Saying that Unite’s 2014 Global Session “brought together” hairdressers from all over the world may sound corny to some—but those people didn’t get to experience the close-knit camaraderie between stylists and attendees at this intimate-feeling four-day event; for instance a couple got engaged Sunday night, an artist celebrated his birthday on stage, and presenters casually took audience questions on stage. To say that Unite is a family is an understatement.
Between shows, fabulous parties and hands-on classes with the pros, here’s eight reasons why you should get tickets to the next Global Session.
1. Get up-close and personal with your hairdressing heroes.
Names like Paul Stafford, Kevin Ryan, Jake Thompson and Adam Noble (all of whom have racked up awards, accolades and magazine covers) presented inspiring creative work and shared their words of wisdom with excited stylists. Stafford and Noble also taught hands on classes to excited attendees on day two. We can also assure you that despite their success, everyone present was incredibly gracious to their enthusiastic pupils, no matter their experience level. (Noble even guided us to a party when we were lost. What a gentleman!) They also let their students pick what they wanted to learn.
Best quote:“I teach people how to cut hair, not haircuts.” -Adam Noble
2. You could triple your salon’s business two years.
After taking Unite’s Paramount Business course, Candice Gray—owner of Luv Salon in Victoria, went from drowning under the pressures of owning a salon with only one other stylist to thriving with five stylists and tripling her net worth. “My first year opening, we rang through about $67,000. I came to this course and in one year, my next year’s total was $279,000.” At the seminar, Andrew Dale, Founder/CEO of UNITE and Allen Marcus, UNITE’s Global Educational Director, broke down branding, staff retention and management to help owners make real improvements. “They’re inspiring,” said Gray. “I cant believe everything I’ve learned.”
Best quote:“Are you running your business, or is your business running you?” – Andrew Dale
3. Light your creative spark.
Practical advice and technical takeaways for everyday clients abounded at Global Session. However, spectacular avant-garde segments, including work from NAHA winner Jake Thompson, Shaun McGrath, Renee Africa, Gary Barker and Swedish duo Fredrik Karlsson and Matthias Lavesson, were an inspiring treat. Not only did they reveal some of the quirky ways they construct their masterpieces, but they also explained techniques for sculpting styles and securing hairpieces (hint: build a strong foundation with products and crimping, teasing, or braiding). Inspiration included artichokes, My Little Pony and seven-layer dip.
Best quote: “If it doesn’t turn out the way you want it to, it doesn’t mean you can’t…remix that look later on in your career and make it look awesome when you have the experience level.”- Jake Thompson
4. There’s no telling what kind of looks you’ll see.
Every stylist was given free reign to create whatever look their heart desired on stage. Brit stylists Daniel Jordan, Natasha Pearson, and Fletcher showed off styles inspired by the streets of London, ranging from sophisticated bobs, fresh-fashion forward braids, and creative updos inspired by geishas and prostitutes, respectively.
Best quote: “Being a human hair clip is the bet way to learn.” -Andrew Dale, on apprentices helping out on stage.
5. Add new skills to your repertoire.
Editorial styling veteran Kevin Ryan—celebrity hairstylist and fashion week staple— did a live photo shoot to show stylists how to build their portfolio, offering his tips for changing up looks quickly along with what to do on a set. He also peppered his presentation with hilarious stories about past shoots. In one hour he created 5 separate looks for one model, using hair pieces and light styling products to switch up his styles quickly.
Best quote:“You better know who Twiggy is.” – Kevin Ryan
6. Brush up on your barbering to bring in more male clients.
Men’s hair experts Dylan Johnson, Vinny Morey, Estevan Garner and Brooke Schoenborn showed off the latest men’s trends and techniques (plus they brought along some gorgeous male eye-candy!). After completing one cut each, they surprised the audience by swapping each other’s models to create a new, second look, emphasizing that your barbering skills need to be up to snuff to work with any client who walks through your door.
Best quote: “Your real business card is walking around every day.” -Vinny Morey
7. Get the first look at new UNITE products!
UNITE showcased its new Ionic 2000 Pro-Dryer. Artists on stage loved the light-weight feel, no-tangle cord, power and heat settings. UNITE also gave the audience a glimpse of its new multi-purpose Elevate Mousse, which gives volume, shine and hold, plus argan oil to help damaged tresses, to be released this November. And for those who love 7SECONDS Condition Leave in Detangler, UNITE also teased the release of 7SECONDS Shampoo and Conditioner for March 2015.
The brand will be shooting a collection with Kevin Ryan this year and a men’s collection for GO24/7 with Morey and Johnson next March.
UNITE has also planned an expanded education tour in 2015 with more classes and learning opportunities.
8. Work and play at the same time.
The weekend also included a Diamond Club Reception on the Westin Gaslamp’s open terrace for top salons on Saturday. Stylists enjoyed drinks and a DJ under the bright lights of a giant UNITE projection on the hotel’s walls. After Sunday’s show, everyone headed to Stingaree night club for UNITE’s Unveiled Halloween party, where the costumes were fierce! We’re not even sure how people got through airport security with some of their props and headpieces. Winners from the evening’s costume contest received education prizes from UNITE. The best costume? Two stylists created dressers out of hair. (Get it? Hair dressers?) The sunny San Diego weather didn’t hurt either.
Watch a video recap of this year’s 2014 Global Session!