Professional Hairdresser Column 2013 – In The Chair

The March issue of Professional Hairdresser puts us ‘In the Chair’ and asked the questions on everyones lips.

The best thing my parents taught me…..

I’m from a large family, the eldest of six. Yet never did I feel one of six. My parents showed so much love for us all and encouraged us to be individuals. My mum is very loving and attentive, a compliment off my dad was worth so much because they were so rare. They are the perfect team. I could almost say I’d like to be like them when I’m older.

Good values, ambition and the importance of family if I had to sum up what they’ve instilled in me.

My mum just wants me and the kids to enjoy our life’s ‘have fun, lots of it’ are the last words she always says to me.

My parents are real go getters and that has definitely rubbed off on me. My dad was very enterprising from a young age and had a really good business. I recall going to work with him coming up with an idea and having to put a business plan together for a loan of £50. I was only ten and I got the loan!!!

I tried to buy a 5 bed house when I was 16 on a assistants wage…I was and am ambitious, that comes from my dad! But they’ve never given me anything easy. They’ve worked from working class families and make us kids work harder.

As I’ve got older I’ve become full of admiration for my parents. My mum raising six kids and parking her career aspirations, my dad working all the hours god sends to ensure he can financially support us ultimately missing out on some of our youth. I respect that.

I’ve got drive, I want to achieve so much so they’re proud of me.

What I love most about hairdressing…

The diversity of everything.

I know my end goal – to build a brand, have products, a wetline and electricals, and cement myself firmly on TV, but it’s the journey that I’m going through this very day that keeps me interested.

I’ve evolved from Salon Stylist to Session Stylist to International Creative Director to Product Developer to working closely on the business and doing TV shows. I wake up in the morning and genuinely can’t wait to get into the office. I have my diary in front of me now and I’m absolutely fully loaded until the end of August, truthfully, and I can’t wait to get stuck into it.

There are different routes you can take in this game, there are very few of us who can find our own niche and I’m fortunate I’m doing that. But, nothing was ever given to me. I had to take risks and then push push and push some more.

Everyday honestly is different.

My proudest hairdressing moment…

This is a tough one because I don’t feel like I’ve achieved a hundredth of what I’m capable of achieving. I’m never truly satisfied. When I do a shoot or a client I always think ‘I could have done that better, I wish I’d done this in hindsight’ which kind of sums up me really. I always want more, that’s a flaw in my personality, if I’m honest.

I won ‘Backstage Stylist’ in 2012 at the HAIR Magazine awards but then all I could think about was I need to win it again next year. I never stop the clocks and look back. What’s the point, I can’t change it. I spend my time focusing on the future and the here and now.

I think my clients love me because….

I have two separate clients so I thought it best if I asked them to describe why they ‘love me’

Matthew Williamson, I do his hair in the salon but more importantly I work regularly with him on his collections and shows.

Karen Millen, coincidentally was my next client on Saturday when I was doing this interview so I got a quote from her. I’ve been doing her hair for about 4 years.

If I could change anything about myself I’d…..

Be more forgiving and let things go.

It’s not good for my image but I like….

Staying in and watching a movie.

I do love films, it’s a chance to escape and take my mind off things. I’m partial to a good RomCom and Romantic Drama, if truth be told. My favourite films are Cocktail and Top Gun.

I just like a good love story! I’m all over a good TV Box set too, Sex and The City being my absolute favourite.

I also like flowers. They’re beautiful and seasonal, what is there not to like about flowers? I enjoy arranging them. Nicky knows loads about flowers and over the years I’ve picked that up from him I guess. My apartment is a little like the salon, accessorised with flowers.

You could say, despite the bravado, I am in touch with my feminine side!

I live….

In Primrose Hill. I have an apartment smack bang in the middle of the village. You can see the park and on the doorstep are the restaurants and pubs.

It’s quiet and doesn’t feel like London yet it’s so accessible to everywhere.

For the previous few years I’d lived in Belsize Park on Englands Lane, just two doors from Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter. I did his hair, then the following day was standing behind him in the local Tesco!

I also co-own a five-bedroom house in Palm Beach, Florida with my dad. It’s got a pool and all that. We got it when the market crashed in America and stole it really. I love it out there, 40 mins from Miami and a two-hour flight from NYC so I get over a couple of times a year.

The song I can never get out my head is….

I referred to my ITunes ‘Most Played’ for this

1, Wonderwall – Oasis

2, Rockin Chair – Oasis

3, Rock ‘n’ Roll Star – Oasis

They’re the greatest band of all time. I’ll defy anybody who disagrees with that. The lads and I have been all over the world to watch Oasis, they’re epic live.

I try to get into new stuff, I get about one maybe two songs into an album before I ditch it and stick on Oasis then I’m happy. I can’t recall the last day I didn’t hear at least one song from the mighty Oasis.

I was asked to do Liam Gallagher and Pretty Green for their AW12 collection shoot at a big stately home. I deliberated over it for a couple of days and decided on turning it down. You shouldn’t meet your heroes. He’s the only person I’d honestly say is my hero.

When they reform, apart from when my sisters were born, it will be the best news I’ve ever had.

The most expensive thing I’ve ever fritted money on was…

I dropped nearly £6k on suits recently in William Hunt on Saville Row. I bought myself a Gucci Weekender just after which was about £1300.

I’m getting more sensible with my money and I’m fortunate to earn good money. I’d like to think I know how to make money through work and admittedly I do enjoy the finer things so why not spend it.

I save enough, have some invested but if I want something, then I’ll buy it.

The best day of my life…

Last June I was best man at one of the lads wedding, Andy. We’ve been best friends for a long time.

I took my role really seriously.

I wanted to take everything on. Organise the stag, the morning of the wedding, do MC’ing and ushering and of course the best man speech. I wasn’t nervous at all leading up to it.

Two of the elderly guests walked out due to the language (that I’d cleared with the brides father), I then proceeded to rip the Groom, his brother and his father to pieces for the next 15 minutes!!!!

To my astonishment I got a standing ovation and Andy came over in floods of tears!

Job Done.

It’s such a responsibility and honour to have bestowed on you. I shed a tear or two with him at the end and I thanked him for what I could remember was the best day of my life.

I’ve got a little saying ‘live each day as though it’s your last.’ When I go to sleep at night there’s nothing better than knowing I got every last breath out of the day.

That’s why I work none stop. I like to start early doors and when my shoot, salon, show or whatever it is is done, I’ll head to the office, fit meetings in after, etc.

On a Sunday, I’ll be up early and out doing things, seeing things…usually hungover!

My last meal would be….

I’m pretty easily pleased when it comes to food as long as I’m not cooking it. I go out to restaurants a lot! About four times a week. I like everything really but am very health conscious.

In saying that, my last meal would most certainly be my mums Spaghetti Bolognese. My mum is a tremendous cook, she really is.

I’m not really into deserts so I’d sack that off for a Margarita.