Secrets from the salon

Secrets from the salon

Eleven-time nominated UK Hairdresser of the Year, Errol Douglas, jetted in to Sydney to chat to Bh about Uma Thurman, Pixie Geldof, his top tips for battling the wet weather and always missing out on the prize…

What’s been the standout moment of your career to date?
Putting my shoes on the right foot. Today. You. I don’t know, a combination of things. Getting an MBE. But then again, there’s opening the shop, getting nominated [for British Hairdresser of the Year], constantly being up there as one of the top five [hairdressers] in London. I hope I do win [the title of British Hairdresser of the Year], that would be such a big story because I’ve been going for it constantly. It’s like getting a record right, one day it’s going to flooow.

What will you do if you win?
Probably go home! I wouldn’t believe it. I know what my predictions are for that Monday (the day the winner is announced). I build up to it – because you have to do a big show – and then you don’t hear anything. People always say why don’t you go to this person, let them tell you…No! Or you’ll be waiting for it to happen. I was once told that I should never cut corners or take shortcuts in life. Now the other dilemma is, if you do get it, do you turn it down? Imagine the stealth power.

Who’s your most exclusive client?
I would say Uma Thurman. I’ve never done her hair in the same place, there’s always different names, different hotels, and also, the first three times I did her hair I had to go to another room to get into a room to get into her room. But she is lovely, really friendly, always chatting about you, the kids…

Who’s the worst person ever to sit in your chair?
Cherie Blair. She would speak, but she’d appear quite dismissive and uninterested. Times like that you don’t really feel good about doing someone’s hair.

What are your pick of the winter trends?
I’ve gone for lots of shape and texture – heavy tops and choppier around the bottom. You need movement: not dead straight. Agness Deyn (pictured top, left) but the Pixie Geldof version, creamy, not white; it’s got a soft angle to it but still really skull-hugging.

And for the boys?
Can you believe it…flat tops are coming back. And I’m talking, European hair, Afro hair. Remember that awful Arnie Schwarzenegger type thing, the Universal Soldier look, it’s coming back. But more modern, chopped in, not just straight over.

Trends, own up, can everyone pull them off?
I think it does depend a lot of your face shape and who you are as a person. Your face shape could mean nothing if you can carry it off as a person, as a style icon. It’s about personality nowadays, not whether it can be plonked on your head. I’ve seen women come into the salon (celebrities and normal people) and they’ve bounced out just because they’ve had an empowering haircut. You know, that’s what it’s about.

Tips for fighting the rain please…
It’s all to do with the products you use, time and how you put it on. The majority of the time when people put frizz-ease products on, they apply too much and the hair goes lank, or people think the product is going to work instantly. Sometimes it doesn’t. It’s just like a shampoo and conditioner, use it for a week, two weeks, then you can make a conclusion. It’s the same old thing, you could be going out with someone and they’re like ‘I can’t eat that’, you know, if you give yourself a chance you might enjoy it.

Wise words Mr Douglas.

–    Sarah Macrae

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