Salons all across the UK and Ireland are being squeezed by the ever-stretching time between appointments – the old six- week gap between appointments is getting longer and longer. Another development impacting the salon is the curse of the at-home colour kit, so the pressure is on to devise ways to get clients to spend more when they’re in the chair and entice them to try professional colour in the hope they’ll get hooked.
Once again, our Outliers are beacons of brilliance, employing irresistible service ideas to encourage clients to spend a little more, experiment with a little colour, and even plump for techniques they simply cannot repeat themselves. Marvel at the business-boosting prowess of those bumping up their blow-drys with benefits, or the colourists investing time in securing the highest certificates to illustrate their technical skills.
These Outliers are also laser-focused on their own creativity and exploring every opportunity that comes their way. Some of those are via their trusted partnership with Redken (shoot with the legendary photographer Rankin? Yes please!) and others
are through their own sheer determination and tenacity (would you take your family to LA to learn from Tracey Cunningham?). Whatever the route, the outcome is the same – an incredible sense of creative and personal fulfilment, and a positive impact on business.
This industry needs more trail-blazers, more innovators – stylists, colourists and salon owners who think differently and daringly. If you think you’re ready to take that next step then read on to be inspired and empowered by our collection of amazing Outliers…
Some ambitions just don’t seem possible… but these professional influencers got busy and made their dreams into reality! Meet the multitaskers who go against the grain to achieve more, both in and out of the salon
Salon Owner/ Fashion Week Producer/ Videographer
Rob Czlapka, RCNQ
Hairdressing came into Rob’s life at just the right time. “When I was at school I used to get bullied for being gay – hairdressing was an option that would take me into a work environment with strong gay role models. That quickly became my outlet and helped give me confidence that I had lost.”
With this new sense of direction, Rob was working on an artistic team when he was introduced to legendary session stylist Gary Gill. After joining his team as an assistant, four seasons later he had worked his way up to show producer.
Yes, he’s backstage at exciting fashion shows, but it’s also a huge amount of responsibility: “At a show, Gary needs to focus on the hair. He needs someone to concentrate on the logistics, the organisation. That’s where I come in. Finding a balance to make it work comes from getting help from people around you. I have such a strong salon team and Redken has been amazing.”
Salon owner/ Balayage Queen and Educator
Becki Beavan, The Hair Boutique
When Becki saw Tracey Cunningham advertising her colour class on Instagram, she jumped at the chance. The only problem was, it was in LA – so she, her husband and her four- month-old baby set off to the US. “ I was obsessed with her work and I loved how refreshing it was that she shared her formulas,” says Becki. The class was everything she had hoped for and Becki kept in touch with Tracey, too.
The next year she asked Tracey if she could shadow her for a day… and Tracey said yes! The knowledge she brought back was invaluable. “The knowledge I brought back from LA the first time changed the work my team and I were producing dramatically,” she admits. “The salon grew rapidly, we had a three-month waiting list and we quickly outgrew the space. We posted our work on social media, and other salon owners and colourists started to ask if would I teach them.”
That’s how her second business got started – sharing her own techniques along with those she had learned from Tracey, Becki has now been booked to teach in Scotland, Ireland and even Ibiza: “I found a new love in educating, it’s really special.”
…Salon owner/ Session stylist/ Influencer BFF
Jack Baxter, Baxter South
Being a risk-taker isn’t for everyone, but for Jack Baxter, who has recently opened his own salon Baxter South in Glasgow, it has worked out spectacularly. He had always dreamed of working alongside 2019 Most Wanted Session Stylist Anthony Turner, so decided to take a gamble… and it paid off handsomely!
“I took myself to London for fashion week, which makes it sound easy, but the reality was that I got dropped last minute from every show!” he recalls, shaking his head. “However, on the very last day, I got a confirmation to work with Anthony Turner at Margaret Howell. Working with Anthony that season really gave me a leg up.”
He’s gone on to forge strong relationships with influencers such as Jamie Genevieve, who has 1.3 million followers on Instagram. “My relationships with all my favourite influencers happen totally organically,” Jack explains. “I was introduced to Jamie through clients we shared back when she took make-up appointments, and everything really snowballed from there. It was the start of me building a really strong network.”
And this is all just the beginning. “I’m planning to enter The It List next year. Competitions are something I have shied away from but now? I’m in a positive place to go for it!”