EDITORIAL DIRECTOR FOR PAUL MITCHELL
Best Part: “My job is never the same each day.”
Hardest Part: “Leaving home and living out of a suitcase is rough at times.”
Best Advice: “Search around for a mentor, whether you find one at a trade show or on hairdressing websites, ask them if they will coach you. Find someone you can connect with and speaks to you.”
Lucie Doughty’s earliest memories are of spending Saturdays sweeping up hair and sorting rollers in her mother’s salon. Ever since then, she felt destined to become a hairdresser. After graduating from an extensive two-year cosmetology program, where she dedicated every waking moment to her studies, Doughty attained the esteemed position as an apprentice with Vidal Sassoon.
While working for Sassoon, Doughty began to see how her cosmetology degree could be used in a variety of ways—and this had her thinking beyond the chair. “One of my favorite and most unforgettable memories was when I got to style for Sassoon’s 30th Anniversary in Portugal and Korea,” says Doughty. “At the events, Vidal would demonstrate to the audience and I was just amazed at his stage presence—how he was able to interact with the audience, how everyone fell completely silent when he was doing a technique, how he was so captivating to watch. I learned from watching Vidal that for one who performs on stage it’s not only important to have a magnetic demeanor, it’s important to have a strong team behind you.”
After working with Sassoon, Doughty learned there were three areas to master in order to become a successful platform artist: First, you need to be passionate about your craft ; second, you need to be versatile in all cutting/coloring/styling techniques across the board; and third, you have to surround yourself with a team of people who are easy to work with and just as motivated about hair as you are.
At the end of the Sassoon program, Doughty took an opportunity to work at the Manchester, England, and then the Frankfurt, Germany, salons. Her passion for teaching really began when she became the head of the color department and was responsible for teaching the apprentices. Doughty was then given an opportunity to head the color department at the new Santa Monica California Academy, so she packed her bags and hopped on a plane to the states.
It was in California where Doughty met Winn Claybaugh, a motivational speaker who was opening the first Paul Mitchell School, in Costa Mesa, California, and accepted the position as a color specialist and created the hair color curriculum that is still in use for more than 100 Paul Mitchell schools today. Now as the Editorial Director for Paul Mitchell, Doughty is responsible for conceptualizing and art directing much of the brand’s imagery that is used for promotional materials and advertising.
“When I started working in the beauty industry, I never set out to be a platform artist, it just came as part of the job. As my travel opportunities became greater at Paul Mitchell, I started performing at more and more venues, classrooms and shows,” says Doughty. “To this day, I think I have performed on stage about 500 ti mes.” So what about the nerves? Doughty says the nerves have never gone away, but she believes having an element of nervousness before you go on stage keeps the energy up in a presentation.
“When I go on stage, I take a deep breath before I start; I know my opening statement for the show, and I know my techniques by heart,” she says. “For new stylists who are just beginners on stage, think of three things you want your audience to learn from your presentation and prepare in your mind or on note cards what you are going to say about each. Practice infront of a mirror, make sure your hands are well manicured, and look the part, too— you need to look and sound like the whole package.”
Doughty recommends having topics to refer to as back up, and bringing elements of your life into your presentation. “When working in the salon and doing other areas of hairdressing, you have to be a very good storyteller and relate to the audience. Have good stories. Share some of the challenges you have experienced with the certain color or cut you are working with on stage, and have a little humility.” Doughty says to reflect your stage personality based upon the audience (big or small, trade show or classroom). “When you are performing at a trade show it’s all about bringing attention to your booth, products, and your brand’s education, because people at these events are usually just wandering around so you need to have topics that are going to make people stop and engage,” she says. “With classrooms, it’s really about being clear when sharing the information and making sure everyone is on the same page.”
In the midst of traveling and appearing on stage, she says that usually when you’re a platform artist, it’s only part of your job. “I have such a varied job; it’s different every day. When I’m not on stage, I make sure that I work in the salon at least once a week to maintain a clientele, which I think is important,” she says. “Students should realize that this craft is ever changing, and you can do so many things with hairdressing…you can work on movies, TV, photo shoots–you can do whatever you want, even be a platform artist! You just have to put your mind to it.”
Hair: Lucie Doughty Editorial Director for Paul Mitchell
Photography: Bonnie Holland
Make-up: Kelsey Deenihan
Wardrobe: Adria Heath
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