There is always some excitement from stylists and clients alike when news of a hair show rolls around. I’ve come to understand that from a clients perspective this is the place stylists go to learn new techniques and to prepare for the new trends and styles we will be asked to create in the upcoming season. For some stylists, it seems to be the place where we promote and market to our clients that we are furthering our education, and how we become more ‘skilled’ stylists just by attending. I’m only one person and as many opinions as there are on what a hair show really is, I’ll give you mine for what is worth.
Hair Shows are the place where companies SELL themselves to hairstylists. Whether they are selling a product, image or an idea these shows are filled with flashing lights, big screen tv’s, platform artists sporadically snipping hair between busting out the running man or a pirouette. These events are called ‘shows’ for a reason and I have always been highly entertained. There will always be the odd lecture on business, creating photo shoots, marketing, salon design, etc but what part of those lectures (and highly entertaining dance routines) am I able to bring back to the Studio and improve the day-to-day experience of a client? Not much really.
Don’t misunderstand – hair shows are instrumental to the industry by spotlighting new products, networking, providing opportunities to enter hair competitions, building awareness and a sense of community to our industry. They are a place that push stylists to dream big and inspire them to create like the artists they truly are. I’m sure they provide much more for some stylists that I can’t even begin to comprehend and for those stylists where that holds true I’m immensely grateful that the industry provides the hair shows they do.
What I mean to express is that contrary to popular belief, hair shows are rarely the place we can learn something to bring back TODAY and improve a clients experience. Nor do they provide access to the smaller brands and suppliers who may have amazing products to offer, but simply cannot afford the price tag of having a booth at the hair show to get that product in front of stylists. Classes of true technical education and unknown but wonderful products must be researched and found through hard work and persistence by the salon you frequent or by your hairstylist. Hair shows are merely a tool, not an answer, in the quest for higher learning.
So, should you be disappointed if your stylist hasn’t attended the latest hair show? Not really. For a good look at upcoming trends and new products a good scroll through any industry inundated social media site can keep stylists abreast of what’s going on. What I’d suggest you be more concerned with was the last time your stylist truly educated themselves. When was the last time they attended a hands on class, pulled out a mannequin and practised something new to perfection? When was the last time they said to you ‘I’d love to try this new technique I just learned at a class!’? Those are the thing you really want to listen for.
Thanks for listening,