How my family helped to shape my success
I started my hairdressing career at 12 working with my dad and my brothers. I’m not very tall now, but I was tiny then, and they made a wooden box for me to stand on, so I could reach the basin to shampoo. On leaving school I immediately started working as a stylist in our salon in Streatham. When we moved to Mayfair in the mid-70s, we formed our first art team and [my now wife] Pat became one of the founder members. Since that time we’ve always worked together.
Around 1980 Pat bought me my first camera and at the same time bought herself a make-up kit. Before long we were creating all of our own shoots. I’ve always said, “I didn’t know the rules so it was easy to break them.” We certainly had a lot of fun. We started shooting every hairstyle we did and began creating annual collections with step by steps linked to our education programmes. We were also doing a lot of shows and as well as creating commercial collections, we were very experimental with avant-garde looks.
Throughout my success, I’ve always maintained a desire to share knowledge and inspire other hairdressers hopefully to help them achieve their own personal accolades. Constantly pushing boundaries and striving to elevate my conceptual ideas to an ever-higher level has been important to me and has been key to the growth and influence of the TIGI International Creative Team, as well as the wider world of hairdressing.
My ethos is founded on an unchanging belief in the development of new concepts and sharing new ideas with my peers. This keeps my work fresh and encourages me to elevate everything I do. Whether it’s hairdressing or photography I like to push boundaries, and break rules to take my work in different directions.
In everything I do, I never accept the impossible and this attitude pushes me when I create couture hairdressing and photographic imagery. As well as my base at Bed Head Studio in London, I have created a personal creative area, the Library Space, where Pat and I have archives of our work and where we have a team working on creative projects and on our website and magazine, ‘INFRINGE’.
I am very lucky to have come from a talented family, with strong family values.
Throughout my career, I’ve always been part of a team and I’ve thought of the members as a family I can nurture, grow and encourage, allowing each individual to elevate their own skills. This has allowed me to create teams with a strong bond, loyalty and shared vision. I’ve always aimed to develop a culture of friendship, care and open-ness, extending this beyond my own team to other hairdressers who attend TIGI courses, shows and seminars.
After so many years in the hairdressing profession, you may think I’d prefer to opt for an easy life, but actually I still take pleasure in appearing on stage, promoting TIGI’s latest ideas and products, and I’m always happy to meet and greet guests at events. It’s true Pat and I have more holidays these days and spend a lot of time with our kids and our grand-daughter, Elizabeth, but we’ll never stop pushing ourselves creatively.