We spoke with Harmony Hair Care, who took home the coveted Canadian Salon Team of the Year award at the 30th annual Contessa Awards.
Tell me about your collection. What was the concept behind it? How did you decide on which techniques to use?
The concept behind the collection, Freedom, was to depict courage, independence and love, by combining the techniques of two hairdressing worlds: behind the chair and session styling—adopting some of the perfectionism and some of the whimsical.
We had this sense that this collection would do itself more justice by being black and white as opposed to in colour, with the impact that we were trying to achieve with the variety in the differences in the hair.
What does winning this award mean to you and your team?
What a dream come true. The best category for us, ever. For me, it’s the pinnacle of my career. I’m still buzzing. Clients are coming in and hugging us, crying with us and all of this exciting, emotional stuff.
It means, collectively, that everyone involved—from concept to creation—we’re able to communicate our ideas into a nationally acclaimed collection. It gives us a larger platform to share our views. Within every collection there is a story, and the story in this one is truly about kindness, worthiness and respect.
I told [photographer] John Rawson that I was ok with not winning. I feel that doing a collection is enough of a reward. It’s such a gift to be in the position that I am. I look back and at people in hairdressing school now and I actually get a little choked up about it because I feel like I’m living that dream. I’m a successful salon owner with a wonderful team of hairdressers that are working with me, and I have that creative interest in myself and my team that we can actually create winning collections. It’s a dream come true—I’m living a hairdresser’s dream.
How would you describe your team?
There is just this really special vibe that we share. We truly do work effectively in sorting out who has certain strengths. And I think now, with my maturity of being in my 49th year, and being in the industry since 1987, I’ve reached a confidence in myself where I can realize that there are people doing things that are really awesome and they can help me in other areas that I’m lacking in. I really see that evolution in myself.
Also, in our team we’re all able to get together and communicate without feeling like there’s any type of ego behind it. Each one of the girls working with me, we have a great personal relationship. Coming into the business, two of the girls started from scratch—straight out of hairdressing school. I developed their natural abilities with them. It’s been a natural progression that we move on another stage in the arena of hair imagery.
Who is your mentor or someone you look up to?
For brands, I would say Kevin.Murphy. For producer, John Rawson. For fashion, Iris Van Herpen. For music, MercyMe. Those would be our ultimate inspiration.
John Rawson is definitely one of the most beautiful human beings I’ve ever worked with. He is such a giving person to the hairdressing community. I can’t say enough about that man.
How would you describe your team’s style when it comes to photoshoots? Any special rituals/how do you stay on track/what’s in your kit?
From doing three-photo collections to five-photo collections, I see the evolution of where you start to learn and adapt to the overall story of the collection; where you’re almost looking at a collection as though you’re on a movie set and you’re creating a billboard for the movie.
Our style on set is to have fun and make sure everyone is enjoying the experience. I think feeling at ease is the key. We do give ourselves more than enough time per image, and we’ll always bring two of everything in our kit. Our current favourite in our toolbox is the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer. We absolutely love them!
If you weren’t a hairstylist, what do you think you would be doing?
A cartoonist. That was one of my first loves. I used to do a little bit of cartooning when I was a young guy. I like the arts and I’m a little animated.
What’s next for you and your team after this win? Anything you’re working on or any goals you have that you are hoping to achieve?
In my head, there’s a spring/summer collection, and we’ll soon begin [working on it]. It’s called Imagine. For us, I think our ongoing goal is to keep the industry love and respect flourishing, both with the consumers and the hairdressers. And as John Rawson says, ‘It’s on to the next.’
Salon: Harmony Hair Care, Peterborough, Ont.
Category/Catégorie: Canadian Salon Team | Équipe Salon de l’année
Hairstylists/Stylistes: Christopher Asta, Alysha Kyle, Julie Smith, Lisa Delahaye
Makeup/Macquillage: Lan Nguyen-Grealis
Wardrobe/Styliste Mode: Jared Green
Photos: John Rawson