How to heal sun-damaged hair

Despite knowing that sunbathing is as bad for hair as it is for skin, the perils of sun-damaged hair are often ignored while you’re on holiday  as the desire to let the sun slightly lighten hair prevails.

But day after day of heat beating down on strands really does leave hair parched and prone to breakage and frizz, particularly when you’ve coloured hair.

The wisdom often offered, especially if you have balayaged hair, is to have a trim when you get back.

That’s good advice – even taking a dusting off the ends will help to strengthen frazzled locks – but there are plenty of things you can do if you want to help rehydrate sun-damaged hair that don’t involve losing a lot of length.

First, hair treatments help enormously. You can either have them in salon (Kerastase Fusio Dose is excellent and customisable to your concerns), or try treating your hair at home if you find you’re more likely to do it regularly. Coco & Eve’s Super Nourishing Coconut and Fig Hair Masque is excellent, as is Dizziak Deep Conditioner.

If you prefer to put a conditioner in your hair before you shower and leave it in while you potter, try Living Proof’s Timeless Pre-Shampoo Treatment or Philip Kingsley’s much-lauded Elasticizer, making sure that you work them through your balayaged ends.

While you’re biding your time for your hair to return to its former glory, try to avoid heat styling as much as possible so that you don’t compound the problem. You can plait hair while slightly damp and leave it to dry for waves, or just dry it with a hairdryer on a low heat to minimise damage.

If you find that your hair looks frizzy when it’s sun-damaged, use an oil to smooth it – doing so will both tame and nourish, so your hair will improve over time. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil is a good buy that won’t leave hair greasy, or you can try John Frieda Frizz Ease serum run through ends.

Fast track to gorgeous colour with New York lights

I’m going to be blunt about this…. if you have an all-over block colour or have kept your hair its natural hue, it could probably do with a bit of a pick-me-up!

There’s nothing wrong with it, but it could look a little flat and one-dimensional and I’m willing to bet you get bored of it from time to time!

But hair colour can feel like a big commitment and if your current shade mainly works for you, maybe you’ve found yourself stuck in a ‘playing it safe’ rut.

Time to bring it right up to date with a low maintenance alternative that will bring out the best in your current hair colour; something quick to do that will grow out beautifully.

Step forward NEW YORK LIGHTS.

New York Lights are my technique for a face frame of balayage and they are guaranteed to brighten up your look.

I gave them the name because it was always a service that was done in New York, but not so much for clients who have balayage in London.

Why Have Face Framing Highlights?

The main reason to have highlights around the face is to create lightness around the front area in the same way as the sun does when you go on holiday.

New York Lights will add a glow to your face and with some clever placement it should make your eyes stand out and bring out the best in your features.

They’re also great low maintenance colour that look just as good with regrowth and because they’re quick to do they’re not going to break the bank either!

Sometimes brunettes ask whether face framing highlights on dark hair work and they certainly do. Whatever your tone, the secret to getting this look right is to just have balayage pieces a couple of shades lighter than the rest of the hair.

They’re also a perfect way to brighten up your look if you’ve already gone grey.

What Exactly are New York Lights?

Some people describe New York Lights as a ‘backwash balayage’ and that’s because you have pieces of hair around the hairline at the front hand-painted at the backwash.

They can be added to virgin hair, but for many clients I balayage the front at the same time as doing an allover tint and they only take 15-20 minutes to do.

I’ve found that New York Lights are the perfect balayage for men because they add a subtle has he or hasn’t he? pop of colour and, because they’re applied away from the main salon floor, there’s no need for anyone to feel uncomfortable.

What should you ask for?

I always advise clients to bring in photos or at least some Instagram feeds they like to show what they’re looking for and your colourist should give you a thorough colour consultation (and a skin test!) before they start to mix your colour.

If you are trying to explain the look, simply ask for some face framing highlights or balayage. Work with your colourist to find the right reflect for you, but my biggest tip is to avoid a dramatic contrast. Two shades lighter is perfect, three is pushing it and more than that is a disaster waiting to happen!

