Long Hair Geniusby Martin Parsons
Martin, how did you start?
I entered the professional hairdressing industry in 1968. In those days updos were still in their heyday
for every occasion. Kenneth of New York, Alexandre of Paris, the Carita sisters and many more across the
globe created enduring classic styles that many upstyles are fashioned after even now.
Why did you choose special occasion hair?
Like all hairdressers, dressing hair up for weddings, parties and special events is an important part of our professional credits, its fun and the results can make your day. But dressing hair up is also a market niche, a crowd pleaser and interesting to watch. I've chosen it to show stylists simple ways to expand their natural talents, increase revenues in the salon, and develop their reputation for beautiful hair for any occasion.
What steps do you consider the most important in your career?
Experience is the best reward, the best advancement and the best sense of accomplishment. Discipline, practice and studying all forms of visual arts can give anyone an edge in beauty. Believing in your ideas and your style and sticking with it brings you closer to the goal everyday.
How do your style patterns and tech niques differ from the other?
My style of dressing hair is based on unique sectioning techniques, a simple pinning technique
called «folding», crossing the first pin inserted with a second to «lock» the hair in place and
detail created by natural and classic disciplines of lacing, knotting, banding and plaiting.
What do you analyze first when you're choosing a hairstyle for a client?
How they see their hair looking around their face… if they prefer the style to be full or closer to the head… do they feel more comfortable with their hair in a naturally textured style or something more concocted and eye catching… or more simple and understated, yet beautifully done. Everyone is different… a professional transposes that information into a style that is just right.
Fashion is short-lived. Does fashion in gala styles exist?
Fashion that doesn't work/sell is short-lived. Ideas and shapes in both hair and clothing eventually becomes
a classic/favorite that remains for decades with creative updates and interpretations of the theme of that style.
Special event styles do exist but each hair design is detailed by the stylist to express himself/herself.
The greatest hairdressers in the world work everyday in salons, not on stages and editorials.
The most beautiful work in the world is by individual stylists, not by a specific person. We are all inspired by others, but the results are unique and often not documented in photographs.
Making a show
Your shows are always dazzling and attract lots of people. Did you ever learn to organize such events?
Thanks for the compliment. I feel passionate about the industry and its effect on the world we live in. I am a teacher of change. I think hairdressing audiences feel comfortable with me. I love to laugh, simplify and share
things as life goes by. And the secret of a successful show… Understanding that when hairdressers attend a show, they want to listen to someone who has current information, logical approaches to add to their own style
of working, and an attitude that encourages them to look forward with their clients, feel good about themselves and accept that their work in life is meaningful to their salon, their life and their profession. That is what my
shows are about.
Can you tell us a funny or an interesting incident from your experience?
I once styled a bride in my early career with a hairpiece perched on the top. If she hadn't leaned forward to pray, the hairpiece that wasn't pinned at the bottom wouldn't have flipped over… not pretty after the amen part…. Strange, I never saw her again.