3,000 hairdressers, salon owners and manufacturers jetted to Cancun last weekend to celebrate Farouk System’s 50 years of hairstyling, innovation and ethics withFounder Farouk Shami and his entire extended hairdressing family. The biennial conference combined education, inspiration, entertainment (like appearances by superstars Flo Rida and Natalie La Rose!) and plenty of exciting brand news, including the announcement that singer and actress Zendaya (who is known for changing up her hair) will be the new celebrity ambassador for the brand.
Farouk, Farouk Systems President Basim Shami and Marketing & Development Manager Celeste Figueroa each made appearances on stage to announce upcoming launches, including a new CHI Tea Tree line, developments in travel tools, a curl line and 65 new CHI Liquid Color Shine shades. Basim also discussed the brand’s plans to partner with Esquire and NYLON magazines in the upcoming year.
“To be a hairdresser is to love people,” said Farouk. “I’m proud to be a hairdresser and give back to the profession that I adore.”
BTC’s Mary Rector-Gable made a surprise visit to the conference to present her longtime friend, Farouk, with an award.
“We have to show up for the people who show up for us,” she shared on stage. “Farouk, you have the wisdom of a child…because a child doesn’t know what he’s not capable of doing. He thinks everything is possible. You have always thought that everything was possible.”
During the conference, Farouk Systems educators demoed new techniques, offered glimpses into upcoming trends and assisted in hands-on sessions. At the end of the five-day event, attendees returned home with plenty of inspiration and education to take back with them into the salon. Here are a few of our favorite tips.
- Mastering the Hard Part.For best results when creating the insanely popular men’s hard part, it’s very important to establish the part first with clippers and then come back through with a straight razor or feather razor. “When working with your razor to create a hard part,” says Joe Anthony, “plant the razor firmly on the scalp, then wiggle it up and down or side to side to make the line cleaner and more polished.”
- Trendy Fauxhawk. Want to create an on-trend, fauxhawk updo on a short-haired client? Easy, says Anna Cantu. Simply section hair into small ponytails from the nape to the top of the head before twisting and knotting for a fuller-looking, volumized style.
- Keep ‘Em Coming Back.“At the end of an appointment, never ask your client, ‘Do you want to rebook?’” saysMillennium Systems International Founder and CEO,John Harms. “Instead, recommend a time for them to come back and write it down on a piece of paper, like a prescription and say, ‘This is when I’d like to see you next.’”
- Precision is Key.Precise haircuts (think quintessential Sassoon), call for smaller sections, more finger pressure and, when working with the scissor-over-comb technique, using the finer side of your comb, says Patrick Kalle. The wide side of the comb is more suitable for shaggy, texturized cuts.
- Direct it Down.When clipper-cutting a fade, after directing clippers in an upward motion, you can flip them in a downward direction to help smooth and blend the cut, says Joe Anthony.
- Pomp it Up.For old-school, pompadour-style volume, use a nylon bristle brush to grab hair and push it away from you. Then pull hair toward you, and blow-dry at the highest level while holding in place, says Maurice den Exter.
- Men’sGrooming.“Instead of asking your male clients if they want you to trim their eyebrows, ear hair, mustache, etc., just do it!” says Joe. “Men don’t really know what they want, so it should be more of a recommendation. They’ll keep coming back to you because they’ll appreciate that you did that.”
- Silence Your Ringer.Celebrity Stylist and Key Hairdresser on the popular TV show, “Scandal,” Patrick Kilian, says his number one tip for aspiring TV hairdressers is to make sure your ringer is turned off on set! “On ‘True Blood’ if your ringer went off during a take, they had a road kill toad that props had laminated and put on a lanyard, and you had to wear it until someone else’s phone went off!” he says.
- Find the Right Angle.When setting up at a photo shoot, find out your models strong side before you begin styling, says Rocky Vitelli. “Ask your photographer,” says Rocky. “They will be able to recognize this. And then make sure to do the detailing on that side.”
- Cheat Volume. Want to make hair look fuller on set of a photo shoot? “You can cheat!” saysTammy Mixon. “Simply pull all the hair forward, and use duck bill clips to hold it forward for the duration of the shoot.”
- Upstyling Ah-Ha. For upstyles like the one seen below, it’s necessary to create diagonal back subsections, but to curl the hair toward the face, says Albert Luiz. “This was my biggest ah-ha moment,” said The Salon at ULTA Artistic Team Member, Rachel Bettis. “It’s perfect for creating a look that can be very glamorous by adding tighter curls or more youthful with just a little texture.”