With the growth of Australian hairdressing always top of mind, Haircare Australia views Hair Expo as an integral platform to inform, inspire and unite the industry - not only with a powerful stead of products and professionals - but with one another.
Occupying prime position on the exhibition floor, showcasing brands including Olaplex, BaByliss, Verb and Fabuloso Pro for customised coloured conditioners, Haircare welcomed record numbers in traffic and activity. Enjoying the opportunity to chat trials and triumphs with valued clientele and always taking the chance to listen and take on board valued feedback.
It was over in the education rooms however where the culture and influence of the company truly made its impact; hundreds of delegates walking away with fresh perspectives and technical insights as delivered by the likes of Guy Tang, The Schorem Barbers and Jules Tognini.
First to the stage was the much anticipated Freevo show. Hosting a line-up of Evo’s most influential artists in Lauren McCowan, Jules Tognini and Leonard Newton, the audience enjoyed the usual and always hilarious banter while consuming colour and creativity otherwise untold.
“We ultimately wanted the audience to walk away with the understanding that there are so many interpretations of what makes something cool, beautiful and modern. And this is the whole idea of the Freevo campaign - don’t be defined by what other people tell you, you should be,” said Lauren.
Lauren presented an intricate, ghetto inspired braided style followed by a shaved head adorned with bright-red hair balls fastened randomly and with ample effect. Lauren’s classic up-do made a statement before a blue-green wedge (wig) lifted to reveal yet another trending buzz cut.
A stand out from Lauren’s repertoire was a pastel rose gold-peach style on which the Creative Director glued a rainbow of precoloured finger waves.
“We coloured each weft with a custom Fab Pro mixation before soaking with Evo Gangsta Grip and finally layering with Evo Helmut Strong Hairspray. We did this on individual pieces of mesh and allowed them to set overnight. Now I’m sticking them on with eyelash glue which can be easily removed with Evo Love Touch Shine Spray,” divulged Lauren.
Leonard created a shoulder-length precision bob with a lick of blue and a subtle-yet striking triangle detail through the front, inspired by the Harajuku kids, the style was effortlessly cool and ready to walk from salon to street.
Working with the Evo Tyler Teasing Brush, Leonard demonstrated a series of universal techniques including back combing, back brushing and layering of product such as Evo Helmut Strong Hairspray, “for a glass like effect.”
While Lauren continued to illustrate the secrets to being a ‘360 degree hairdresser,’ Jules took to the stage with a vibrant copper canvas ready for reshaping.
“I want to create this restyle in real salon circumstances, without prep and with standard time limits,” started Jules. Borrowing from Milla Jovovich in Fifth Element, Jules travelled his cut from bulky to textured and youthful, working to materialise his model’s wicked personality, as well as his own.
“Freevo is less about being dictated-to by products or a corporate juggernaut and more about being a part of something. Hair shouldn’t be about a collection, or what’s hip and trending, it should be an expression of yourself and your client,” said Jules. But this should never deflect a great haircut. “Evo is never going to even out a bob or fix a haircut, but if you do a good haircut it will have your back, push and drive the style,” he said.
Jay was the genius behind the shifting colour palette, calling on his latest accomplice, Evo Fab Pro Black to create new, unseen levels of pastel.
“The current Fab Pro palette is the colour wheel, for example the chocolate exists at a level 5, and with the addition of black, this will help to add depth and achieve really dark dual-tones; beautiful deep pastels and greys,” said Jay.
“Especially as a semi-permanent, Evo Fab Pro Black is great to deepen and refresh darker tones, it’s really going to open up the capabilities of Fab Pro, in particular for cool interesting pastels,” commented Lauren.
Next to the spotlight were the world’s favourite barbers and creators of Reuzel, Leen and Bertus aka The Schorem Barbers.
The pair credited Vidal Sassoon as a hero inspiration, “because he changed the way we look at hair, he taught us to treat hair like a unique product, and that’s how we cut hair,” shared Bertus.
