Session Hairstylist of the Year
What was your inspiration for your session collection?
The whole concept is based on the material optical fiber. We basically used natural optical fiber for the whole collection. Then we used her real hair to mix it with some of the hair pieces. So for the first one, we used optical fiber to just put it inside her hair. But you have to you have to curl the optical fiber, which means you need to find the right weight of optical fiber, because they have different weights, some coarse ones cannot be curled.
Can you break down the technical and creative process for each of your looks?
You have to measure the length and then you cut a few pieces to get it to the length you want. And then you curl it and give it the shape that you want, and leave it for maybe over two weeks. When the shape is firm, you can attach it to the hair, but you cannot do it ahead of the time because the shape changes at that moment and that doesn’t work. You glue the hair pieces onto the optical fiber. You have to be even because every piece is the same, but the direction is different, so you have to be careful. You have to do it one by one. Because this extended the collection from last year, this also took one year. after work sometime is seven o’clock and it takes at least two hours to just make one small piece. We knew this was something we wanted, but every time, the shape comes out a little different. But somehow it turned out perfect.
For the last one, we used just a little bit in between the hair pieces. We didn’t use a lot for the braids. We just put a little bit on the edge, but that’s why you don’t see too much. I just wanted to let people know that optical fiber can work on the real hair too and hair pieces.”
For the one in the middle, the whole top is optical fiber. We just cut it really short, about two to four inches for each piece. So some are long, some are short, some are different colours too; yellow, green and clear. So you cut the pieces first, then you cut all the colour you want. And then you just glue it all together with the glue gun on a base and then you gel the hair back, and then you attach it to the hair. You glue all the optical fiber together to make a shape, so it already has a kind of head shape. So you’re just placing it on her head.
For that one, we just wanted the optical fiber to look like hair. Like a spiky hair cut, but with optical fiber.”
What was your inspiration behind styling?
For styling, we didn’t want too much because the hair already pops since it’s a different material. You don’t want people to focus on her clothes too much.
Where did the idea to use optical fiber come from?
This idea was basically from Silas from a long time ago. He always wanted to work with optical fiber, but I always said ‘No, no, it won’t work.’ But these last two years he said, ‘No, you know what, we have to try it.’ And we spent a lot of time trying to work with it, and I think we were the first one using the optical fiber because when we shot these collections, nobody used that before. You didn’t see that before. That’s why for the avant garde, we chose optical fiber. So that’s why we wanted to use it again.
How does it feel to get to work with Silas on such a big project?
Definitely like a roller coaster. A lot of ups and downs, many up and down moments. But it has a benefit because we work and live together so we understand each other. We understand each other’s schedule, but that can also be challenging because sometimes we both need a break. Also, because Silas is really talented and innovating, he really has a sense of the beauty, but I’m really different. My strength is that I know how to use the material to physically achieve the look. He kind of has the brain, but I have the technique, so it’s kind of the yin and yang.
Elite Master Hairstylist
What was the inspiration behind your collection?
For the elite master, we wanted to create an individual look for everyone and represent society. How everyone is different and could experience a variety of emotions. We wanted the hair to be the main focus, which is why some of the backdrops and clothing are simple and related to nature.
What were the main techniques that you used?
I took a course in the UK that taught me how to make a perfect line. The perfect line can change the look of any haircut. I use this principle to create texture and the bodice in this collection. I combined all the three different kinds of techniques such as crimping, curling iron and then the basic blow-dry technique to create a simple, pure image.
Can you technically break down each of your looks?
This one is based on a lot of simple cuts, but for the colour, I just used something really, really warm. I like copper. Copper is beautiful.
I was really lucky. As soon as the model comes in, she was like, “Oh yeah, I’ll let you cut whatever and any colour.” I don’t normally do the bright red one, so I said, “You know what, I want to challenge myself and see how it turns out.” So just using a bright red, and then after that I used a net and painted some of the black colour on top, so if you expose the picture, you will see a net pattern. It’s not easy to find a girl to say “Okay, you can just shave my head.”
For the master, you need to form short to long. You need to have one of all styles, so she came in with already really long hair so it was perfect because I wanted to leave it long. I just took a course from L’Oreal Professionel, I learned how to create the hill and maximize the volume. So I thought, “Okay, I’m going to achieve one of the looks with that.” So first of all, you need to blow-dry the foundation, and then you crimp her hair. And then after that you curl the hair and put it into rollers for over one hour and after, you do the teasing to achieve that big shape. That one took about three hours.
We planned to do that because at the time, we wanted to try a cut that was a little bit more edgy. She came in with short hair, so it was perfect. We just did it a little spiky and then just painted with the two different tones. I’ve done a cut like this before, but there aren’t a lot of clients asking for it. So to do a photoshoot like that, you have to just open up your mind to just do it.
Bubble Gum Curls
A lot of the time with colour, people will do it from dark to light. But this time, we just wanted to do something different, so blonde to pink. And because we didn’t have the tight curls, we wanted to show people the different techniques and we were missing small curls. So that’s why we curled her hair with the smallest curling iron. It’s warm and soft.
What was going through your mind on the night of the Contessas? How was your experience?
It was unbelievable because Silas won last year, I couldn’t believe that I would have a chance to win this year. And we all almost felt paralyzed. But even Silas was really surprised to see me when he was outside talking to somebody on the winning area and he was so shocked. I never thought about it because all the finalists were so strong, also because the background was too pink. But you just take a chance sometimes, you know, people like it or they don’t. It was a good show too on Sunday night, it was amazing. Beautiful. This is a really good platform for the talent to get together. Networking. It’s a really good area for hairdressers to all get together. I think it’s really important.
What are your plans for 2020?
You know, the last few years we’ve just had so many photoshoots. I think it’s time for us to take a break, a little bit, because it was really tiring to do a photoshoot because you want to push yourself a little bit more and more. But I think at this moment, I have no plan, but we would like to slow down a bit and then focus on mentorship.
Name/Nom: Dorothy Tsang
Category/Catégorie: Session Hairstylist | Styliste éditorial, Elite Master Hairstylist | Maître styliste élite
Salon: Blushes, Ottawa
Makeup/Macquillage: Kylie O’Toole
Wardrobe/Styliste Mode: Ella Murphy
Photos: Andrew O’Toole