© Tom Zappala. All rights reserved.
I believe that a great haircut is one which can grow out really well over and extended period of time (months not weeks). As covered in the last post, a great cut should always encourage the shape and texture to naturally fall into place, looking great with minimal effort from a client. Unfortunately, most hairdressers tend to perform a cut which only looks good if styled with professional skills, products and effort. This type of design is largely driven by a hairdressers creativity first and foremost. They are often strongly influenced by the Vidal Sassoon era. For many hairdressers today Vidal Sassoon was and still is, their savior, their Steve Jobs. He is the inspirational benchmark for the sharp, precision creative hairdressing they practice. I disagree with all that, vehemently. For his time, Sassoon was absolutely relevant and a visionary. He left behind a legacy. Ironically, what renders his creative direction obsolete are the very individuals who his work specifically relied on, women.
Think back to women's lives in the 60's and 70's compared to now and you'll begin to understand why those design concepts are no longer relevant, and in fact foolish. Women's lives today are jam packed with a multitude of commitments, obligations and varying degrees of stress. Each day carefully calculated to extract maximum efficiency in order to achieve a balance between work, leisure and family. For many, having a haircut which requires time and adept styling skills simply isn't an option. In fact, it's an annoyance. (It's these poorly designed cuts that many have resorting to flat ironing to a burnt oblivion each and every morning.) Poorly considered precision haircuts are particularly the bane of any woman with curly, wavy or otherwise challenging hair. These ladies, more than anyone else demand a hair cut which is textured, loose and carefree. A precision cut for them is infuriating and leads inevitably to either tied back or triangle.
Contemporary hairdressing must be designed to precisely support the lifestyle and aesthetic needs a woman has. Too, they must support a maintenance schedule a client is willing and able to keep. Any hairdresser who consistently leads with their creative foot first and fails to consider the individual and their lifestyle is naively misguided. Instead of blind adherence to an icon of the past, a hairdresser must take notice of the current landscape and design accordingly. In this modern era, the hairdressing industry as a whole would be well served to operate more often as mindful practitioners than creative artists.