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Your skills + the right tools = the ability to untether your talent and create anywhere, even on a half pipe…

Heart-pumping, sheer drops, the wind in your face… the freedom a set of wheels can give you is exhilarating. From boards to skates to bikes, they can take you where you need to go, where you want to go, where you have to go next. Captured on a summer’s day at Harrow skatepark, with genuine skate park regulars modelling the hair looks, this Creative HEAD shoot in partnership with BaByliss PRO is a celebration of

Session supremo Syd Hayes and key members of #SydSquad – Sam Burnett, Paula McCash and Jody Taylor, all successful stylists in their own careers and with plenty to pass on – gathered to mentor four bright young talents on location. Step forward Arif Arikan from Alice and the Hair, Georgia Freeman from Q Cut, Exaucè Imbo from EXSTUDIO and Annabel Payne from Toni&Guy Salisbury. This was an opportunity for these young talents to experiment with their own creativity, the freedom to try their own ideas and make their mark. It could have been done in a studio, but for Syd the concept itself was uniquely personal…
I sort of grew up in a skatepark. You get lots of different characters with different haircuts, different cultures, different backgrounds… it doesn’t matter where you come from, or how you grew up, a skatepark brings you together. Syd Hayes
Polaroid of hairdresser Syd Hayes holding roller boots at a skate park
And it was not just the rollers, riders and skaters who could move and create without being held back. Thanks to BaByliss PRO’s growing suite of cordless tools, fresh cuts, styles and touch ups could be created on the fly by the stylists – between tricks, at the base of a bowl as BMX wheels raced behind them, or while chilling on a grassy bank and watching the action unfold.

For a number of the mentees, this shoot was their first experience of editorial styling; a working day without firm borders, free from a strict client brief. It also presented a unique chance to absorb tips and advice from the seasoned session pros as they personally and informally guided them throughout the process.

“I wanted the day and the results to be real on all fronts,” Syd explained. “We picked quite an interesting skate park that’s kind of gritty and lived in. It looks really great in pictures, the concrete and personality of the graffiti, rather than everything being really shiny and polished. It has personality, it’s seen some fun and has been an escape, and along with the great – and really skilled! – guys we’ve got modelling here today, it just gels and reads really well.”


Six fearless boarders. Three achingly cool roller-skaters. And one BMX master. All the models for the shoot had found and fallen in love with skate park life in ways that were as diverse as both their backgrounds and their personal looks, but what united them was a desire to express their authentic selves. Despite the casting net spanning several hundred miles, almost all of them knew each other through the tight-knit scene and they were joking and spurring each other on as soon as their wheels touched the ground.

I felt that it was important to capture because those kids and their culture, their heritage, who they are, they’re very passionate about the way they look. We didn’t want to drastically change the way they look, we wanted to enhance it.Syd Hayes

 

 

 

Far from being a throwback to his youth, Syd wanted to celebrate the up-and-coming generation and the community they’ve found, both in skate culture (the models), and in hairdressing (the mentees). “I’m not trying to recreate my fond memories of growing up as a skate park kid,” he explained. “The day and the shoot is more about capturing that universal vibe being young and the feeling of belonging that places like this carry. It’s about enjoying the ‘new’ ways that people have found skating and their new approach to their hair.”

 

It has been really nice watching and seeing so many of my old team and collaborators who I’ve worked with today. Over the last 10 years, they’ve been a big part of my hair career… And they’re not just my team, they’re hairdressers in their own right who have got salons, they’re incredible session stylists. I look at them and constantly think ‘Wow, their work’s really amazing too.’Syd Hayes

SAM BURNETT
Owner of Hare & Bone salons and session stylist

“I jumped at the chance to be a mentor on the shoot – Syd asked me to do it and it’s always an immediate ‘yes’ when Syd’s involved! I also really believe in the youth coming through in hairdressing, and feel it’s important wherever we can to give them that boost so we have a strong future for the industry.”

My styling signature move/trick: Setting hair with elastic – “I love working with elastic to create different shapes and textures as it’s nice and lightweight.”

PAULA MCCASH
Session Stylist

“With projects like this, I really think it’s important to pay it forward. I’ve actually worked with one of the girls who’s on location today – Georgia – a couple of times and I think I find it just as inspiring as she does!”

My wheels: A good old fashioned road bike – “I actually cycle a lot, but as for the tricks that these guys do? Not a chance!”

JODY TAYLOR
Session Stylist

“I think if you can pass some knowledge on to people when you’re a bit more established, that’s great. I don’t really feel like I have loads to teach the mentees today, but I really want to inspire them to have more confidence in their own abilities, as they are each so skilled.”

My styling signature move/trick: Intentionally ‘messy’ hair – “We’re talking undone finishes, raw haircuts, unfinished edges and natural-looking shapes.”



I want to help bring new talent on and excite them about hair and fashion. That means a lot to me. This is about celebrating youth culture and inspiring new hairdressers to come into the industry, as well as those starting out. The better people are, the better it makes you, the more it inspires you…Syd Hayes

Hailing from Glasgow to Salisbury and with skills spanning barbering, colour and braiding, the four mentees couldn’t wait to get to work. The excitement of a first ever shoot experience, the calibre of their styling partners for the day, the buzz surrounding the unique location and dynamic concept, and a chance to be among the first to use a brand new BaByliss PRO innovation – even some classic British Summertime drizzle couldn’t dampen their spirits as things got underway!



Hair: Sam Burnett, Paula McCash, Jody Taylor, Arif Arikan, Georgia Freeman, Exaucè Imbo, Annabel Payne (with Ellie’s cut and colour by Ernie Mažonatie at Hare & Bone). Led by Syd Hayes.
Make-up: Elin Jones, Manabu Nobuoka.
Models: Alex (@alex.rennick), Ali (@nazgotroach), Ash (@ashdouglasbmx), Ellie (@elliefelicityclarkson), Elly (@pirate.quinn), Karan (@karan_official1), Kurtis (@kurtis0connor), Robyn (@ robn_roll), Rocco(@roccobrivati) and Rose (@jensenroro), at Autumn Jensen Casting.
Portraits and action photography: Jared Beck.
Photography assistants: Pierre Lequeux, Morgan Shaw.
Behind the scenes and Polaroid photography: Harvey Williams-Fairley.
Digital technician: Brian Clever.
Production: The Creative Partnerships Team at Creative HEAD. In partnership with BaByliss PRO.
Shot on location at Harrow skatepark.

Ready to roll? Time to kick off a sesh by dropping in on the first looks… >

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