May; it’s one of the sweeter words in the English language, bringing to mind longer hours of light, longer stems of new growth, longer time spent out and about.
Go on, say it, “May”, it’s a relaxing exhalation; like after a sigh of relief, winter has passed, new life is everywhere.
In some places April, May and June are popular girl’s names. What’s in a name? Power. People protect their name, proclaim it on entering a ball, we take each other’s names in marriage and even battle over names in court.
It’s interesting to think of how important names are to us. We become attached to names, using names which have been in our family. We buy brand names our family have always used, and pass on brands we trust on to our kids. Brands also identify us. We chose a brand and settle in and for most, good or bad, that’s the way it stays.
Hair fashion experts spend a lot of time and money because of this. The fashion industry is worth over £20 billion in the UK and hair is a big part of it, a means of self-expression, symbolising who we are, how we portray ourselves and our way of thinking, our beliefs and even values.
A few weeks ago we were invited to the North West premium venue for hair fashion, the Professional Hairdressers Live 2014 Exhibition at Manchester Central. It was a showcase of styles, colours and cuts as well as products for the future.
It was glamorous. Hair was long, with lavish curls, short with sleek “bobs”, shining, brilliant, and luminescent spikes and long swirls loosely woven into fantastic structures. Some went deep with electric blues and reds while others shimmered with delicate highlights of white hot blond.
It was everything I had ever seen in hair notched up a bit, redefining luxurious in a futuristic way. And this trade show was fun. Maybe it was the company, the team from Stone Hair Art in Todmorden.
Loucas Gorgio the owner gave his whole team a day at the event, and here are some of their observations.
Jenny, colourist at Stone, said: “This show is all about developing your skills and bringing back benefits to your client. I’m not one of those ‘know-it-all’s’ who think they have nothing left to learn. I spent a whole day watching and learning new styles applied by masters; it’s an opportunity to experience trend setters first hand. Recently a client who heads the fashion academy at the local polytech institute called to tell me she had four compliments on her new colour between leaving Stone Hair Art and getting home. That’s the reaction we want for all our customers.”
Tom, stylist at Stone, said: “Every professional knows topping up personal skills from time to time is like sharpening your scissors. In our industry people trust us with their image, and it’s a big responsibility, you want to stay sharp.”
Trever Harding, Stone Hair Art Manager said: “For me this is a great way to prepare for next year’s colours and speak with our suppliers all in one day. Colour is our speciality, not gimmicks. We only deal with the biggest professional brands. Stone Hair Art believes the consultation is the priority, it continues from visit to visit. We do things differently which means spending time listening to our client and learning about them, their hair and their lifestyle and most important what they want to achieve.”
New member of staff Sam sums it up best: “When I came in to Stone the first time for a cut and colour consultation, everything was included; what products I use, and my hair’s condition. We talked about my skin tone and how it changes from pale to tan in the summer, my eye colour, my bone structure around my face, allergies, everything. We talked about my style, the clothes I like to wear and what I like to do, they helped make my hair fit me. I was treated special and I felt special.”
Lucas Giorgio, Stone Hair Art Director said: “Cut, texture and colour combine in a sophisticated and exacting art and all brands can’t deliver the highest quality; some focus just on price. I ignore them completely.
“You have to know which brands suit you. The colourist is reliant on the products to do what they say they do. Integrity is paramount in the colour industry. The key is synchronicity in a line of products, everything from shampoo to colour applications and treatments. Some salons don’t offer a professional brand’s whole line of premium products, so they mix a goulash of products from different brands and the client doesn’t even know what they are missing out on.
“This year we have renewed again our special relationship with a very significant brand started in Germany in 1880. This brand has been represented by the world’s most beautiful women, everyone from Farrah Fawcett to Shraddha Kapoor. We are able to assure our clients the best results, always, unconditionally.”
Loucas is a recognised name in creating global trends, with an impressive client list. “I know which brands have integrity. Professional lines differ immensely from what is available to the consumer off the shelf. When you consider how much money clients spend on treatments and colour over a life time, smart clients view it as a lifestyle investment and chose brands carefully, the cheapest is seldom the best; there is no shortcut to quality.
“Through this special relationship we now offer a new very special treatment, this season’s exciting colours. It’s elegant, sophisticated and yet playful and affordable so everyone can have it for the summer; with this process the colour and curls last longer and so visits to the salon are less frequent, surviving more washes. That saves money without sacrificing style or quality.”
Loucas advises: book a free consultation, it may be the best thing you ever did, come what May...