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L’Oréal Colour Trophy – Winner Profiles

What inspired the winning looks and who are the hairstylists behind them? Hairnews chats to champions Stacy Fagan, L’Oréal Colour Trophy winner, Corinne Ward, Afro Category winner, Fabio Macchia, Male Category winner, and Lauren van den Berg, Rising Star winner.

Stacy Fagan – Hair at Stacy & Co, Greenside

“I came to Johannesburg from Rustenburg 30 years ago, with a dream I wanted to be the world’s best.”

Q: Had you entered Colour Trophy before?

A: Yes, I got through to the regionals and the finals in previous years. Then the competition stopped for a while and I was devastated because I love it – you have to expose yourself and your creativity! I am passionate about it.

Q: What did this win mean to you?

A: This win was especially sweet because as a person who has fought depression over the past few years, it showed me that no matter what you go through, you can rise from the ashes and succeed.

Q: Where did your inspiration come from?

A: I was eating a peach! I looked at it and loved the way the red colour melted into the gold. That was my inspiration – luckily I had recently attended colour melting education at L’Oréal, because you have to be technically correct in the way you use colours. It took me two weeks to lift my model’s hair – I was so careful because I wanted the best quality, healthiest result.

Q: How did you come up with your stunning total look?

A: I originally styled the hair in a flat bob, but when I went to Nic Bolton for the photo shoot, his assistant suggested that I fluff it out and it looked amazing. Of the 75 photos they took, I chose the one that showed movement. I was nervous about submitting it and even asked educator Taryn Bloem for advice – she said, if it speaks to your heart, then do it! I am glad I listened to her. The bob was a classic look and very French, but the movement added something extra to make it chic, sexy and fun. I bought her shirt for R60 at a charity shop – I liked it but then got it altered for my model as I thought it has a French Victorian feel which was very soft and suited her skin. I had the pants made to go with it.

Q: Is colouring your first love?

A: I have to say I love cutting and believe we need a lot more teaching on it. You can change someone’s look so quickly through a cut, and that brings a huge responsibility – hairdressers have a lot of power, and nobody can change a person’s emotions as fast as we can!

Q: How did you choose your model?

A: I actually submitted three ladies’ looks and two gents’ looks, but in my heart I liked this model the best – she is a ballet dancer and yoga instructor and knows how to carry herself on stage. The first question you always have to ask any model is whether they are confident on stage, and she was awesome – I was blown away by her!

Q: How did you feel when you won?

A: I have entered many competitions and always just missed out on the big one... When they called my name i was like a lunatic! That was me and my joy! I love my country– I have travelled a lot, that’s how I spend my money – it’s my happy place – but home is best! I want to bring the international trophy home for South Africa.

Q: How has the win influenced day to day salon work?

A: Well, I have already had referrals and new clients – the Top Billing footage was awesome and L’Oréal did so well for us here. I have also found I am more confident. I feel bolder to recommend changes, and also more confident to explain what is and is not possible for the health of the hair. And the biggest thing of all... to tell the client what it will cost! The joy of competition is that it is all about growth, and ultimately it will bring more value to the peace, joy and happiness of working in my salon, with my amazing staff!

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Corinne Ward and Fabio Macchia – Shag High Voltage, Port Elizabeth

“It was about showcasing ourselves out there for the public – the congratulations and hype in our town have been amazing!”

Q: How did you prepare for the competition?

Corinne: I was a bit stressed because we did it a bit differently - we created looks and only then started thinking about the theme. But it was great doing a major competition as a couple – the first time for us, and it worked!

Fabio: This has taught us how to prepare better for future competitions! I photographed my male model in a white polo neck and it became a huge challenge for the stage show because we were not allowed to change the outfit. We had to try everything from cutting the sleeves to tucking it in – we struggled because we had not thought about what would happen with the total look on stage!

Q: Was it important that your looks reflected your salon’s ethos?

Corinne: Yes, you want the person on stage to be an absolute true image of yourself, your salon and your space. I think that is why our looks were successful, because they were absolutely what we felt and what we love to create.

Fabio: Both the models reflected the work we do at Shag High Voltage. We feel the work we put out there has to reflect our brand – for example, gents are groomed and we love a cleaner look. The lines, the colour – visually, it must all be on trend.

