Five minutes with: Mana Dave

How did you first get into hairdressing?

By accident. The first salon I worked at had a men’s boutique clothing range that I helped to produce for a few years. The clothing and salon operations were under the same roof, so I gained a really strong insight into the day to day running of the salon environment, the interaction with clients and the creativity achieved in a relatively short timeframe. The salon was going through a change over in staff and needed a new assistant stylist, so I had a chat with the salon owner and the very next day I began my new career as a hairstylist.

What do you like about being a hairdresser?

It’s a career that is both creative and people focussed. There’s a real “feel good” factor to what we do. You have the ability to impact the way a person feels about themselves because of a look that you create for them, you can change their state of mind – it’s such an amazing experience.

What does your role as Creative Director at Blaze involve?

It’s both an interesting and diverse role but primarily I focus on the “creative” component of Blaze and work to ensure that everything we do has our Blaze stamp on it. Our team has been fortunate to win and place in some high profile industry competitions and we really encourage that, so I help our stylists to streamline their concepts and oversee model selection and styling; as well as coordinating our photoshoots. Together with a core team, we are also responsible for our in-house training programme that ensures all of our staff are continually “upskilling” and have an awareness of current trends.

What’s the motto for hair at Blaze?

Our catch phrase is “Blaze loves you!” That really encapsulates what our philosophy is about. We have a genuine concern for you and your hair and we express that through our environment, our service and the way we care for your hair. We love hair that looks uber shiny, feels healthy and moves.

What look are you loving right now?

Shorter shapes are really big at the moment, especially when combined with really long disconnected fringes. Worn sleek or with wave, these shorter cuts are ultra modern but still very feminine.

If you could style any celebrity’s hair, who would you choose and why?

Kate Moss, she is uber stylish. It’s been cool to watch her transform from her early waif days to the style icon/modern mum that she’s become. Kate has a really understated cool quality to her sense of style and always seems really effortless in her appearance.

What is the latest trend for blondes this winter?

Blondes get really scared when you mention the word warm but in winter, having a slightly warmer version of your colour makes you look uber healthy even if you’ve lost your summer tan. Add more depth with soft light brandy and caramel tones and take the edge off your summer platinum blonde with a splash of honey.

For those blondes still wanting to maintain a lighter look, then play with the trend for dark to light colour play. Wear a colour similar to your natural tone closer to the scalp and let it blend into more lighter tones on the ends.

And redheads?

Copper is definitely the new red. Copper is the perfect tone for redheads during this winter with it’s richness and vibrancy, it’s a high impact colour that is very fashion forward. To enhance this shade, speak to your colourist about the idea of adding dimension with both lighter and darker versions of the same colour.

What about brunettes?

Brunettes often dread the idea of colouring their hair because they fear the colour may appear too red or brassy. The new mahogany violet shade is a great trend for darker hair in winter to add richness without unwanted warmth.

What about the cut? What styles should we be asking our hairdresser for?

Chat with your stylist about incorporating some type of underlayering into your cut to create more movement and versatility in your styling. Shorter shapes are definitely big for winter, but if longer hair works for you, then your stylist may suggest heavy shaping through the front area, so that when you pull your length back, you can create the appearance of a shorter cut.

Is there any particular hairstyle or colour that makes you cringe?

Any haircolour that makes your hair look and feel seriously “munted”! Hair should always, always look and feel beautiful.

Are there any current trends overseas that you hope are going to make it Down Under?

Kiwi women are really great at embracing new hair trends in shape and colour and aren’t precious about keeping length. There is definitely, however, a big trend overseas for your hair to look done with an emphasis on good blowaving and hot tool styling and that’s one thing we may need to work on.

Speak with your stylist about the idea of having a styling lesson with them to make the most of your shape and get hot tips on how to achieve some different looks from that cut.

Five minutes with: Lance Blanchette

In Australia to create and style the hair direction for the Nicola Finetti Spring/Summer 2009/10 show at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, MiNDFOOD caught up with Lance Blanchette, hair guru, Joico International Artist and co-owner of The Lounge Hair Salon.

You used to be in banking – a very different career from hairdressing.

You know what? I’ve always said I don’t really find it that much different because I’m still dealing with people. I’m still taking people’s dreams and ideas from their mind and instead of putting it in their pocket book, I’m putting it on their head.

How long have you been hairdressing?

I think it’s about 13 years now.

What do you specialise in?

I hook into a little bit of everything. I colour and cut, do motivational speaking, and things like fashion week or other shows. I really have a good cross-pollination of doing it all but I haven’t found out what I like the best yet. I’m still kind of just taking it as it comes.

