How we express our outward appearance has always been a construct of who we are as human beings. A shade of lipstick or a choice of outfit can reflect everything from how we’re feeling to intrinsic personality characteristics that we wish to show off to the world. Additionally, an update in hair colour or a fresh new cut has shown the potential to instantly boost self-confidence and leave clients feeling empowered. Now, more than ever, as clients return to more structured silhouettes and the embrace of natural texture, the haircut has become the ultimate accessory. Below KEVIN.MURPHY DESIGN.DIRECTOR for Cutting, Pascal Van Loenhout shares his thoughts on this and tips for choosing the best cut for your client.
“After all, your haircut is the ultimate accessory to complete your total look.” — Pascal Van Loenhout
On the hunt for a personalised look, stylists have the ability to individually tailor their haircuts in order to create suitability for their client — something Pascal says is one of the “most underestimated parts when it comes to establishing the right cut.” When it comes to creating this connection, Pascal adds that “The relevance of a great haircut depends on the length, shape, proportion and texture.” Getting this balance just right is the key to a bespoke style and the ability to increase your client’s self-esteem.
Visual or verbal communication is used during the consultation to help both the stylist and the client achieve a mutual understanding. Lending a little advice, Pascal knows that if you focus on suitability initially, before beginning the creative journey, it will narrow down the options, making it easier to choose the best cut.
Stylists need to consider the hair type, texture and density, as well as the facial proportions. The options they have for honouring the hair type or manipulating the face shape are limitless especially when each new client that sits in your chair is a breath of fresh inspiration.
“The inspiration for me starts with a visual reference, it can be from a sub-culture magazine or an underground area in street culture. For everything you can visualise, there is a way to materialise. I like the raw format to start from, a little rough around the edges. I often aim for a different take on the perception of beauty by exposing any awkward features and making them look pleasing to the eye.” — Pascal Van Loenhout
The confidence of having a technical background in education cannot be underestimated when it comes to cutting hair. It gives you the ability to play the game of cutting by the rules of the craftsmanship with the ongoing confidence of being in control over it. Of course, it will be the awareness of how to implement your feeling, vision and ultimately your taste that will break barriers to make you think out of the box and create magic for your clients.
When it comes to looking at the next few seasons, Pascal adds, “I am very confident that after the pandemic there will an evolution where the value of a haircut is based on style. Fast-moving trends will create newfound iconic style statements.” Individuals will make choices based on their lifestyle, with an emphasis on personal details within any given haircut. Overcomplicated haircuts will turn into effortless, minimalistic but well-executed haircuts. There will be a rejuvenation of timeless styles from the past to revive the aesthetics for a brand new style statement.
Pascal’s Expert Tips:
When asked what his must-have’s are in his cutting kit, Pascal said “My KEVIN.MURPHY CURVED.SCISSORS, CUTTING.COMB, clips, plus my go-to product I can’t live without — STAYING.ALIVE — which I use on all of my clients.”
Pascal is a true believer that honing your skills, educating and inspiring yourself is what will keep your clients coming back — it is what sets you apart as a stylist.
For more daily cutting inspiration be sure to follow @kevin.murphy and @pascalvanloenhout.official on Instagram and to find out about the latest cutting classes from the KEVIN.MURPHY EDUCATION team, speak to your local distributor.