What led you into hairdressing?
I was at the end of my A Levels and on my way to uni to study Ancient History when I realised that it wasn’t what I wanted to do. My mum suggested hairdressing as I used to cut and colour my own and my friends’ hair all the time – I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought it myself. I’d even been volunteering in my local Toni&Guy on a Saturday, so the door was already open! It was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Which hair artists spark your imagination?
I am lucky enough to have worked alongside some amazing people, from Daan Kneppers to Leah Hayden Cassidy, and each time I am inspired and learn something. Everyone knows something you don’t, so there’s a lot to learn of everyone you meet. Instagram is fantastic for inspiration, giving every hair artist in the world the platform to show their work, whether they are a global platform artist or an apprentice.
And which hair artist have you always admired?
Obviously, Vidal Sassoon is a hero and a legend. The Mascolo family, too, being Toni&Guy-trained. Saying that, there is a new wave of amazing inspirational artists like Sophia Hilton, Alan Beak, Colin Pietre and Josh Lamonica – amongst others –who are doing amazing things in education, business and creative work.
Who has counted the most in your career?
There have been many people who have helped me and given me opportunities along the way, I am aware that no one ‘makes it’ on their own, so I am grateful for any opportunity. However, I would have to say Tim Mileham, who gave me the job at Toni&Guy; Grant Northover of Phab Wholesale and Education in Exeter, who gave me the opportunity to get into education; and finally my family, for supporting me when I opened my shop, sold the shop and for putting up with all the mad ideas and projects I come up with.
Describe yourself in three words
Kind, courageous and generous, I would like to think.
At which point do you think you found your style, your niche?
It’s forever evolving and changing. I knew I loved cutting men’s hair very early on but I feel I need to evolve and grow with every experience.
What’s changed in your approach to hairdressing from when you started to present day?
I now view the industry in a completely different way from when I started. There are so many different ways to be involved and angles that you can take, not just simply stand behind the chair. That variety has been key to me enjoying the last couple of years in my career more than ever.
Your best work?
Is yet to come.
Something you’re particularly proud of?
A few things spring to mind. Taking The Lions Barber Collective from a Facebook comment to a registered charity. Receiving an award from Prime Minister, Theresa May. And finally getting my first book, The Barber Boom, self-published.
Something you regret?
Nothing, really. The decisions I have made have led to this point and I am pretty content with where I am so far.
Is there something you’re still aiming for/hope to achieve?
Hah! I’m not sure there’d enough space! I have another couple of books in the works. There is a lot more to do with The Lions Barber Collective. I’d love either to head up an academy or to help develop education for a brand. And of course I’d love to be a winner at Most Wanted!
What do you do when you’re not at work?
I like going to the gym before work every day, but when I have a day off I want to spend it with my family.
If I could work with one person, it would be…
There are too many… I’m lucky to have worked alongside some amazing people over the past couple of years. Some of the best are not the biggest names but the ones who are new to the industry – fresh, driven, creative and not scared to experiment and try new things. I just love working with different people in different countries and cultures and learning how they work.
What infuriates you about modern hairdressing?
I don’t think anything infuriates me really. There are a lot of improvements that could be made but that will always be true. In my opinion, we are in the most exciting times since I started my career. The Barber Boom has had a huge impact on the hair industry, pushing boundaries and reinvigorating certain techniques which has led to both barbers and hairdressers stepping up their game. If we work together more we’ll achieve even more!
Finish this sentence: young ambitious hairdressers today need to…?
Think about so much more than just hair. We are blessed to have the technology we have right now and to make the most of your career you need to use it to the maximum. A DSLR and social media are just as important to your tool kit as your scissors. To take it to the next level you need to spend your time wisely. We all have the same amount of hours in the week. It’s how you spend them that counts.