Chapter One: The Meeting
After some technical difficulties (on my end) I found myself staring at three members of Hairfucker Studio in St. Petersburg. Maria, Kirill, and Mira. They were generous to stay late on a Sunday night - there is an eight hour time difference between New York and Russia - and Skype with Destroy the Hairdresser. The Art Director for Hairfucker, Kirill, spoke the most English and as I only had 'Preevet' under my belt in terms of knowing Russian, the four of us began our conversation about life, atavisms in hair, creating works of art, revolution, and not giving a fuck.
Chapter Two: The Space
Hairfucker Studio is a very open loft/warehouse space that serves many purposes. It is an art gallery, photo studio, performance space, hair salon, class space, and has the ability to transform to meet whatever needs are being asked. It looks utilitarian; white walls, large multi-use conference tables that have mechanisms in them to roll mirrors up for the salon or roll them down into the table for business. There are stylist chairs, fold out chairs, work tables, desks, all placed in random places; possibly left in mid-transformation. A brightly lit main room has mini lofts inthe corners with steps and mood lighting built into them. There are random props like a fire hydrant, a globe, a sculpture mixed into the décor as well as pieces of art. A giant stuffed bunny nailed to a cross and draped with blue Christmas lights hangs on a wall, observing Hairfucker Studio.
Chapter Three: The Services
Go to the Hairfucker website. Go right now. Go in Google Chrome, though, because you will need the translation function. Spend some time perusing how the service menu and other aspects of the website are translated. Hairfucker Studio offers cuts, color, style, and specialty looks just like a traditional salon. They also offer fantasy looks and photo shoots. One service that is not traditional is called 'Color Surprise' (translated from Russian). If you choose this, you sit in a chair and the stylist can do whatever they want. It is a highly requested service.
Art Director Kirill is very passionate about this, so much so that his company bio states (now keep in mind this is translated through Google) " A real brutal man. Combining professionalism and artsy devilish charm, he sees his main task of the formation of an attractive image for the clients of the opposite sex. Those customers who are not ready to accept his idea simply choose another master.' That right there is brutal in the most metal form of the word. I once approached a world renowned tattoo artist with a concept for a sleeve and he turned me down - he didn't like my concept. He chooses what he wants to do or he doesn't do it. How badass is that? Kirill is the hairdresser version of my tattoo artist.
Haircuts with Directors start at 4500 ruble; roughly $77 USD. A fascinating service offered is Haircut Bangs/Correction Whiskey for 3 ruble. We did not speak about this during our conversation as it had been established that Google Translator wasn't totally accurate. Color staining = Haircolor Services. Part of me...ok a lot of me...is enchanted by how the translator makes their language sound like beautiful poetry and lends these amazing artists an air of mystery. Just look at the translation of the Hairfuckers describing a short haircut:
Short haircuts give the most opportunities to draw lines at the expense of some signs and emotion on his face. This is their magic. Because in the case of long hair all the main lines remain at the bottom. Then reverse the human species can bang - its length or inclination play a very big role.
Fuck yes we want that magic in our lives.
Chapter Four: The Work
Do not pass this section by. Take five minutes and soak up each image. These are hairdressers and models from halfway around the world creating art.
Chapter Five: The Politics
It is medicine from the color of depression.
At the time of the conversation, protesters in the United States were starting to march. A week later hundreds of thousands would descend on the Mall in the Capitol. The U.S. has been having some weird times to the point where on any given day it feels like either a poorly scripted reality show mirroring the Hunger Games minus Jennifer Lawrence. Perspective was gained after speaking with the Hairfuckers. They are known for out of this world color and mind-blowing cuts. Like in any good interview, we wanted to know where their inspiration comes from. This is their answer. (try to use a thick Russian accent in your mind when you read this. It makes it better.)
In Russia, everything was prohibited. Now everything is more open. But in the dark times there is hunger for the bright light and colors. In the city, everything is grey. The color of depression. It is why bright colors in hair is so popular. It is medicine from the color of depression.
We (Russians) are not so polite as others. If we decide to do crazy things, If we decide to be angry, we get angry. We decide not to care about anything. So if we like crazy hair we will do it. All over Russia there are hairdressers who are skilled and brave. Hairfucker is an example for a lot of people in our country to draw inspiration from. Local fashion in St. Petersburg. West meets east. Take inspiration from both sides. St. Petersburg is a large city with millions of people and a lot of cultures blending together. Extreme is mainstream in St. Petersburg. Green hair is normal.
Kirill, Art Director
It is likely the unicorn and mermaid hair that is shared on Instagram isn't a political statement. I doubt most of us could truly understand what it is like to live in a regime (and God I hope we don't find out) and after hearing how color and cuts are being used to express political freedom, the work Hairfucker Studio creates is even more meaningful.
Chapter Six: The Worst Haircut in the World
Ex-Hairfucker now Bad Hair Company hairdresser Aleona Starzhinskaia went viral in a big way. Actually it was a haircut that went viral.
Some of you have seen this. It was big about a year ago with hairdressers and laymen alike expressing outrage and awe. Most viewers don't know the back story. The model, Julia, was celebrating her birthday and wanted to shave her head. Before she did, she let herself be a canvas for Aleona to have fun with. People called it the worst haircut in the world but what they don't know is that Hairfucker Studio admits they did do the worst haircut in the world. Only it's not the one in the video above.
Hairfucker Studio is known for alternative cutting tools. They have cut hair with a laser before. This time, however, Yura Tkachenko (former Hairfucker, now a Director of Bad Hair Company) tried using a circular saw. To sum it up: it didn't work. 'Circular saw is not for cutting hair.' The recipient of this attempted haircut was taken to the hospital with injuries to his skull and scalp and told doctors he fell down the stairs lest the hairdresser who used the saw be called up on attempted murder charges. One of the worst parts: they forgot to press record on the video camera. They did take a photo of the aftermath and Hairfucker has given Destroy the Hairdresser permission to show it.
Chapter Seven: The Future
The Future future is sometimes the future and sometimes the past turns back around to become the future. It's cyclical (like Terminator), Expect more projects like The Real Barber Pole which delves into Hair Atavisms. Atavism = where did we come from? In The Real Barber Pole, Hairfucker brings us back to an era when barbers were also dentists and doctors. It is important to understand how the art of hairdressing has developed. Hairfucker not only does badass hair, they also think deeply about hair.
- The Hairfuckers will be in attendance for the 4th annual Hairbrained Video Awards held in New York City in March. They are a final nominee in the category of Even Further: Avant Garde Hair. While they are in town they have hinted at a secret underground show that makes me want to start building my tolerance to booze back up so I can be ready for whatever they have planned. In addition, there is/may be a Hairfucker Book coming our way. In the meantime, Hairfucker Studio stays ahead of the pack with their ingenuity (LASER HAIR CUTTING) and sheer bravado