Just as I was beginning to feel a bit despondent over the onset of autumn, along comes one of the most inspirational events on the hair industry calendar: Salon International.
This massive exhibition, held at London’s Excel, is the perfect way for everyone and anyone involved in hair to learn about the latest techniques, product innovations and trends, to catch up with their peers, see their hairdressing idols and thoroughly immerse themselves in the amazing creativity that makes the world of hair so colourful and vital.
Visiting the event this year I was, as ever, struck by the wealth of experience on show at the various stages and stands, from the likes of Patrick Cameron and Beverly C showing us how to achieve intricate updos and big blowouts on the Babyliss Pro stage, to the legions of household names and up and coming hairstyling stars presenting their lust-worthy creations on the Fellowship for British Hairdressing, ghd and Hairdressers Journal stages; three whole days was barely enough time to take it all in!
I love visiting ‘Salon’ (as we in the trade say), not least because of the buzz that surrounds it. In the weeks leading up to the weekend expo, every hairstylist, salon and brand representative I spoke to wanted to chat about “who’s going, who’s doing what and what we’ll be watching”. And things got even more exciting at the exhibition itself, where this year I spent a great deal of time at the Fellowship for British Hairdressing stage, watching runway hair shows to rival those seen at LFW. From long(ish) to extremely short, the overarching theme of the very edgiest cuts was undercutting and disconnecting (remember those terms if you want your stylist to give your hairstyle a high fashion spin this season) encompassing the spectrum of colours but definitely favouring flattering pastel shades of lilac, green and even grey.
Over on the Kent hairbrushes stand they were demonstrating how their boar bristle brushes are lovingly made by hand, and across the hall electricals giants such as Cloud Nine, HairTools and Diva were demonstrating their amazing wares by switching up the styles of passers by with curls, kinks, smoothing and shaping. Meanwhile, the McCann Styling Chair drew a crowd with it’s innovative design – very soon, salon clients might find themselves kneeling down for a haircut!
Phew – after all that excitement, I needed a massage and, of course, even this was available for event goers to indulge in, although I’m not sure the masseuse who worked all the knots out of my shoulders would have obliged if I’d asked him to “do my feet”;
Meeting up with a few of my hair heroes (okay, so I maybe I did come over a bit starstruck…):
Can’t wait to see what talents and innovations Salon International 2016 will host.