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Our Guest PAINTER for September, Zoë Irwin – the 2018 Most Wanted Creative Talent winner! – is the new UK Colour Trend Expert for Wella Professionals. Here she talks about why you need to be a trendsetter and a name-checker…

Name your work and create your own colour trends instead of following others to really set you apart.

I once spent a month with Trevor Sorbie when I was taking part in a TV programme about the industry. Listening to Trevor tell his story and talk about the creation of his own techniques and their names had a profound effect on me. I had grown up learning these words that symbolised so much – the wedge, the scrunch, the firefly.

From the moment I finished the programme I began to work on my own. It was then that I started to be featured in magazines and in turn be given many opportunities in my career. Launching a hair colour idea or concept is easier than you think. I encourage you to try, it’s so exhilarating .

The Wedge

It can create excitement in the salon and great coverage for you and your business, driving in new clients and delighting existing ones.  Magazines and online writers are searching constantly for a fresh story. So to design a technique and work on a salon colour service that fits with the mood of the times or is reactive to a trend or style that you are being asked for is the best way to gain coverage.

As colourists, we are often reactive to trends created by others. And now in a time when clients look at Instagram come in asking for these techniques, the best way to spend your day colouring in a way YOU like is to create your own.

The idea that you need a big budget is wrong. What shines out is a brilliant concept that is interesting and relevant to the magazines or blog readers.  Spend time researching what this could be. To help you with this, research the magazine’s style and design a technique with this in mind.

When creating ‘The Colour Crush’ menu for Hari’s salon, I designed five colour techniques and each one was for a different type of client, therefore a different magazine. Some were more quirky – from techniques for the woman that wants to be noticed for being different to some were more classic or fresh takes on a classic tone.

This meant that I was able to gain mass coverage with techniques appealing to different publications with the same launch. Do not be put off if you do not have the money to shoot the collection. My biggest colour launch came from a moodboard! I simply made a beautiful moodboard showing all of my references and had it scanned and printed.  This was then sent off to the beauty editors and bloggers.

Inviting the beauty press into the salon to try the launch is a must. But for me, extending this invite to the fashion teams and interns is really effective. I once gained a whole feature on my ‘Cobain chic’ colour (the first salon dip dye service ) by offering to colour the sister of one of the beauty editors from the magazine. I find that asking to colour a family member or friend is a really lovely idea that’s very much appreciated. When launching a new concept, I’ll often colour several people from each publication.

Creating a name for the technique that’s catchy and rememberable is also a must. It can be a take on a current beauty trend that is working well in make-up. I created a colour called ‘The no colour colour’  named after the ‘no make-up make-up’ trend. The name became intriguing. I wrote up the description in the way the make-up was written about. It was a super glossy natural technique that simply mimicked rich, healthy beautiful hair. The technique was a full colour service but sat in column inches next to make-up and beauty services. It gained double the coverage because of its name.

For this reason I recommend studying the current make-up and skincare trends. My current trend beauty launch was conceived while walking the fashion floors and studying the season’s dresses. Look all around you and most of all… have fun with it! If it’s a technique you’re excited about, your passion will come through in every element and become contagious. Happy launching!

See more from Zoë Irwin our Guest PAINTER here >