7 Business, Styling and Cutting Tips from UNITE Global Session
The 2014 UNITE Global Session in San Diego was indeed global—company founder Andrew Dale literally scoured the world, sourcing the finest artists from the UK, Australia, Sweden and the U.S. to take the stage. And then it was anyone’s guess! “We invited the artists to join us, gave them a budget and told them to do whatever they wanted,” explained Andrew as he opened the show. “So we have no idea what we’re going to see.” For two days, these experts shared ideas, inspiration and techniques, before guests headed to hands-on workshops and the Paramount Business session on Day Three. The agenda also left plenty of opportunity for R&R in the lovely Southern California city, with time for yoga, dining and, since Halloween was near, a costume party.
Among the “worldly” demonstrations were segments on styling with Adam Noble, Renee Africa, Shaun McGrath, Sweden’s Fredrik Karlsson and Matthias Lavesson and David Fletcher; cutting with Ireland’s Paul Stafford, Natasha Pearson and Britain’s Daniel Jordan; an avant garde segment with McGrath, Karlsson, Lavesson and North American Avant Garde Stylist of the Year Jake Thompson; and a rockin’ men’s segment on behalf of the Go 24/7 brand with Brooke Schoenborn, Estevan Garner, Vinnie Morey and Dylan Johnson.
Here are seven tips from some of these top artists.
STYLING AND FINISHING
Crimp Your Style
Looking for a way to achieve massive volume without backcombing? Try micro-crimping! Insert a micro-crimper at the roots for lift, or crimp the entire head for a full and unique texture. “If you crimp the hair before doing an updo, you get hold and structure and you may not even have to backcomb,” said David Fletcher. “Crimping also gives you more consistency than backcombing.”
Blow-Drying The Bob
The perfect finish for a bob requires two separate blow-dry strategies, says Daniel Jordan. On the graduated portions below the occipital, perform a flat wrap technique to ensure that the cut sits flat to the head. Then, switch to a round brush on the top sections to produce more volume and movement. “Finishing is so important now,” Daniel said. “Due to the proliferation of blow-dry bars, clients expect a great finish every time!”
While many stylists welcome bridal clients for run-throughs before the wedding, Fredrik Karlsson and Matthias Lavesson—who create elaborate styles for hundreds of brides in Sweden—have a different strategy. “We feel it’s better to discuss the look and sketch it out before the wedding, rather than do a trial,” they said. “The same holds for makeup design. Because what if the wedding day comes and it’s not exactly the same as the trial—which could be very possible due to variables like a change in weather?” That, they note, could be a recipe for a bridal meltdown!
Beach Waves With Shears
To create Boho waves on textured hair—or a sassy “rock chick” look on straight hair, Paul Stafford uses a “bi-layering” technique that maintains length, and opens up sections to produce plenty of movement. After establishing a round baseline, he alternates square and round layers through the lengths. “Always start and finish with a square layer, otherwise you’ll wind up with a gap,” he advised. “And use the square layer as the guideline for the round layer. The result is a very natural, organic texture,” he adds. “It’s the beachy look you see in magazines that looks easy, but when you try, you can’t get it!”
BUSINESS AND EDUCATION
The Human Clip
“When I was in beauty school, we didn’t have assistants,” said Dale. “We were the ‘human clips.’ We held the hair while someone else cut or colored. And being a human clip is the very best way to learn. My advice to owners and stylists with assistants in the salon is to let them be the human clips. Let them hold the hair, hold the dryer. They’ll learn faster and it will be their arms that tire out, not yours!”
Find Your “Wrap Dress”
In fashion, designers make names for themselves and solidify their brands by developing a signature look, style or garment. Think Diane Von Furstenberg’s iconic wrap dress, or Michael Kors’ gold aviator sunglasses. Follow fashion’s lead, advised Andrew Dale, and develop a signature look and style for your salon. “It should be something you do really well,” he said, “something that will make you stand out from your competition.” Balayage highlights? Long, layered cuts? Only you know the answer!
Women Who Barber
If you’re a woman who would like to take advantage of the growing men’s market, it’s important to present yourself appropriately and confidently to clients and prospective clients, advised Brooke Schoenborn. “Don’t be fluffy or flirty,” she said. “Greet male clients with eye contact and a firm handshake. Make sure you have masculine tools and men’s products on your station. Be professional at all times. Guys will appreciate all of this and you’ll build your men’s business very quickly. Also, keep in mind that men love to prebook, once they get in the habit. It keeps their cut looking fresh and once the appointment is on the books, they don’t have to think about it again.”