Q: How did you create the Afro look?

Corinne: I have always had a passion for Afro hair. When L’Oréal launched Mizani i didn’t even have Afro clients but I got the stock, I wanted people to feel comfortable embracing their natural hair. I saw my model at a festival and put a photo of her on Facebook asking if anyone knew her. She has beautiful curly hair and I thought let’s take it to the extreme and make it blonde, probably the most difficult thing you can do with coarse, curly, dark hair! But it’s a way of inspiring the industry to work with different hair types and see where you can take curly hair. We need to embrace it, it’s just a case of advancing ourselves and our skills. Lifting the hair was a very long, slow process – mixing constantly and treating constantly. My model had the most amazing stage presence and carried the look off perfectly. There were only three supporters from PE in the audience but she got such huge applause because of her amazing personality.

Q: What about the men’s look?

Fabio: The total effect of the hair was important – my model didn’t have as much colour as the other finalists, but he had what he needed – for me it was about the placement and the effect it had on the style. It’s important to be precise because the judges know what they are looking for and there’s nowhere to hide when they examine the hair closely.

Q: Tell us about Shag High Voltage and your current location?

Fabio: We believe very strongly in the brand we have – if you see someone in the street, you should be able to tell they get their hair done at our shop! We have an extremely supportive clientele and they were behind us all the way – the shop is very well loved by clients! We have an extremely hands-on business – we as owners are the first to open in the morning and the last to leave. Because we as owners put everything in, our staff do too.

Q: And how do you manage your staff?

Corinne: We get a lot of people wanting to work here, and when we find someone we like, we will make sure they grow. We wanted to build a business where the hairstylists could do whatever they want to creatively – there are no rules. You can create yourself as a stylist here. This is your playground, your business runs behind your chair. We give you a building, great products and a vibe, but that chair is yours! We have a great team and work very closely with no staff turnover or major conflicts. We love what we do – we never work a day, just have fun!

Q: You made a very brave decision a while ago in moving your shop?

Fabio: We were close to a mall, and took a massive leap of faith moving to the Valley, where we opened in an old warehouse in the middle of nowhere, with no through traffic and a massive space to fill! Our fathers came to look at the space and said we were mad – we were just obsessed. We decided if we failed, we would fail big – it was such a risk. The only saving grace was that we thought we could move into the upstairs section and live there if we had to! But it ended up being the best business decision. For the first time our name matches our look and it all works together. We had no idea we would grow as fast as we have done.

Q: What are your future plans?

Corinne: We have big plans for the shop – one of the first changes will be to create an express beauty bar with specialised make-up in the upstairs section, when the tattoo studio moves out to larger premises. And I predict we will have a lot more competition winners coming out of this shop, because our staff are young and driven, and our experience has inspired them to enter everything they can next year, and into the future!

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Lauren van den Berg – DNA Salon, Bedfordview

“I wanted to create something out of the ordinary to showcase warm colours.”

Q: How did you create your winning look?

A: I actually didn’t do it for the Colour Trophy, but created it for my portfolio. India Choo and Bernadine Malan were doing a competition shoot and invited me to come along and join in. Then when I had done the shoot they suggested I enter it for the L’Oréal Colour Trophy Rising Star award.

Q: What was your inspiration for using these colours?

A: Everyone is afraid of warm colours – they love the pastels and greys and ash blondes. These are beautiful, but something out of the ordinary is different and exciting. I wanted to show the effects that warm colours can create.

Q: When did you start hairdressing?

I have been doing it since the beginning of 2017. After studying at Hydro College in Edenvale, I joined DNA. I have since become very close to India and Bernadine, who are my mentors, and have helped me so much with my journey – inspiring me and challenging me and throwing me into the deep end from time to time which is amazing!

Q: Did you always want to do hair?

A: I always loved hair, but after Matric there was pressure for me to attend university. I started studying a BA in journalism and then decided to change track and do hair. I am so happy where I am – there is so much creativity at this salon, competition work, and international travel. I am surrounded by people who are knowledgeable and skilled and also compete internationally! I won and was placed at the EOHCB competition this year so the bug has bitten and I would love to enter more competitions next year.

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