up artist.
5) Work on different hairstyles and present them in a set to see how they look in a collection.
6) Find model.
7) Practice, practice, practice!