I truly believe that New York Lights suit EVERYONE! Men, women, young, more mature… Ask your hairdresser about them or if you’d like me to help you to unveil your perfect hair colour I am currently available for consultations and colour appointments at Paul Edmonds in London. Book now.

 

Who said commercial colour was boring? Part 2

When an industry icon like Josh Wood talks, you always get an eye-opening insight into the colour business. So it was fascinating to hear Josh’s thoughts about colour trends at a recent Redken event.

Josh believes that the technology of hair colour, either from a box or a tube, is so good and it’s getting even better, therefore there’s only one thing that’s going to distinguish a top colourist from our competitors (or dare I say it home colour): APPLICATION!

These days most hairdressers say they do balayage, and to some interpretation they do, but what makes a good colourist is the way it is applied.

The colour choice is what fans the Instagram story, but it’s the application that makes it look amazing. Yet for some reason there’s a stigma that commercial hair colour is a bit dull. I don’t know who said commercial hair colour was boring – because it’s not! It’s what the majority of clients want and what will fill your column with happy loyal customers!

442 colour trends have recently been identified on social media; I couldn’t keep up with that – none of us can! In most cases the colour choice and colour combinations are the trends, but what most of them have in common is that the applications are freehand.

Pre-lighteners are playing an enormous role in the current colour market (without them where would we be with our balayage, pastels and vivids?).

Some technicians see this this latest revolution as doom and gloom, because the emphasis seems to be on brights, pastels and Instagram likes, rather than the work.

I disagree.

Colour Houses have made colouring hair easier by creating technology that makes the job simpler.  I don’t think it’s a bad thing, because although some of the mixology has been replaced, clever placement and well-executed work can never be put in a tube.

I raise my hand and admit I spend my days balayaging away and then glazing (toning), so when course participants ask me if I use colour as well as pre-lightener for balayage, the answer of course is no.

So if all the above is true, then education is king, because that’s where you’re going to find great application and technique with interesting colour mixes.

You and your clients might find inspiration on YouTube or Instagram, but I doubt very much if it’s going to explain exactly how to achieve the result, how much time it is going to take, what base the colourist had to work with etc.

I see 2018 continuing to change the landscape in education. Last year I did three things that were completely new to me: a podcast (and people were interested!) a type of webinar that you could pay for and have lifetime access to, and finally a stripped-back stage presentation.

All were really fascinating to be part of and all have influenced my thoughts on education for 2018. The most enlightening was the stripped-back stage presentation: 25 minutes on stage doesn’t give you much time to get a strong colour message across, plus it’s difficult, if not impossible, to wash colour off a model at a show! Live presentations allow you to showcase with models but not really get into the nitty gritty of application.

So how do you convey a stronger colour message? My thoughts are that it is all about application, that is what’s going to separate us from our competition. For the education that is going to keep you ahead of the game, you can check out my online balayage education channel or the courses I run for L’Oreal Professionnel in the UK and worldwide. Whether you’re an individual stylist or responsible for the education of a whole team, there really has never been an easier time to learn!

Social media and the Balayage effect

A few years ago, salon colour menus were stuck in a rut, with uninspiring colour descriptions like ‘T-bar’ and ‘half-head highlights’ that don’t speak to the consumer. These techniques were one-size-fits-all colours that didn’t take the individual client into account and which made colour a chore.

Meanwhile, social media was taking off and the advent of Instagram meant clients were seeing trends first hand at the same time as the experts. Trends are things that keep us interested in the world of hair, they can inspire us, define us, help our businesses grow and make money.

Whereas a few years ago trends would filter down from the catwalk into a magazine and eventually onto the high street (remember that brilliant scene in the Devil wears Prada?), that has all changed with social media, especially Instagram, Pinterest and online fashion sites.

I’ve personally done well by introducing a perceived trend, balayage, to the UK market – in fact is was already an established technique in France and the US, it just hadn’t caught on in the UK.

One of the reasons balayage took off here was because the colour market was ripe for disruption, and social media created the perfect storm to communicate this. Women didn’t want to spend ages in the chair to come away with stripy uniform highlights, they want quicker services that grow out naturally and look super flattering.

