Got a passion for colour? Think your enthusiasm could help others? A future as a specialist colour educator could be for you, as Faye Turner from Mazella and Palmer reveals.
When did you decide you wanted to be a hairdresser?
I didn’t really grew up wanting to be a hairdresser. I remember briefly wanting to be one at the age of 8 – when my mum took me in for a perm – but the idea didn’t take off as I also wanted to be physiotherapist and a travel agent.
I actually fell into hairdressing after a short spell in retail at the age of 21. I became a receptionist at a hairdressing school, and over the months decided that I wanted to re-train as all the students looked like they were having so much fun and loved what they were doing. On my days off as a receptionist, I would come in and join the students practising their hair ups and my love grew from there. Thankfully they were looking for assistants, so it was perfect timing for me to leave the desk job and become an apprentice. And so the passion began.
Where did you train?
I trained at Vidal Sassoon. I joined their apprentice program, which saw me training at their Staff Training School one day a week completing my NVQ level two. I did that two days a week till I completed my NVQ level 3, then five days week for 6 months before qualifying into a salon. During that time I was trained by the amazing Annie Humphreys. It was the hardest, most fun and most emotional two years of my life, but it taught me so much about myself and the hairdressing industry.
What was your first job like?
My first job as a qualified hairdresser was at a salon in the City of London. As a young, just-qualified colourist is was tough gig. My clients were city bankers, PAs to directors and movers and shakers, so I had to learn pretty quickly that time, for them, was money. I had to do my job well, be very professional and not run behind. It was so much fun and the team there were amazing.
When did you decide you wanted to focus on colour?
I joke sometimes that it was when I took two hours pointing in a outline for a graduated bob on a training day that my decision was made! But seriously, everyone told me I was going to be a colourist and I rebelled for a while, but it was never a decision I really had to make. I love colour, colour loves me and has been a long happy partnership.
What is it about being a colourist that you love?
Im a self-confessed colour nerd. I love the psychology of colour – how its plays with our feelings and preconceptions. I love finding unusual colour mixes and finding someone that it would look amazing on. Having a client leave looking great because of the colour I mixed, chose and applied is one of the best feelings ever. I’m always looking for new combinations, new products and the illusive toner that doesn’t fade after time.
What is your average day like?
I would say I never have an average day – every day is completely different. Today I’m having a office day and at the moment all ‘free’ days are spent concentrating on building the new Mazella&Palmer colour courses for our Foundation and Salon Creative courses. I’m creating lectures, head sheets and learning plans for our first Colour course next month. It’s exciting working to a deadline and creating a a colour education program that answers the whys of colour as well as the hows.
At the weekend I was in Greece for a cut and colour seminar, and next week I’m in Finland. When I’m away, they are very long but very creative hours. We attend model calls, have hair preparation days, then show days. As well as making sure all the models are coloured, I dress them and make sure we have photos of everything for our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. When I’m at home, I see clients, visit product companies to keep updated on new and exciting products and research new collection ideas. Its never a dull day at Mazella&Palmer!
Do you still go on courses to boost your colour knowledge and techniques?
I think it’s really important to keep educating yourself, whatever level you’re at. We can never stop learning and there are always new advances in products and technology that can help us achieve great looks. For inspiration, seeing another colourist work can inspire you greatly with your own work too. They may have used a colour mixture you have never thought of, or placed it in a different way. With our education system at Mazella&Palmer we talk about the “why’s” and I really believe that why you do something is very important. Knowledge is the key to being a great successful hairdresser.
What piece of advice would you give your student self?
The harder your training gets, the more you will learn and the better you will be.