Stuart Phillips And Team Style Hair At The Ideal Home Exhibition, Plucking People From Audience With Short, Medium And Long Hair
For the very first time the Ideal Home show at Christmas were going to incorporate a catwalk show and hair demonstrations into their exhibition; the idea was to choose a well known hairdresser and team to demonstrate on stage their latest hair trends!
The PR behind the Ideal Home contacted me and asked if I was interested in being their celebrity hair partner, considering the exhibition was over a hundred years old and probably the most famous in the UK, I was honoured to be part of this!
Although I was very happy to work at the Ideal Home Show, I wasn’t really interested in doing the actual fashion show, reason being, I’ve worked on so many of these before and these days I prefer something more challenging, like plucking people out of an audience and re-styling their hair. I would personally be performing haircuts and my other two artistic members, Carol-Ann Beaumont and Lara Clark would perform hair-up’s and styling hair, this would make up a complete range of different hairdressing skills. We couldn’t unfortunately demonstrate with colour because that would take too long and besides there wouldn’t be anywhere to wash the hair!
My team and I were asked to do two slots on Wednesday 16th November and two on Sunday 20th November 2011.
Picking people out of an audience and cutting their hair isn’t an easy task, reason being, the 30 minutes that we had on stage would be cut down to about 15, this is because while I’m cutting I would also be interviewed by a presenter and a Q & A from the audience, well you know what us men are like at multitasking!!!
Lara also loves this type of challenge but Caron-Ann not so much, thing with Caron-Ann although she’s a top hairdresser by every sense of the word, she prefers to do hair behind closed doors rather than in front of camera, with a few pretty pleases, she said OK! I love to show off her artistic flair, really proud of her work! Then there’s Lara who’s very artistic and loves new challenges, in fact she’s very similar to me and we end up doing lots of different hair stuff together.
A week before the exhibition the three of us got together to discuss what we were going to do on stage, the only problem was we wouldn’t exactly know until we saw who the chosen person was, I just knew we’d have to make a very fast decision, this is where our experience would kick in, from the time people put their hands up we would probably have about 10 seconds to chose and get it right, the worst thing that could happen is to disappoint our chosen model and then get them to sit back in the audience! that’s just too embarrassing, as professionals getting it right first time is very important.
On the morning of November 16th I was really enthusiastic in getting to Earls Court a little earlier, to soak in the atmosphere and get confident as quickly as possible. I had so much on my mind, one being the few thousand leaflets to hand out, I was working out the best way to do this, I physically couldn’t do it myself but was hoping the staff who worked for the exhibition wouldn’t mind helping, also was thinking how we were going to set up our equipment on stage, this was difficult because there were all different artists performing prior to our slot and would only have a minute or two to set up, I just took a few deep breaths and thought we’re all professional here so it should run pretty smooth!!!
It was about an hour to go before we were due on stage, the first thing I did was meet the team behind the exhibition and also the presenter, the team couldn’t do enough for me, they also said that they would hand out the leaflets, PHEW. The presenter was really cool and the great thing was, as soon as I approached her I recognized her from my social circles, her name’s Lisa Nash and has a great personality, fantastic choice of presenter.
About 15 minutes to go and the artists on stage before us were dancers and were really good, they got the crowd going with good dance music and fancy moves, generating a big crowd before us was probably a good thing, my logical thinking was hopefully the audience would feel so comfortable and wouldn’t want to move! Although after their performance was finished I did think my team and I had a lot to live up to!!
We were all waiting back stage, there was about 2 minutes to go and Lisa was first on stage, she was explaining to the audience what was about to happen!
The next second I heard the words “Ladies and gentleman please put your hands together for Stuart Phillips and his artistic team” I was first out, followed by Caron-Ann, then Lara, as we walked out people were clapping, Lisa then approached me and asked what sort of haircut I’d be performing on stage etc, then Lara and Caron-Ann were interviewed.
I then asked the audience who would like a makeover, quite a few hands went up and one particular young lady caught my eye, so I asked her to join me on stage, she received a massive clap from the audience and then I explained what I would like to do!