Do you have much say in the development of the Joico products?

Yeah, sometimes. There are a couple of great people that are working in LA right now that request a lot of feedback [about the Joico products]. We have a new line called Age Defy which actually came out of a game.

We were down in LA for training and one of the games we played was “if you could develop any hair care product, what would it be.” And so we all came up with these ideas about what we thought would be good and one of the groups said “hey what about something that is anti-ageing” and that led to the product line.

It’s funny you say that as I’ve noticed a lot of shampoos and conditioners to do with the age of your hair are starting to saturate the market. Up until now I’ve never thought about how your hair ages.

Well we all spend an awful lot of money on stuff that screams “keep me young” and I guess an anti-ageing hair line was the next thing on the list.

What’s great about the Age Defy range is that it addresses peoples concerns like “my hairs not as shiny as it used to be”, or “my hair is fuzzy and sticks out all over the place and has no control”. The most exciting product in the line, is a serum which actually reverses the greying process and actually starts to re-colour your hair. And this isn’t me just talking crazily, this stuff works.

Do you start to use it when you see grey hairs coming through?

For sure. If you’re going grey then your hair is a prime candidate. We’re also working on something that will put hair back on your head if you are balding.

How would you describe your hairdressing style?

I’m sort of multi-faceted. I used to do a lot of photography when I was a kid and I like black and white photography. I like the contrast, the hard lines, and the masculinity of it. And I’m kind of that character as well. I really like the discipline of “this is the way it’s going to be” with hairdressing. But I also like the freedom of being able to break the rules and let my creativity flow.

Do you prefer to do creative styles?

I hate doing editorial work. All the grey hair on my head is from me doing photo shoots. I really have a hard time being on the other side of the camera – I prefer to be in front of it. For me a photograph has to capture a verb and an essence of what’s going on not just a moment in time. It’s got to have a story that takes you past the picture. And with hair photography you can’t capture that whole story behind the look, you only get a frozen moment.

What international trends are reigning supreme at the moment?

The most recent one that I know inspired many people to jump off their bandwagon was when Posh Spice went for the asymmetrical bob. The last time a following like that ever happened was with Jennifer Aniston when Friends first started. I think it’s really important to understand what trends are happening out there, but to look at the person that’s right in front of you and adapt that trend to that person. It’s a bit like watching a runway show when you see something you like and you think “wow that’s crazy. I could never wear that, but how could I make somebody wear it in a more normal way?”

Surely there are some hairstyles that only suit a certain face shape or hair type?

You get clients that come into the salon brain washed and say “oh I could never wear a fringe or I could never go blonde.” That’s not true. Anybody can wear anything. It’s just a matter of finding the right type of fringe or the right type of blonde that works for you.

Do you think all face shapes suit a fringe, is it just a matter of what style you go for?

Yes, but when you’re working with some extreme face shapes you have to be very careful with what you’re doing, so obviously there are some exceptions. Lets put it this way – not everyone can wear something that is fashionable.

And what about bobs, are they still fashionable?

Oh they’ll never go. They’re a classic shape as is the one length trim. The bob is a shape that will never go anywhere.

How important is the hairdresser in the deciding process?

Ninety per cent of having a good haircut is the consultation. If you don’t like the hairdresser, get the hell out of there. Or, if they don’t like you, get out of there. Angles, shapes and lengths change the proportion of a persons face so much. When you are carving into someone’s hair, it is all about finding the right proportions and fine-tuning the haircut to suit that person.

What look are you loving at the moment?

You know what, I don’t want to answer that because I don’t love anything and I don’t hate anything. I just don’t like to get stuck in a rut. I always say to my clients, “I hope you don’t like it too much because we’re going to change it next time.”

Do this mean you don’t have any pet hates when it comes to hair?

I hate it when hairdressers don’t finish things well and the neckline is untidy. I hate it when the client isn’t happy with the hairstyle but they don’t tell the hairstylist. If you went to a restaurant and spent a $100 on a meal, you’d be sure to tell the waiter if it was terrible. It should be the same with hair.

Do you have a favourite celebrity hairdo?

One person who I love and who really rocks my world is Rihanna. She’s a beautiful woman and she wears anything well. Every time I see her, it’s like “wow”. She really is very bold. The thing that I really like about her is that she just wears her hair the way she wants. She doesn’t follow trends.

What is you favorite Joico product?

The Humidity Blocker from the Joico Design Collection range. It’s a really funky looking line, its sexy, its sassy, it feels good and it works. The thing that is really cool about the Humidity Blocker is how it cuts down my blow dry time when I’m working with clients and their hair doesn’t expand to huge proportions.