This is what was happening in the States – no A-lister would be caught dead with a stripy highlight and everyone from Jennifer Aniston to the Victoria’s Secret models were wearing bespoke, hand-painted colour that touches the hair where the sun would naturally.

I’ve now taught balayage to thousands of colourists worldwide and they all testify to the fact that it keeps clients loyal and has increased revenue. Balayage is one of the most popular services AND it’s something that clients can’t do at home, so it reinforces the professional nature of good colour.

Is social media always a positive thing for salons?

In a word, no! That’s why it’s essential that as salons we understand it, we exploit the positive elements of it, and we counter the limitations of it.

In this fast-paced world, the word trend is being thrown around at a heartbeat: 2 posts on instagram that catch the eye suddenly become ‘the latest trend’ in the media when in reality it’s just not true.

To me it feels forced, there’s no room for organic growth, no chance for a look to be nurtured and find its way before the next Instatrend comes along.

The Balayage or freehand movement has totally changed the global hair market and you can see that evolving on social media. While 2017 saw us race through every trend under the sun (pastelage, unicorn, glitter, neon, watermelon…) the reality is that the placement and application of colour is what makes the look stand out.

Salons are businesses, we need to make money, and while bright multi-coloured hair might score a thousand likes on Instagram, you can bet you won’t get a thousand clients asking for it.

Why not? It’s not wearable! Of course, it has its place, and it works for some clients, but the majority of people who sit in your chair want a beautiful, flattering colour that looks healthy and natural. What they were born with, but so much better!

That’s why giving your client the colour they want means knowing your techniques inside out being able to give them honest advice. You need to be able to look at the Instagram picture they bring in and tell them with confidence that it’s filtered; it’s not possible to achieve that colour on their base; or that it’s achievable, but will need multiple appointment; or you can work with them to create something that will be more flattering and bespoke to them.

So, use social media to your advantage, know what’s going on (you don’t want a client knowing terminology that’s new to you!), promote yourself through it (hashtag your work on Instagram and use Facebook’s targeted ads to find clients for example) but don’t be a slave to the microtrends.

Education is key to ensure we’re producing beautiful hair with brilliant placement and clever colour choice which will never go out of fashion.

And embrace the opportunities new technology brings: I’ve recently launched my first ever balayage training on demand this year so now people can learn with me even if they can’t make it to a physical class, and I use Facebook Live and Instagram to stream my stage work – the online world means there’s never been a better time to learn.

Who said commercial colour was boring?!

Who Said Commercial Colour Was Boring?!  Follow me over two articles where I discuss why it’s anything but boring (check out part 2 here).

“When will you decide to take action on all that education you’re consuming? Because the truth is, until you do, please do not expect any changes to occur.”

I recently read that line in an article. I thought it was quite funny and true.

So many of us love a hair show or a class, but how much of what we see translates back into us implementing it in to the salon?

Many years ago, I was on stage somewhere in the States and the models were dancing, the music was pounding and no doubt fireworks were shooting up around me; I looked out into the audience and couldn’t see anyone because the lights where so bright! I decided there and then that I wanted to be in the classroom, not on a huge stage. I wanted to be where I could connect with the audience, where we could spend time together and talk about what I love, and that’s commercial hair colour.

I have always felt that there’s a disconnect between hair shows and the audience, and often wonder what people do take home with them. Don’t get me wrong, the artistry that goes into them is fantastic and the skill sets are amazing. I enjoy seeing them myself, but they are more inspirational than educational.

This begs the question: what does the audience do with that inspiration? Does it spur them on commercially or do they park the ideas and go about their day the same as always?

In today’s market, where hair colour is seeing some fantastic growth in salons thanks to new technologies and a vast array of choice in colour house products, I personally want to see more technique and less dancing, loud music and avant garde hair.

I want to see ways to build, maintain and develop my commercial colour column at a hair event, because whether you are self-employed, employed or renting a chair your column is your business and the only way you can grow your business is to be busier, sell more retail and maximise your day! So quick easy techniques that speak to the consumer and are easily implemented are a must.

In this age of Instagram, it’s quite easy to think that everyone is having vivid colours because the posts that draw my eye, and probably yours, are quite often oranges, reds, greens and yellows – what people are calling ‘hair porn’. They definitely get the most likes!

It’s the same at hair shows – quite often the hair colour isn’t really going to be replicated back in the salon.

I love these bright, bold, creative colours but the reality is that it’s a smaller part of the hair colour market. They are ‘bleach and tones’ that can take hours to do, don’t actually last for long, and really should be expensive – but many consumers don’t understand that’s because you could have done five sets of highlights in the time it takes to create one eye-catching look!

But don’t be fooled, a beautiful root stretch or colour bleed can be done with browns or blondes as well as with greens, yellows and vivids.

It’s all about good technique, great education, brilliant products, knowledge is the power, but you still need to practice the techniques you learn to hone your skills. You can’t do one balayage course and call yourself an expert. You then have to practice.

Management of client expectation is also key here and I love the work that Sophia Hilton has been doing to convey the message that Instagram is often filtered. Colours that clients see on social media aren’t always possible, and that colourists shouldn’t feel pressured to attempt to recreate these unrealistic goals.

For me, the key to managing expectation is the consultation. I’m fascinated by stats from a L’Oreal Professionnel survey that showed 97 out of 100 hairdressers claimed to give a consultation to every client; but only 7 out of 100 clients surveyed said they’d ever had one!

We must get this right – call it a consultation, tell the client why you’re doing it, come out of it with a clear and agreed course of action.

As colourists it’s our job to get clients excited about the opportunities that colour presents to bring out their best attributes. Then we need to professionally apply that colour so they leave the salon with a new found confidence. This is the cornerstone of a successful appointment that results in a happy, loyal client.

Balayage vs ombre: what’s the difference?

Balayage, ombre, root stretch, colour melting it feels like every time you scroll through your Instagram feed there’s a new hair colour trend that you ‘simply have to have’.

In fact, last year there were some 442 new colour trends if social media is to be believed. Of course, some of these were micro ‘trends’ that had disappeared before you could even hit the like button. But even so, it can make it quite tricky to know which is right for you and what’s going to be the best choice for your hair.

I’m not surprised many consumers are confused by the different hair painting techniques, the lines are blurred and I’ve noticed that not all colourists actually know the difference!

So let’s get this straight: Any professional colourist should be able to clearly explain the difference between balayage vs ombre at the very least. Your hairdresser should be able to talk you through the end result, what upkeep will be involved and what will best enhance your look. If they don’t confidently explain it at your consultation, then perhaps it’s time to find a new salon…

ombre vs balayage – which is to be?

Ombre hair

Ombre is a colour technique. It means to shadow and goes from dark to light hues in a very soft graduation of colour. No harsh lines anywhere.

This technique works best on longer hair with few layers. It’s done with a pre-lightener and can be as soft (sombre) or as strong as you’d like depending on the choice of shades – the key thing is that the transition from dark to light (or bright) is seamless.

Ombre colour technique works in horizontal colour blends, but personally I always love to put a face frame of balayage around the front for maximum impact and to connect the whole look.

What is Balayage?

Balayage – even the name sounds attractive – is a French word meaning ‘to sweep’ or ‘to paint’. In its truest form it’s a highlighting technique that allows for a sun-kissed natural look on any hair colour.

The beauty of balayage is that it works with the natural fall of your hair and your own natural variations of tone to create a look that is fresh and modern and totally tailored to you.

Balayage is all about soft contrasts for an effortless look. It’s a freehand technique that is quicker than foil highlights and lower maintenance too. It’s no wonder it’s so popular!

The hottest balayage trends

Over time trends change and balayage has now evolved into four distinct types of application. They can be very natural looking highlights or more dramatic colour transitions, but should all grow out very softly without harsh visible lines.

Classic

Love the Victoria Secret girl look? Then the classic balayage is your look. With this technique the product is loaded on the mid-lengths of the hair, feathered up to the root then spread down over the surface of the section, and saturated on the ends to create a seamless finish.

Is it for you? It’s perfect for longer hair, with upkeep every 8-10 weeks.

Creative

If you’re a low maintenance kind of gal (or guy) who’s rather fond of their dark base, but still fancies lightening (or brightening) up through your ends, Creative balayage is  your ideal colour technique. The tint is loaded on the middle section of hair, but only feathered slightly up the shaft for natural roots and a more lived-in finish.

Is it for you? If you like the rooty feel, you’ll love it. It works on all hair lengths and the upkeep is a very wallet-friendly 10 to 16 weeks.

Micro (sometimes known as babylights)

When you’re transitioning out of foil highlights to more natural-looking balayage or want a sun-kissed look through your short hair or fringe, the delicate approach of micro balayage is the answer. This finer technique goes all the way to the roots and can give a heavier coverage.

Is it for you? This is great for guys who want to look sun-kissed, bobs and shorter hair. Expect this technique to last about 8 weeks.

Californian

Soft at the root with heavier coverage through the mid shaft and ends, this is the most instagrammed look of the moment. The challenge with California balayage is that it can end up losing its contrast, this can be avoided with root stretches, root smudges or by merging classic balayage with ombre.

Is it for you? If you want to be a beautiful blonde, Californian balayage could be your perfect choice. Be prepared to invest in its upkeep – this is your high maintenance balayage.

To find out what the right technique for you is, speak to your colourist but never risk a box colour (I’ve seen too many colour correction clients to ever let you go down that route!). Alternatively, book in for a consultation with me at Paul Edmonds in London to discover which shades and techniques would bring out the best in you and your hair.

How to manage colour clients’ expectations

How can I manage my clients’ expectations?’ I’m not sure how many times I’ve been asked that question in the last year or so, but it’s no exaggeration to say it’s the key topic that comes up every time I teach a class.

No matter what level the balayage course  is or where it is in the country I’ve been hearing the same concern.

The problem is that our clients have access to more information (not all of it true #fakenews) than ever before, they’ve seen more filtered images than ever before (#fakehues) and as a result they’re more demanding than ever before.

It’s really important that as an industry we stand tall and proud and remember that we are the experts. We do have the real knowledge (not just the snippets that have been picked up in blog posts or YouTube videos); we’ve been on the courses and we’re constantly upskilling, so we shouldn’t be afraid of the word ‘NO’ where appropriate.

There are a couple things that we can do to help manage client expectations and for me that has to start with the right colour consultation. You can read my top tips for a perfect colour consultation here. I had a real breakthrough when I decided all new clients would need to come and have a paid for consult before booking with the cost offset against a future bookings. You also have to ensure the consultation is thorough, direct, to the point and engaging.

The second is to recognise the types of client groups that visit your salon and then to deal with them appropriately. These are the types of clients whose expectations I have to manage:

The ‘Do Anything You Want’ client
We don’t often see this type of client anymore, but I’m not so keen on that response: I always feel the need to dig a little deeper, after all I’m sure she wouldn’t want jet black. This type of client always makes me think twice, so it’s back to the question of how she feels about her hair and really listening her likes and dislikes. This type of client should have done some homework before her appointment in terms of what she’d like to look like.Thank goodness we have Instagram and Pinterest at our finger tips!

The Slightly Neurotic Client
I love these ladies, they are usually only neurotic because they have had a bad experience with a colourist and are now very keen to manage the situation and not have another fiasco. I like to get to the bottom of what’s gone on in the past and work with them to gain my trust. I know that we might not be able to do everything she wants the first time round, and am okay with that, but she might not be, so that’s where you have to start the conversation about the colour journey. The colour journey is really a commercial hair colourist’s lifeline. There is only so much you can do in an average booking of 45 mins, but by committing to the consultation appointment system you can offer a detailed game plan of what you can do on the next and future appointments.

