Being in the hair industry for nearly five decades, award-winning, Montreal- based hairstylist Alain Pereque has owned salons, travelled for work and education, and has trained with some of the best artists in the industry. However, he says competing is his ultimate creative outlet.
“I had the great pleasure of working at Pure Salon in Montreal with Anna Pacitto for years and I discovered competition through her,” says Pereque. “And the rest is history! I am grateful for her advice and help, and for getting me into [competing] in the first place.”
While he continues to work behind the chair and loves to do so to “connect with clients and put a smile on
people’s faces,” some of his proudest achievements include being recognized for his work at the Contessa Awards.
“I’m inspired by anything (and everything) that has shape. I like to watch runway shows and how they push hair to the max. Our goal [as hairstylists] is to try to take it, tone it down and bring it to the mainstream.”
On the Edge
For his 2021 collection for Canadian Hairstylist of the Year, Pereque wanted to explore androgynous styles and was inspired by fashion from the late ’70s and early ’80s. He chose to style his models in more traditionally masculine attire, such as dress shirts, suits and ties, while still infusing subtle elements of femininity in the hair and makeup detailing for juxtaposition.
“I wanted to combine traditionally masculine clothing with traditionally feminine hairstyles and colour placement with strong structural shapes and texture to achieve powerful, unique looks,” he says. “For the model with the long, wavy hair, we wanted the hair to be flowing to give it a soft look. Although she has this long, feminine hair, she’s wearing a [unisex] suit and it still feels very androgynous.”
While his goal was to create something unique and with edge, Pereque decided to incorporate some softness with texture, colour placement and lines.
“Makeup, hair and clothing all go hand in hand,” he says. “I wanted this collection to be balanced. It has strong, graphic looks but also softer looks with longer hair and curls. I wanted to present an array of different ideas, looks and textures.”
Although Pereque says he works with a lot of feeling and uses many techniques throughout his works, he says he most enjoys experimenting with texture.
“I love to create [texture] with a curling iron or even kink the hair with pipe cleaners or use hair pieces,” he says. “I love shapes, but it’s important to prepare the hair. Use the right products, blow-dry it and create texture you can work with. You can’t just take the hair and start building it—you need to use the right products to create the right texture and from there you can build volume and create your looks.”