My outlook on hair is that it is another form of creative expression. Being someone who went to art school before hair school I can’t help but see the similarities. To me the transition has been just as fulfilling because I still get to use my creative skills every day.
When you look at hair, art, and design there are a lot of parallels. In hair we have to use our imagination and creative problem-solving in order to create the desired look for clients. In art, a blank canvas is an opportunity and every client comes to us with their canvas (their hair). This is when creative problem-solving truly comes into play because you were working on a canvas that other artists before you have worked on.
Initially, we study the shape of our clients hair and work with that shape to create the most desirable form for their facial features. Then comes colour, where we have to work with their natural colouring as well as their artificial colouring to create our vision. To me colour is a lot like painting, our formulations are a mix of the primary colours just like when you paint. All this while figuring out the most flattering tones and which colours truly work best together. Popular today is the balayage technique, this free hand painting on your clients hair makes you truly feel like an artist. Each technique we learn can be expressed uniquely creating our own touch!
When it comes to styling, it really reminds me of sculpture work. You are creating a desired texture with product to best showcase your form and colour. Also popular today is hair tattooing, which is like drawing into your clients’ hair. It’s so much fun doing that kind of work because you are challenged drawing on an uneven surface!
In regards to inspiration, like art and design, it is better to pull it from unlikely places. In hair, if you’re always looking at hair photos you are not pulling from abstract inspiration. I believe true creativity in hair comes from other places. You may be inspired by colour in nature, art, your daily life, food, and an infinite amount of other places. I think the combination of creativity and technical skill in hair makes it so fulfilling.
Like art, sometimes you get an artist’s block in hair. You may go through times where you feel uninspired. I think that is why education is so important. It challenges you to keep learning and expand your abilities. I am always left full of inspiration and fully motivated after a class.
Hairstylists use their creativity to create a look for their clients that suits their personality and lifestyle. Like design, you have certain parameters you have to work within and I think the hardest thing is controlling your creativity.
Morgan McLaren is a recent graduate of Delmar College. She is currently apprenticing at Karma Salon in Calgary, AB. You can call 403-282-2485 to book your hair service with her. You can also check her out on Instagram @morganm_hair
no gimmicks. just great education
*All images are used courtesy of Morgan McLaren*