click image to zoomStudents learn to create Aquage’s signature chignons—in less than five minutes. The Aquage Masterclass Academy draws hairdressers from all around the country and at all levels of experience. As the academy covers all areas of the industry— from classic updos, thermal styling techniques, cutting and business education, the Academy attracts stylists seeking to advance their skills in multiple areas.
Day one begins with a welcome by Aquage co-founder Luis Alvarez and an introduction to the line-up of award-winning educators to assist students.
“We like to have one educator for every six students,” says Wanda Alvarez, manager of the registration process, make-up artist and wife of Luis. “The educators rotate from table to table throughout the days, so students get to experience time with all of the educators teaching at the academy.”
click image to zoomA student practices Ann Brays backcombing techniques. The education kicks off with Textural Transformation and Editorial Hairdressing by NAHA winning Michael Albor and Master Stylist Heaven Padgett. The team warms up students by introducing thermal setting techniques using a Marcel iron and flatiron to achieve unique textures and create dramatic silhouettes. Padgett recognizes that not all students are on equal footing—some are more comfortable with updos while others aren’t as experienced.
The team, along with educator Shelly Devlin, demonstrates quick, two-minute updos the class then recreates. By creating a series of knots and weaving half knots through the loops, simple braid-inspired looks are created. Using a hair tie and a few bobby pins, the class learns how to fold the hair into a smooth, iconic Aquage-style chignon—in less than fi ve minutes.
Next up, the Bespoke method of hair stitching is demonstrated. Using Gwen Stefani as an inspiration, pinfree designs are created using weaving thread and a tapestry needle.
To close day one, award-winning competitor and educator Ann Bray demonstrates her unique method of creating a classic French Twist, with a focus on the art of backcombing. Bray, who was the team trainer for the only U.S. team to ever win gold and be named World Champions at the Hair Olympics, teaches how backcombing can expand forms through having a supporting structure. “Body positioning is so important when backcombing,” Bray says. “If you’re going over the rounds of the head, you need to adjust your elevation and body position.”