The other day I was interviewing for a senior colorist position at our high fashion destination salon in Chapel Street, Melbourne. The lovely young stylist today is called Cindy. She tells me she wants to work in my salon so she can be ‘‘like creative and stuff’’. Oh I said, what do you mean by creative? She replied, ‘‘You know like creative and all that, where I work at the moment the clients and the other workers are not into that creative stuff, and yeah…. i wanna do that’’.
My mind started to race and my brain bubble…So what did Cindy mean by creative? She certainly could not explain herself so what does she want to do to with my clients if I giver her a job, let her Creativity run wild? What would she do to my client Natasha, 36 year old uptight magazine editor, a long blonde ‘glamazon’? Or how about Freddie from Boost Juice down the road, he’s pretty crazy with his bright green hair maybe she’d be good at that, is that what she means?
Will she bring her Creative talents to us and inflict the brightest red, clown nose red or police car flashing siren red? Or will she be creating Leopard print or Skunk stripes down Natasha’s cascading locks? Or would she send my professional model clients out looking like her, shaved on 1 side with pink fairy floss spikes on top with a plaited blue extension rat tale? That may work for an Alexander McQueen show but not for Melbourne Fashion Week Myers casting.
This creativity of her’s, is it so special it takes 10 hours of work to create a single client masterpiece? Or will she use 10 bowls of color, 2 liters of color product and paint the wall and floors as well as she paints and splashes her creativity around. And I guess she would only charge the same for a half head of highlights because her bespoke Creativity does not exist on my price-list?
Or maybe she understand how I perceive color creativity? To me creativity is about discipline, its about technical excellence, a true respect for the chemical structure of hair and a great understanding of how and when to push the boundaries, make and break the rules. Creativity in hair color is about extensive knowledge, practice, patience, learning and controlled experimentation and seeking help, advice and picking the brains of all who will let you. Creativity to me is seeing a client’s look holistically and designing a bespoke piece especially for them. It’s simply about creating beauty.
Sure I have my days, I get out mannequins and hair wefts do some crazy shit, I even photograph it, blend it into some exotic fantasy fashion shot, I’m certainly pretty careful who I show my personal Creativity work to. It would scare the average client out of my salon but set a hairdresser on fire with excitement and amazement, different audience you see. I’m trying to give Cindy a job to service my clients not her fellow work mates or her misplaced ego!
Creative hair color is not a one night stand, its about forming a lifetime relationship with each hair strand, its about love, compromise, rules, boundaries (now this is getting a bit deep). I’m sure at this stage that Cindy with all her three years experience is not getting my drift.
Creativity is a signature look created for individuals who pay you for the pleasure. Creativity can be subtle, melting three tones of nothing browns to bring to light the tone of ones eye color. Or it can be the most bright offensive green tone to a head of hair, it can ugly, standout, tricky, out-there, crazy, off the wall, contrasting, complimentary, complex or simple. Creativity is about placement of tones, light and shadow and a deep understanding of the foundation color wheel, peoples skin tones and face and body features.
A true Creative Color Technician offers designer color results to real clients in real time for real money.
Unfortunately on this occasion I could not employ Cindy. But I’m sure with her enthusiasm, excitement and ‘‘like’’ passion for the hairdressing industry, with time and dedication she will one day be able to describe and show her Creativity to me and I will let her have the opportunity to please my clients. One day…
Authored by Belinda Keeley
Belinda Keeley is a multi-awards winning Hairdresser, Business Woman, Mother and a World Champion Athlete.
She is Co-Director and Co-Founder of Chumba Concept Salon
Belinda Keeley is currently a Hair Expo 2010 Creative Colourist of the Year Finalist. And has been an AHFA Creative Colourist Finalist 2010 and 2009.