A few weeks ago we headed to the glamourous L’Oreal Colour Trophy awards. We caught up with star award winner, Harriet Stokes of Not Another Salon, to discover more about Harriet’s career in hair colouring as well as her thoughts on the power of social media to build a brand or business.
Were you expecting to win the ‘Star Award’ at the L’Oreal Trophy Colour Awards?
The night before the final when I had finished a 12 hour prep day, I cried. Sophia thought I was crying from stress, but I wasn’t – I was crying because I was proud. I said to Sophia the outcome doesn’t matter now because I’ve done the best I can and I’m happy of how far I’ve come.
How did you get started in the business of hair colour?
I started out as a young 14 year old. Coming from a family of hairdressers I had always been around hair – maybe it was inevitable. I always thought I would be a police officer or sports teacher but as soon as I started training I knew it was for me. When I trained at Theo Georgio, I did both cut and colour but I never loved colour, but I never truly felt confident in it or felt good enough. Since moving to Not Another Salon I found my passion and now love colouring; I couldn’t imagine not doing it now!
What advice could you give to anybody wanting to start out in colouring?
Do it! Imagine working every day doing some thing you love, being creative and making people feel good about themselves – it’s the best.
What is your favourite colouring technique?
My favourite technique is actually one of Not Another Salon’s, the perfect bleed. Sophia created this look to give a bright vivid colour a more professional and high end result. Darkening the roots and creating a seamless blend through out really makes the colour stand out. I actually used this technique on my L’Oréal colour trophy model, because I knew I needed to not only stand out but keep the Parisian style of L’Oreal.
Do you have any favourite tools to create the perfect colour job?
My hands! When I’m creating the perfect bleed I find it much easier to get hands on. My favourite tint brushes to use though are Framar tint brushes, I can’t balayage without them!
Where do you find your inspiration to keep your work innovative and fresh?
Instagram! I’m completely hooked, in a good way. I follow so many creative accounts, hairdressers, artists & inspiring people. I save a lot of stuff on there and flick back through to be inspired when I’m working on a new project. Also living and working in East London, I’m surrounded by creative people all the time and because of the type of salon I work in so I get to be creative every day.
Who is your hairdressing inspiration?
Sophia has always been one of my inspirations and even more so now I work for her. Seeing how hard she works and puts into the salon/team, it’s really inspiring seeing how she’s changing the industry. I think Sophia’s a great role model to all female hairdressers as the industry has been male led for such a long time.
What do you think is a common misconception about hairdressing?
Before moving to London I cut and coloured in the salon I worked in, and while looking for a job I quickly learned that there was a higher percentage of salons that only believe in you doing one or the other. I chose to go down the stylist route and only cut but I then I quickly realised I felt limited and like there was something missing. I love to transform my clients from start to finish – I can’t imagine it any other way now. It’s nice to see the industry changing and recognising that people can be good at two things.
How important is it these days to have a social media presence as a hair dresser?
So important – it’s a profile to show your work and what you’re about. Most of my clients come from Instagram. If you don’t have the clientele that you want, then you can easily promote the work you want to do through your Facebook or Instagram page to extract that exact clientele. Do your friends or colleagues hair and post it.
I grew my Instagram following from 1,000 followers to 42,000 followers in one year. Consistency and great content is the key. Even if it’s just a black bob, you need to make sure the image works, clean back ground, polished hair and good lighting.
Where would you like to see your hairdressing career in the future?
I actually love education, teaching and inspiring others all round the world. It was never the route I thought I’d go down but fell into it when I started working at Not Another Salon. I’ve definitely found my happy place and I’m looking forward to seeing where I grow with in the company.