Look hues talking

BIGWIG STRATEGY Stephan Zenz says an experienced hairstylist should deflect from the facial flaws and highlight their most attractive feature  

Hairstylist Stephan Zenz is here to convert non-believers of hair colour to loving it

Stephan Zenz is a DJ-turned-hairstylist who discovered this field thanks to his mother's imploring remarks aka Indian style — “Beta kuch banke dikha”. His salon in the Philippines is a multi-functional venue that turns into a bar at night where live events and photo shoots take place, thanks to the clever swirling shelves that innocuously hide the hip and happening space that the salon takes on during the day.

Zenz was at Body Craft Salon to train the Creative Stylist Club of Wella Professionals in time for the Wella Trend Vision 2010, which “can be likened to the Miss Universe of hair dressing, where winners from different countries participate and try to create a total look, weaving emotions into the story that they try to create through hair, make-up and clothes,” says Zenz. Hairstylists under the age of 30 can participate by sending in photographic entries. The annual event is scheduled for September. “A hairstylist works in the personal space where usually doctors work. So it is very important to establish a relationship of trust and comfort with the client,” asserts Zenz. He believes that an experienced hairstylist should try to deflect from the facial flaws of the client and highlight their most attractive feature. To do so, one should find out about the lifestyle of the client, their requirements and their previous experience. “Be a good listener” says Zenz. Geometric shorter fringes and the clean looking purist flow are in. In the previous year textured hair, slicing and pointing were in vogue, which were difficult to manage and maintain. Zenz forecasts that the latest trends for 2010 would be super-colours — soft varying subtle hair colour that gives a 3D effect without contrast, fringes long till the tip of the nose, flicked over to the side or curved to give a self assured look. Styling with bandanas, clips, pins and other accessories that do not clamp the hair.

The bigwigs are trying to Indianise the global trend in India and work out their point of reference. “We are trying to get away from the prêt-a-porter trend to a personalised, made to measure one,” says Zenz.

Back in 1987 when Zenz went to China, colouring was not accepted by the locals who found it unsuitable for Chinese woman. “In present day China, more than 50 per cent of the female population have coloured hair.” It takes time to tip the cultural prejudice against coloured hair, which is often associated with bad reputation. In the Philippines, when he started out in 1990, women were afraid of the unknown. But, the colour back guarantee, which promised to go back to the original colour for free, helped clinch in more happy customers . Today even the household help colour their hair and sport it with equal zest .

“Colour makes life beautiful… the joy of life lies in colours. We are trying to overcome the obstacle and nonchalance in Indian clients and make them know that colour is great,” he says. Hair colour has been there for over 100 years. For Wella, it constitutes the core of their business. Hence, there is constant research on the side-effects to dispel the myths related to hair colour. Besides, women use it all around the world. “We are here to convert the non-believers to start loving hair colour, I'm like a missionary in hair colour.” India is a country of senses, flavours, colours. Every skin colour is different and the Indian woman cannot be generalised. They wear the most colourful saris. “How is it that everything else is colourful apart from their hair?” asks Stephan.