2018 Hair Expo Colour Technician of the Year
- Salon: Stevie English Hair
- Hair colour: Stevie English
- Cutting/styling: Kobi Bokshish
- Photography: David Mannah
- Styling: Lydia-Jane Saunders
- Makeup Artist: Chereine Waddell
Q+A with Stevie
Where did you get the ideas behind your winning collection?
I was into the idea of pulling back a little bit – I wanted the colour to be the focus but at the same time, not as ‘unicorn’ as I’ve done in the past few years.
I look at stuff that I really like, say something from the ‘80s or ‘90s, and then modernise it. I think about my colour palettes, pick out the hues that I want and then I look at how I can translate that. We – me and Kobi [Bokshish] – then looked at how that might work with the cuts and colours and the synergy between the two.
I have to stick to what’s on-brand for me, as well. I can’t do muted, earthy tones, as that’s not my aesthetic. I think it’s good with something like Hair Expo to stick with your brand. You want it to be recognisable and, ultimately, you’re creating your own personal brand.
Are you able to share a couple of the key colouring techniques that you used for your collection?
One was a soft halo, where I had a shine line/halo colour. I used a soft, muted ash-green. For some people, that’s the hero image. Again, that’s really interesting for me – everything is subjective. What I might like isn’t always what everyone else likes. And I would advise that the young ones keep that in mind when they’re thinking about entering. A lot of the judges might have a different aesthetic to you.
Who or what do you look to for inspiration?
In today’s world where everything lands in the palm of your hand – like on social media – it’s easy to be inspired. But I’m also inspired by the people I spend time with – Kobi, my Matrix Design Team, and my team at Stevie English Hair. We always send pics to one another of something cool that we like or something different that we’ve found.
Globally, I am lucky in that I spend time with some of the best hairdressers in the world. As the Colour Director for Matix, I get to be around a lot of talent and that’s expanded even more when you take into account all the hairdressers under the L’Oreal umbrella. You get to see how their brains tick and how they work differently to you.
Hairdressing is subjective – you could show 10 hairdressers the same image and get them coming up with 10 different ways to achieve a similar result.
What is your favourite thing about being a hairdresser?
Hairdressing has given me everything. I’m 42 years old, I’ve got a house, and I’ve got a business with great staff. There are so many things I love about being a hairdresser, whether I’m in NYC shooting a global trend, on stage with my Matrix design team, or in the salon with my staff. Seeing a client’s face light up is just as rewarding as seeing a billboard with a look on it that I’ve done. Education, too – when you see that lightbulb moment in your students. I’m grateful to this industry for letting me play in it and do all of that.
What’s your advice for anyone thinking about entering the Hair Expo Awards?
Do it! I wouldn’t be jet-setting on an aeroplane with the brands that support me, I wouldn’t be relevant to them if it wasn’t for the image stuff I’ve done to enter Hair Expo. If anything, entering the awards is a way to be seen and a marketing opportunity for yourself. But you then have to back it up with continually pushing good content. And don’t be a twat. You can clean your own bowls, you can sweep your own floor – be the nicest and the hardest-working person in the room and you should go far.