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June 30, 2014

R+Co’s Howard McLaren Talks Technology, Trends and Technique

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Hair enthusiasts eager to learn from some of the most forward-thinking stylists in the biz came out to Chicago Studio City this past Sunday for The R+Co Collective Presents Howard McLaren. The hip, alternative warehouse setting was fitting for the R+Co event, the brand R+Co President Reuben Carranza describes as “urban” and “trendy.”


Reuben was there to kick off the night with some info about R+Co, short for Rogue and Company, which launched in April. Co-Founder Howard McLaren then took the stage to share the background of the brand, his unique perspective on hair and give a cut and style demo showcasing the rule-bending styles he is known for. Vice President of Technology and Digital Media Sasha Kadey was also there to introduce the new R+Co app, which launches this week.



“We believe that the world our salon hairdressers and owners live in is much more than the static world everyone else talks to them about—there’s a lot more inter-relatedness that’s happening,” Reuben said. “So part of what we’re doing with the app is allowing hairdressers to get inspiration, learn, share and create a community.”


Not only is the app a valuable tool for stylists, it’s also available for clients. So while hairdressers will have the ability to receive technical education, consumers will have access to things like product information and ingredient lists.


“What we are giving you is a map to be successful from three of the top hairdressers in the world…it’s access to our brains, it’s access to what we like,” Howard says. “And then it’s allowing you to create your own platforms and showcase your work. That’s what it’s all about.”



A true presence on stage, Howard offered up tips on subjects ranging from how to help your clients maintain their looks after they leave the salon (a great consultation), to classic styles that are making a comeback—(the perm)! Here are the top three things BTC learned:


1. Helping clients preserve their style long after they leave your chair starts with a thorough consultation. “Knowing what your client does makes you a better hairdresser,” says Howard. “You know, why would you sell someone hair care products if they don’t use products?”


2. Upstyles showcasing cuts are trending. “A lot of updos are just about finishing the hair,” says Reuben. “A great updo that is built on a great cut actually stands apart from what you would normally think of as an updo.”


3. Perms are back! “One day I said: ‘Why don’t we take this straightening thing and turn it around and bring back texture?’ said Howard. “So that’s where we’re going. What we have to do is take the stigma away from old perming.”


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