The ‘This Is What I Want’ or ‘I’ve Seen This On Instagram’ Client
Love it or loathe it, social media has produced a world of filtered hair dreams; overly lit, overly filtered, face tuned, slimmed, you name it it’s been done. Trying to convey that to a client is probably the biggest hurdle for commercial hair colourists. The Instafamous hairdressers – who do one client a day – can achieve more than we can, so we might need to break it down into visits; if the work is actually possible. Black to blonde will not happen in a day! This is where we have to stand our ground and explain why somethings just can’t be done in a day. Many clients don’t understand that the look might have taken a few days or that wefts, filters and a ring light have been used. It is up to us to take them through the journey of if it’s achievable, what it would entail, how long the journey could be and how must it will cost. This is managing a client’s expectation. If they say ‘no’ to your advice, let them go to another salon.

The Regular Client
Often the client who has been loyal and with a colourist for sometime. These are the clients we should always be checking in with, always asking how they feel about their colour, never have their formula mixed up before they arrive, always offer them a tweak of their formula even if they don’t want it. These ladies make us successful and should not be forgotten. Quite often a few pieces here, a lighter hairline or a refresh glaze can make the world of difference, and a happy client.

Knowledge is power, so keep updating your skills and keep refreshing your clients looks. For more insights on the perfect consultation and how to convert clients who are using box colour check out my innovative new balayage course Beat the Box .

Four applications of Balayage

Balayage: it’s the colour technique that made hair colour exciting again. The hand-painted colour technique that enables your colourist to place pieces of colour to best complement your haircut, skin and features so it looks really natural rather than actually coloured.

And yet balayage has evolved as people have experimented with it, and it now falls into different categories – creative, classic, micro, Californian. This allows colourists to work in many different ways which gives them more creativity to create new trends such as New York Lights, the face framing technique that is natural, beautiful and gives an instant lift.

Classic Balayage is saturated at the ends and product is loaded in the mid-lengths, feathered up to the root and spread down over the surface of the section for a seamless finish.

Creative Balayage is saturated at the ends and product is loaded in the mid-lengths. The difference here is that whilst we spread the product down to the ends, we only feather slightly for a more subtle finish.

Micro Balayage is achieved by saturating the ends, loading product just above this and feathering up. California is a much heavier incarnation of this application; still very soft at the root but much more coverage.

And my newest balayage is The California. I’ve done this on Vanessa Kirby for her new role in Mission Impossible (she’s also winner of Glamour WOTY UK, TV actress and star of The Crown and A Streetcar Named Desire). It’s the perfect seasonal blonde – a much heavier incarnation of classic balayage with a slightly lived-in root and much more of the hair is coloured. It can be tailored to any skin tone as anywhere from pale icier blondes to golden shades can be used  I’m also incorporating part of this technique in the new Platinude trend from L’Oreal Professionnel (the softer champagne version of platinum). It’s a gorgeous low-maintenance colour to take you through the entire summer as it’ll start out heavy and then grow out into a lived-in finish so the upkeep is completely dependent on the wearer.

Are you ready to embrace the opportunities that balayage offers your column? Discover the perfect training course or online balayage education here.  

Hair colour trend overload

Trends are things that keep us interested in the world of hair, they can inspire us, define us, help our businesses grow and enable us to make money. Not so many years ago trends would filter down from the catwalk into a magazine and eventually onto the high street (remember that brilliant scene in the Devil wears Prada?).

That has all changed with social media – especially Instagram and Pinterest – and online fashion sites. Personally,  I have done well by introducing a perceived trend – balayage – to the UK market, but that was an already an established technique in France and USA; it just hadn’t caught on in the UK.

This is what ‘trend’ means

trend |trend|
noun
1 a general direction in which something is developing or changing: an upward trend in sales and profit margins.
2 a fashion: the latest trends in modern dance.
3 a topic that is the subject of many posts on a social media website within a short period of time: for more than 20 days in a row, most of the top Twitter trends were Olympics-related.
verb [no object]
1 change or develop in a general direction: unemployment has been trending upward.
• (especially of geographical features) bend or turn away in a specified direction: the Richelieu River trends northward to Lake Champlain.
2 (of a topic) be the subject of many posts on a social media website within a short period of time: I’ve just taken a quick look at what’s trending on Twitter right now | (as adjective trending) : today’s top trending topics.
ORIGIN
Old English trendan ‘revolve, rotate,’ of Germanic origin; compare with trundle. The verb sense ‘turn in a specified direction’ dates from the late 16th century and gave rise to the figurative use ‘assume a general tendency’ in the mid 19th century, a development paralleled in the noun.

