Hair Expo Australia will welcome three incredibly talented female headliners to the show for 2019, who are all experts and leaders in their fields. Jen Atkin, Candy Shaw and Tabatha Coffey together create the perfect headlining combination of technical skill, business-savvy brilliance and captivating stage presence. Visitors are sure to be inspired by these leading ladies, who will share their world-famous tips, techniques and skills with the Australian hair industry’s professionals.
Candy Shaw, known as The Balay Lama for her incredible balayage skills, has been in the hairdressing industry her entire life. As the daughter of former world-champion competition-hairdresser Jamison Shaw, Candy was raised among some of the industry’s greatest, including Vidal Sassoon, Paul Mitchell and Horst Rechelbacher. Candy trained in Paris as a young apprentice and has become the worlds foremost in balayage education, being named the 2018 North American Educator of the Year by Intercoiffure America/Canada. Candy runs three companies, her family owned salon Jamison Shaw Hairdressers, a world-renowned Balayage and French Cutting Training Academy in Atlanta, and Sunlights Balayage, the makers of her leading balayage products and education.
Hair Expo chatted with the balayage queen to gain insights in to her journey to stardom, where she sources her inspiration to constantly be at the top of her game, her greatest career ‘pinch me’ moments and what she will be bringing to Hair Expo this June!
Hair Expo: Where did your journey in to the hairdressing industry start, and what were your early years like?
Candy Shaw: My journey in the hair industry started in the locker room of my grade school. I used to trade haircuts for math homework. I went to a former military academy that had a strict hair code so the boys would get demerits if their hair was too long. I’m dyslexic, so as a kid I struggled mightily to read and write and do math. But as a budding entrepreneur, I quickly learned I could trade haircuts for homework to get through school. Turns out, I was the only kid in my college preparatory school who didn’t go on to college. But for our 25th reunion, when the school wanted a Jumbotron (giant television screen) for our new football stadium, do you want to guess who they called? That’s right. The hairdresser.
Aside from school, I was fortunate to have been introduced to the world’s greatest hairdressers by my father, Jamison Shaw, a former world-champion competition hairdresser. He took me to the most prestigious hair shows in the world; in Paris, London, New York and Milan at a very early age where I fell in love with the hairdressing industry. And so from the very beginning I knew that hairdressing was exactly what I wanted to do.
Balayage is one of the most sought-after looks in salons, and has been for years now. Why do you think it’s taken the industry by storm in this way?
One of the reasons balayage has taken the industry by storm is because the consumer has figured out how much younger they look with balayage highlights. Also it has the added benefit of being a faster service so guests are not spending as much time in salons for lengthy hair color services. For the hairdresser, it enables them to ‘work smarter not harder’. It also enables them to make more money through the power of the paint brush.
You’ve been involved in the hairdressing industry your entire life, what has been your biggest career highlight?
Although some might say that winning an award like ‘Educator of the Year’ would be the greatest highlight of their career, for me it’s the students’ lives that I touch and change that’s the highlight. Just recently at America’s Beauty Show in Chicago, sixty teenage beauty school students that go to high school in the morning and beauty school in the afternoon drove eight hours on a bus to see me and came walking up to my boot all dressed in black with yellow headbands on that said “Baby Llamas”. They brought me a gift of a yellow headband that said “Mama Llama” (my nickname is ‘The Balay Lama’). It literally brought me to tears and made me realise that my mission and teachings are real and that the balayage revolution I’ve been leading is changing people’s lives every day. The fact that my grass-roots brand of education has trickled down all the way from the pinnacle of salon ownership and guest artists to the new student who are fresh and inspired made me realize that everything that I do, each and every day, for the betterment of my industry is having a concrete effect. This will always be my greatest highlight. Knowing that there are hearts out there that I am touching and lives that I am changing.
Do you see balayage as being relevant and on-trend in the industry for many years to come?
Absolutely! I see balayage staying relevant and on trend for many years to come. What people don’t understand is that balayage is a technique. Many still confuse it with ‘hombre’ which is simply one of a multitude of looks that can be achieved with a balayage hair painting technique. I can do anything with a paint brush that someone else can do with a foil. The difference is I can do it in a fraction of the time so I don’t think the trend is going anywhere any time soon. Balayage is more natural looking, as it ‘reawakens hair’s natural brilliance’™. Balayage creates child-like hair color. People ultimately like the look, the feel, and more importantly the efficiency of the whole process.
Who is the number one person you’d love to have as a client?
The number one person I’d like to have as a client is my mother. She passed away almost eight years ago and I think about her every day. She was not only a make-up artist she was also the CFO of our business and ‘back in the day’ she was my father’s model for all of his hair competitions. She’d be the greatest client I could possibly have because my mother was always my biggest cheerleader and greatest supporter.
You have such an incredible stage presence and exude energy at all times! What motivates you?
What motivates me as an educator is the ‘Power of Learning’. When I see someone have a light bulb go off over their head – that motivates me. I know that I really am making a difference in their overall hairdressing education and that gives me tremendous energy and a great deal of excitement. Learning to do something well is fun and I am always motivated by the student that comes to me at the end of a class and tells me about their journey about how balayage has not only changed their life, but also has significantly changed their bank account! I say it all the time: learning to balayage is learning to ‘Paint your way to Financial Freedom’™. I get excited, and it motivates me to know that I’m helping a budding entrepreneur become their best self, and more importantly, I’m helping them have a greater life and ultimately a greater career.
Don’t miss Candy Shaw at Hair Expo Australia 2019! Come see her in action from 8-10 June at ICC Sydney / www.hairexpoaustralia.com
See Hair Expo’s full education program here.