Expert Advice

A Look Back at 2015 and Looking Forward to 2016

Patrick McIvor | January 4, 2016 | 8:39 AM
Patrick McIvor

2015 was a big year for me…and I think for our industry in a lot of ways, and it seems for 2016 thinking outside of the box is the best way to stay in the black. Have you seen the video with the guy burning the hair? You probably have, and like me you have probably had someone else tell you about it too.  Heck, my mom even told me she saw a segment on a morning news shows talking about it. The problem is, if people are talking about him, then people are also getting their hair burned and cut with swords by him too.  It’s the Kim Kardashian effect on our world - get people to talk about you, keep them talking and you win even if the talk isn't always good.  It works in politics, as well as business. Thinking outside the box gets people buying your boxes. GoPro, Red Bull and Apple never gave us what we expected…nor do they do what we would expect. 

Like Fluid Haircolor, Pixelated Haircolor, Hair Painting, Mermaid Color, starting with the innocent Ombré Haircolor, have worked in new ways, and not just twists on old techniques, these ideas were outside the box, some way outside.  Before the Ombré, which I credit Sarah Jessica Parker with innovating “roots” to the level of high fashion acceptance and popularized by Gisele Bundchen’s freakishly beautiful trademark locks.  The Ombré was new, different, but not too different.  Next came Hair Painting, which was far enough outside the box that everyone doing it watched someone else do it first, and either tried it or then took a class.  But again, Hair Painting was out of the box, but not too far.

Then, in 2014 we started to see unnatural colors like blue, purple, pink, green, etc., and started to see so much off it that it was like a ball bouncing from outside the box to a perfect swoosh into the box.  Today, seeing a mom at back to school night in Nazareth, PA (and probably your home town too) with blue or purple hair doesn't mean she's a hairdresser. And, the great thing about this trend is it’s not a top down trend, it’s a bottom/youth driven trend…it’s like earrings for men or tattoos.  Unnatural haircolor is an individual personal expression, and as that person ages, just like those before with tattoos or earrings for men, it no longer meant you couldn't hold positions of power or were limited in job or income because it was just “normal.”2014 was that transition year and 2015 was the year we stopped looking back.

2015 showed that being outside the box is safer than being forgotten about inside the box and 2016 will push us even further outside and we will stay there.  Why be ordinary when today it is so easy to show people why you are special, and it doesn't have to be LOOK AT ME, it can be looks that people stop and take notice, because they wanted to, not because they had to.  I have seen breathtakingly beautiful Fluid Haircolors, Pixelated Haircolor, Mermaid colors, as well as “beautiful green Haircolor," something I'm sure my beauty school teacher never thought would be something that someone would say about green haircolor. 

Next year, I am excited to explore new ways to deliver and play with haircolor and I think there are enough of us still around from the 1980’s to help mentor the new ideas. This time, we need to make sure that we understand this is personal expression and not everyone personally expressing themselves to all look like Madonna or getting a Members Only Jacket with tight fitting horizontal striped shirt. Beauty in 2016 will become more about personal voices and making statements, not fitting in because you like the trend, the trend for 2016 is to look like YOU. And that’s what we have always hoped for our guests, now just in a new more personal and remarkable way.

I hope you had a good 2015 filled with some great moments and I wish you the best for an AMAZING 2016!!!

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