4 Ways To Break Out Of The Proverbial Box

 As artists, we hear a lot of people encouraging us to think outside the box.  To create things outside of our comfort zone. But what is this box that we always talk about?

Think about how Vidal Sassoon started combing out sections and cutting straight lines in the hair. He was a pioneer.  Now all of us do it. We cut pixies and bobs because of him. Before that it was all about a hairstyle holding style for at least a week. We used lacquer and rollers and clients sat under dryers. It's what normal was. It's a box!  Get it? 

You have to look at the box like it comes with a set of tools and instructions on how to create different looks. Don't get too comfortable with that box because there's an older box next to it with lots of history in it like secrets to the perfect Beehive, Victory rolls, pin curls, and snoods. You never know who needs their hair done for a 1920's Gatsby party!  Some people prefer the looks of the 70's and 80's.  Let's also not forget that all looks cycle back into trend. It can be a good thing! It's our job to create authentic looks with 21st century technology and make it easier or more extravagant....something they couldn't even think about doing back then. Now that's futuristic hair!


 So how do you even begin to get outside the box?

1. Take photos every day.  Of hair.  Of nature.  Of your salon.  Of tutorials.  Of color.  Try to keep only one of every ten or more you take and delete the rest. It will force you to learn how to edit the garbage from your life, to make choices, and to recognize what has real value and what is superficial.

2. Practice.  You should buy at least 4 mannequins every year and cut, color and style the hell out of them all!

3. Seek out others.  Having a support group is great. They will keep you motivated and inspire you to do more. Try and join a professional organization or actively support an industry related or supported cause.  Join hairbrained.me and visit daily.  Join a Raw Artists group near you.  If there isn't one, start one.  

4. Find techniques outside your box.  Breaking the mold as an artist is about choosing things you like and using what you know to push the envelope and strengthen your foundation. If you have always done foils, try to balayage some pieces in between just to get a feel for what has to happen to make it right. Don't you remember when the foil technique finally clicked for you and you were like, "Ooohhh that's what I need to be doing?!?!" Ever tried the S wave curls on long hair? Bust out those clips and marcel iron and pin a set up! How neat can you get them?  There's so many trends and classic looks coming back with a vengeance and we as hairdressers have to be ready! If you work with older stylists try to find time for them to show you some older techniques or styles. We can't rely on them to do all the roller sets and pin curls until there is no one left to do them! If everyone is relatively young in the salon consider hiring a professional to come teach vintage techniques. The point is to be eager to learn more. You're trying to get out of your comfort zone!


At Destroy the Hairdresser we encourage you to learn from the past so that you can be inspired to create looks for the future! Study closely the work of the Old Masters of Hairdressing. Know your history. Know your ‘roots’. If it weren't for our foreign fathers like Raymond Bessone and Vidal Sassoon, hair would still be teased to heavens gates and hair sprayed to hell and back. This is how you break the mold!  Now that we have cutting edge technology, hot tools galore, and way too many DVD's to watch in one's lifetime, there really is no excuse to as why you're not on your way to becoming the next big thing! So grab a mannequin or friend and pull up some tutorials. Stay with one technique until you perfect it. Then learn a new one. Take whatever technical classes you find the most interesting. And then retake some of the basics – again and again because you’ll likely never truly master them, and likely learn something new each time you revisit them. Stop aspiring and start doing. This will keep you very busy but it can't be helped. In my opinion, this is how you might, possibly, have a shot at breaking the mold.

Need tutorial videos? Subscribe on YouTube to these guys: