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Redken Artist, Matthew Tyldesley gives us the ultimate dose of hair inspiration as he takes us backstage at Redken Symposium 2017!


I arrived Tuesday morning in sunny Las Vegas and checked in to my home for the week, Mandalay Bay. I dropped my bags and immediately headed to the arena prep room with my session kit in tow.

There, I was greeted by Chris Baran, who was leading the team of artists for the Grand opening of Redken Symposium 2017. The team was comprised of richly colorful and artistic hairstylists including NAHA winners, celebrity hairstylists, editorial hairstylists and hair educators from around the world. Day one started off by setting up the room and working on wrapping hair around wire frames for one sequence of the opening show. After this prep work was done, we got a good night sleep to prepare for the next few days to come!


Wednesday prep started at 7 AM and ended at 11 PM. The team worked non-stop prepping models with hair color, with a practice run through of hairstyles to be worn; fittings, coloring wefts, curling wefts and fusing wefts together to create looks for the 80+ models and dancers that would be featured in the production. Everyone on the team worked in tandem non-stop helping one another to complete the many tasks we had. We were still four days from the show with lots of work to be done but were excited for each and every step along the way.



Thursday arrived and by 8AM we were back at model prep with new models fitting them and the dancers with custom wigs that were going to be worn for the opening number. The next few days several wigs were cut for the rock segment of the show. Geometric shapes, mullets, hard fringes, and bobs were shaped specifically to models faces and the hair showcased various designs and color placements with Redken City Beats hair color. The backroom was filled with the smell of Redken hairspray, while various kinds of hair and tools covered every table surface as well as the floor. Teams were assigned to execute sections of the show. Hair pieces were created with yarn in various colors and hair mats were created with kanekalon hair and Control Addict 28 Hairspray and a hairdryer. 

By Friday, clarity had set in as the last of the models had arrived for hair and all looks had been accounted for. All forms of hairdressing were necessary to create looks utilizing ponytails, braids, hair extensions, hair forms, wigs, synthetic hair, hair mats, wires and threads. The team assembled had some of the best talent in the Redken Artist network and the industry as well. We work tirelessly up to 15 hours a day behind the scenes and we love every minute of it!


Saturday came along and it was time for our dress rehearsal. All of the models were finalized, looks were tested out and wardrobe fittings complete. This time was imperative to understand time restrictions and execute every final look efficiently. 



Sunday came and the model room was in full force; excitement, energy, and nervousness could be felt everywhere. Everyone understood the role of the grand opening for Symposium so we knew it had to be on point. The day went by fast and before we knew it we were down to the last 20 mins, rushing to complete small details such as securing a hairpiece, sewing a wig on a model, adjusting bobby pins and finessing the wardrobe.  Attendees started to arrive and fill the arena and before we knew it models were lining up for the show to begin. The arena, which houses upto 10,000 attendees, was filled with hairstylists, salon owners, students and press from around the world. A team of us remained backstage in the corridors to switch and adjust models exiting the stage and returning with a new look. Before we knew it the show had ended and everyone was on stage waving to the audience. It was such an amazing feeling to be part of something so grand, which only made the hours and effort leading up to it that much more worth it.




Days later I am still basking in the afterglow of the show. Everyone worked so hard and played an integral part in the show and we are so grateful to be a part of something so inspiring. Until next time… I can’t wait to see all of you at RS2019!

Matthew Tyldesley


To see more inspiration from Redken Symposium 2017, be sure to check out these articles and stay tuned for more!