I made this an open consultation, meaning the audience were listening to my professional consultation at the same time as my model, her name was Alice btw. I explained to the audience that Alice’s layers and overall hair shape was too square and flat for her face and by leaving most of the length and cutting a few inches from the layers, this would give Alice a little more roundness and softness to her face and also give her hair a lot more texture and movement. I further explained that you don’t have to cut a lot of hair in order to make a big difference to the shape, it’s about rearranging the weight in such a way that it can have drastic effects to the look of the hair, (without losing too much length for this particular haircut). Alice felt happy that I wasn’t going to chop too much off the length but very excited about me changing the shape, think she was just curious about how I could make this change without cutting much off the length, all will be revealed soon Alice!!
As I only had 30 minutes this would need to be a dry cut, which is the fastest way, It was lucky that Alice’s hair was freshly washed! I did the majority of the haircut with her standing up, this gave me a more accurate cut and also easier for the audience to watch. I did mainly freehand cutting, which involved slicing and chopping into the hair, this adds tons of texture and movement.
Lara styled a lady’s hair also chosen from the audience, her name was Annika and I remember she had a fantastic personality, Lara was lucky finding her. Annika had very straight fine hair, so Lara added movement, texture and a slight wave, not that easy when the hair’s that fine!
Wrapping the hair around the irons, this produces a soft curl. Once Lara finished she added a product to help create more volume, she then roughed it up with her hands to create even more fullness and texture!
All three of us managed to finish on time, otherwise may have been embarrassing, we had to be cleared off the stage in 30 minutes as there was a gospel choir about to perform straight after us!
Once we walked off the stage we had two hours to relax before we were back again. Things should get easier now as we were familiar with our surroundings and importantly how it would play out. Two hours seemed to pass very quickly and before we knew it we were back on stage and picking more models from the audience, the second time around was definitely easier.
By the end of the day we were all pretty tired, it’s not that easy to get on a stage and cut hair, it zap’s a lot of your energy but was great fun!
Four days later we were back with a vengeance , all pro’s at this stage so we definitely knew what to expect and therefore didn’t need to get there early as before.
Caron-Ann, Lara, Marley (who is one of my juniors at the salon and would be filming for me) and myself all met at the salon the morning of Sunday 20th November, unfortunately our car was late so we all arrived with only 5 minutes to go, I did panic a bit because everything was timed and you couldn’t be late, it’s so annoying because when you’re running behind everything else around seems to slow you down, that’s life I suppose! When we arrived at Earl’s Court we all rushed to the first floor, trying to dodge around as many people as possible, we literally got there with about 10 seconds to spare, as soon as the organizers saw us they looked very relieved, bless them, then almost immediately Lisa was on stage introducing the next guest artist, which was us! Without much of a breather we all walked on stage and Lisa immediately approached me for an interview, following that I started to look in the audience for potential models, (the audience seemed twice the size today) I chose a lady called Luda, she had long out of shape hair and I knew I could improve it, although I was being brave picking her as her hair was quite dry and I would have a bit of a task trying to improve the quality of her curl, I knew for this to look good I would need to dry the hair using a product for frizzy, dry and damaged hair and would need to be dried with a diffuser. Thirty minutes didn’t seem enough time for this particular look, I really must love a challenge!!
Caron-Ann was the first to finish but that didn’t surprise me as she’s so fast when it comes to hair up, Caron did a great job of making her hair look pretty. Lara was the next to finish, I really like what Lara did, it made her look quite funky. I was last to finish as I had to do a cut and blow-dry, I finished with literally seconds to go, I was very happy with my cut as the hair quality did look a lot better and so did the shape.
Think I’ll need to cut around 4-5 inches, then after I’ll add some strong hold mouse mixed with a serum, I’ll take half inch sections and twist the hair around numerous times, the twisting helps improve the look of the curl. To finish off I’ll hold the diffuser on the hair for a frizz free look!! OK enough hair talk, let’s see the finished result!!
Caron-Ann chose a lady what seemed to me as fairly difficult to put up, as her hair wasn’t that long it was about bob length. I think Caron also must love a challenge in front of a few hundred people!
Lara chose a really funky lady with orange looking coloured hair, she would change the texture of her hair using curling irons and products, as soon as Lara chose her, the model seemed very excited to be on stage!
We had one more slot to go, this also went well and after we finished we all headed to the champagne bar and relaxed.
It was a great two days at Earl’s Court, I met some lovely people and had a great time working with my two talented hairdressers.
A few minutes of video on stage at the Ideal Home Show: