There were also some impressive crafting techniques on show, with Michelle Sultan using a crochet hook to create her ‘Fro-hawk’
Michelle Sultan used the contrast of hard angles and soft curls to create her take on an ‘80s-inspired silhouette. “You can use crocheting to get a strong afro look in next to no time – without damaging your models’ hair,” she explained.
Her model had a base of braided canerows on each side, with additional rows down the middle of the head to anchor the lengths of synthetic afro hair she worked into braids, showing the audience how she deftly hooked small pieces of hair through the braid and then securing it. “This is great for when you want to do something dramatic that’s actually really quick.”
Once Michelle had the volume secured, it was time to work on the shape. “The great thing about working with synthetic hair is that you can chop it or cut it exactly where you want it without worrying,” she added, reaching for her BaByliss PRO clippers. Straight in, without a guard (with a gasp from the audience!) she began to shape the strands to her liking.
“I find it hard to teach hairdressing, because so much of it is about feeling your way through it,” she said as she used the cordless clipper to carefully construct a square, Whitney Houston-inspired straight fringe. “It’s all visual. Textured hair is often seen as soft and touchable, so I wanted to put some hard lines in.”
Keeping things flat at the back, rising into the impressive structure through the middle and that squared-off, curly fringe at the front, Michelle quickly and effortlessly created her shape, constantly moving around her model to survey how the look was coming together from all angles. “Very few clients come to you for recipe-style hairdressing – they want us to use our brains; they’ve come to you for a reason. It’s important to trust ourselves, and to trust out creativity, because we are in charge” she insisted, before whipping off the cape and giving the hair one final tousle.
Michelle’s career highlights
Welcome to Michelle’s world
- A textured hair specialist who has been in the industry for two decades
- Worked on shows from Strictly to The X Factor, with names including Jennifer Hudson, Alesha Dixon and Serena Williams, as well as brands from Coca Cola to Jo Malone.
- Also runs a busy client column at Hype Coiffure in London
Michelle’s Coterie kitbag
• BaByliss PRO cordless clipper and trimmer
• Crochet hook
• Synthetic afro hair