Principles: The Language of Hairdressing
Principles: The Language of Hairdressing

by Sam Villa, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Sam Villa and Global Artistic Ambassador for Redken, @samvillahair

This past year caused many of us to shift our business models and mindsets back to the fundamentals, foundations and principles of our craft so we could simplify our work with minimum effort for maximum impact. We had to get really creative in the ways we tried to entice our guests back into the salon and offer new value to excite them to want to stay.  And we were able to make this transition because of our principle-based skillset.

Our principles gave us the roadmap, confidence and ability to reinvent ourselves and the new way we do business now.

I’ve always valued the thought that there is power in knowledge. Once you know and understand something, it can never be taken away from you. You can create any haircut, style or color…the opportunities become endless. Principles are the foundation from which all creations evolve and that’s why after all these years, I’m still so excited to learn new things.  It’s what saved me during the pandemic.  As long as I was learning, taking things apart and putting them back together in different ways, I was moving forward and navigating the challenges I was faced with.

In order to figure out a solution, you must first identify the issue, and understanding the principles of a technique allows you to do just that. Take a recipe for an example, the instructions are your principles, and the ingredients are the elements. You can have a list of ingredients, but you need the instructions to make a specific meal. If your meal doesn’t come out right, you can look back and find the reason why, because you know the principles. It’s similar in our industry. If you know the principles of hairdressing, you can cross-check a haircut by retracing your sections, examining your finger angle, elevation, and over-direction to solve a problem. 

This is what amazes me about hairdressing, we have the knowledge to figure out how to make something work, the freedom to create anything we want. I don’t know many professions that can transform a life so easilyAnd if there are challenges, we have principles to guide us back on track. It’s what makes professionals! Our foundation of principles grants us the freedom to create with confidence. It’s what makes our industry so special – we learn the rules so we can break them.

A strong understanding of the fundamentals helps us trouble shoot, problem solve, recreate looks and allows us to teach what we know to others. It’s a language that must be shared, whether it’s your assistant, co-worker, backstage team, on set or group of students in a salon, we must all preserve and pass on this amazing language of hairdressing and let it empower us.

Please, continue to educate yourself on the fundamentals, because no matter where you are in the world, what trend comes up or what requests are made of you, you will be skilled and supported by a strong knowledge of the fundamentals. You will understand what to do and how to do it. An investment in education is an investment in your future. I’m sharing weekly FREE education here and I’m starting to hit the road too, so I hope to see you soon.

And remember my friends, pay it forward, share your knowledge with others, and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!


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