“We look at the natural fall of hair and see every person who walks into the shop as an individual, there are 8 billion people in the world, and they each have different hair.”
Bertus believes every product that is custom made for someone will fall correctly and made a metaphor from the tailored jacket. “When you travel with a customised jacket, and it’s been stuffed and pulled in and out of a backpack, and then you finally pull it out and put it on, it always falls correctly.”
Bertus translated this to clipper work, and encouraged the room to look at clippers as “a whole lot of scissors with a cord.” He educated on setting a baseline to secure length around the perimeter and how to use your body as a tool, always keeping the sternum right behind your work for 90 degree angles every time.
With the right angle on-side, The Schorem Barbers believe the most important area of the head (as it pertains to men’s hair) is where the ear is attached.
“You can shave everything forward or back from that point and it will look good,” said Bertus. A suggestion well and truly proved on-stage in a series of perfect pompadours fusing James Dean and Elvis, 2017-style.
Lastly, the lads advised on creating men’s hair to be proud of, a notion that shines from their persona to their product line, Reuzel.
“Try and do at least one haircut a day that you can be really proud of. Every time you give a client the best haircut possible, you give a little bit of yourself away, so don’t forget to be good to ‘you,’” said Bertus.
Guy Tang for Olaplex
Further raising the spirits of Australian hairdressers was Instagram sensation and instigator of the global ‘Hair Besties Community,’ Guy Tang.
Back by popular demand, the hair colour hero presented a series of shimmering colour delicacies from rose gold to lilac and silver, each dissected with that addictive language symbiotic of Tang and his fans around the world.
Followed for his hair colour transformations and peerless pastels, Guy is all too familiar with ‘fear of the fade,’ and spoke about the importance of educating clients on expecting and enjoying the inevitable process. “I don’t know why everyone is so scared of fading, everything fades - life fades. My advice is to educate your clients accordingly, and don’t use the word fade, use the word evolve, ‘evolving into a beautiful smoky beige colour.’”
Guy believes toning on dry hair creates a more seamless result (as water molecules occupy the hair shaft) and encouraged his audience to up-sell the service.
“Call it glazing, dry-glossing or top-coating, it’s so important to tone on dry hair so if it’s a process that uses more time for a better result, then charge for it. It’s a service your clients will love as they will see you’re taking more time with them,” he said.
Big on under-promising and over-delivering, not a colour passes through Guy’s hands without the Olaplex touch, in particular when working with those harder to achieve tones such as silver. Guy reinforced the less is more approach with Olaplex, asking colourists to use only the specified amount as “it has a pH of 3.5, it’s very acidic.”
Caterina Di Biase for Denman
And, last to take the stage was two time Hair Expo Australian Hairdresser of the Year and two-time AHFA Hairdresser of the Year, Caterina Di Biase, enforcing the point that excellent prep forms the basis for key artistic editorial work. Caterina took to the stage. With the assistance of her Heading Out Creative Team, Caterina disseminated and reconstructed some of her key editorial looks for the crowd, sharing with them how she employs classic hairdresser’s tools, such as a Denman 7-row brush, to work and dress the hair prior to styling. Even simple tricks, like using different coloured cutting combs to provide contrast against light or dark hair can take away some of the guesswork and valuable time behind the scenes. The secret to success, according to Caterina, is combining the right brushes and tools to help bring the stylist’s vision to life.
Sharon Blain for BaByliss
Hair Expo revellers were treated to daily demonstrations by the Queen of long hair styling, Sharon Blain, over at the BaByliss exhibition stand. Hairdressing royalty Sharon Blain claimed her throne as the Queen of long hair styling with daily hair demonstrations. Drawing in a keen crowd, Sharon captivated her audience as she shared some of her creative and inventive techniques using the BaByliss portfolio of tools, finishing her looks with the use of threading ribbons for styles that wowed.
After a jam-packed weekend, Haircare Australia is fondly reflecting on their mission to inform, inspire and unite the industry. Now, until next year!