In this fast-paced world, the word trend is being thrown around way too casually. Two posts that catch the eye on Instagram suddenly become the latest trend. It’s just not true. It feels forced. There is no room for a look or a micro trend to be nurtured until the next fast thing comes along. So just because something gets labelled with a quirky name it doesn’t always make it something new to fashion that we need to follow – it could be simply fantastic colour work.

The balayage or freehand movement has totally changed the UK colour market, in fact really the global hair market and you can see that evolving on social media. It is a totally different approach to foil, but the reality is that the placement and application of colour and the shade choice that makes trends and they need time and nurturing from colourists.

Is the future going to overload us with all these trends and micro trends or are we going to be able to see through the trees into the field? As professional colourists we need to focus on producing beautiful hair with brilliant placement and clever colour choice and keep our eyes out for genuine trends.

This post was updated in September 2018

Balayage photoshoots on a budget

In this digital age, hairdressers need to showcase our work, but are we showcasing it well and doing enough?

All the product companies and colour houses have imagery you can use, but that isn’t always reflective of you or your salon.

I’ve found Instagram a great tool to show before and afters and the video option is brilliant, but that’s not enough for me. So for the last few years, I’ve taken to doing my own shoots and have learnt many things along the way.

Collections can be shared over a huge army of platforms, you can submit them to trade magazines, use them on your website, in your shop window, put them up on Facebook, Instagram and the many platforms dedicated to the hairdressing industry. You can also submit them for competitions.

my favourite shot

Collections can be expensive, but there are ways to bring those costs down I think for my first balayage photoshoot the only costs were the photographer, who was brilliant and who I keep working with,  and the MUA, who again rocked it.

Here are my tips for shooting on a budget

  1. A mood board to set the ideas and looks down so that you have a clear vision and everyone understands what the concept is. I always use Pinterest for this, but keep the board private and only invite the people you’re working with to see it. The more time you spend on this, the better and it costs nothing
  2. Models can be expensive if you go through an agency and many don’t want their girls to have coloured hair. For my first few collections, I found pretty girls who did it for free and I’ve looked after them and they became in-house models. Sourcing the right model can be difficult but Gumtree can be effective, as can local universities or head hunting on the high street. Just go outside a Top Shop, Urban Outfitters or any store that’s fashionable and you will find people. Good skin and hair are important factors to consider and it’s important to take a picture of them too to see if they photograph well.
  3. Location. Hiring a venue for a shoot requires time and again can be costly, but a plain backdrop can be totally effective. You could shoot in your salon.
  4. Photographers. These guys need to make a living but new photographers are often looking to build their books, so they might do it for less or even for free if they can use the images themselves. They will also have backdrops for you to use as well as access to the lighting that will be needed.
  5. Clothes Styling. If you don’t have the budget for a clothes stylist, then either keep it simple or just do head shots. For my first collection the model wore a strapless bra and we shot just below the shoulders. The pictures where brilliant and one even got into Vogue.
  6. Hairstylists. As a colourist I need to work with hairdressers to style the hair in the salon. Working on a shoot with someone is a great team building session. The hair stylist can also use the images, but if you cut and colour then do it yourself at no extra cost.
  7. Make Up Artist. This also adds to the price, but you really do need one. It’s another field where up-and-coming talent is often trying to build their books, so keep the costs down by collaborating with someone new to the game.
  8. Video. Again, this can be expensive but use your smart phone to do 30 second videos that you can use on Instagram. The whole behind the scenes vibe works so well on Instagram Stories so take loads to make sure you have some great content.
  9. This costs nothing but it’s a good rule not to share too much until the final pictures are finished. When you get them back you can start posting all the other content you have. It’s hard because it’s an exciting day, but less really is more and it will give the final images more impact

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.
Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.
Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.
Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.