Confidence can go a long way when it comes to showing off your skills. In an industry that is in a constant state of change – and competition – sometimes you've got to go out on a limb to get your foot in the door. Which is exactly how Sally Brooks began. From an assistant at The Trevor Sorbie salon in London to British Hairdresser of the Year to her very own salon – Brooks & Brooks – everyone has to start somewhere. Keep reading to learn more about this beautiful collection from Sally herself.
“This collection is all about the beauty of simplicity, a moment of natural beauty and effortless style. I wanted the hair to breathe, working with natural undertones in the hair colour and simple textures that are not overworked, allowing each picture to have a beautiful moment of simplicity.” –Sally Brooks, 2018 British Hairdresser of the Year
How did you get started in hairdressing?
Hairdressing was never my go-to choice of career; when leaving school I wanted to do something in the theatre so I chose a course on theatrical make-up. I won Student of the Year which gave me my first taste of entering – and winning – awards. When I finished the course I knew I had to work in London so I moved here and needed a job. The Trevor Sorbie Salon was looking for assistants so I applied. I told them I had three years’ experience even though I had never picked up a pair of scissors and it was going so well until Trevor asked me to cut a bob! I thought I had ruined my chances and was actually gutted as I fell in love with hairdressing the minute I picked up those scissors! Luckily Trevor gave me a chance and I was qualified in just two years. I will also be thankful to Trevor for training my eye and believing in me.
What was the inspiration behind this collection?
This collection is all about the beauty of simplicity, a moment of natural beauty and effortless style. I wanted the hair to breathe, working with natural undertones in the hair colour and simple textures that are not overworked, allowing each picture to have a beautiful moment of simplicity.
What does a normal day look like for you?
Is there ever a normal day in hairdressing? That’s the beauty of this industry, no two days are ever the same. Some days I am in the salon doing my beautiful client, making them look and feel better and being a sounding board for them to off load, juggling the salon emails, the team and the state of the staff room! Lunch never seems to happen. Some days I am in the studio shooting collections and some days I am out at events doing shows or judging competitions, meetings with L’Oreal and working out projects that are on the horizon. Preparing for shows and shoots takes time and preparation; my days are long, tough but super inspiring.
What do shoot days look like?
The better prepared you are the better the shoot - you have to be ready to change your idea to make the picture work. The work that goes in pre-shoot is harder than the shoot days; coming up with new ideas new concepts and new creativity allows the day to run smoothly. You have picked a team of photographer stylist and make-up artist that you trust to bring your vision to life, so allow them to do just that. Shoot days are stressful as there are time restraints, hair restraints and this year shooting for me ‘ heatwave headaches’. I leave the shoots feeling like every last piece of energy has been sucked out of me - and if you don’t feel like that you didn’t give it your all. I love shooting my collections, but like I said, always be prepared for things to not go your way.
What was your biggest accomplishment or hurdle in creating this collection?
Keeping it pulled back and simple. As hairdressers we sometimes can’t stop and want to add more and restraining myself to pull back was a challenge.
What movements do you feel we can look forward to this season?
This season we have a more stylised feel - more movement, a slightly ‘dirtier grungier’ feel coming through. Haircutting is making a comeback so make sure to polish up on your cutting and texture styling skills. Experiment with layering products to get grittier textures.
Find out more about Brooks & Brooks Salon:
Hair: Sally Brooks at Brooks & Brooks, London
Make-up: Lan Nguyen-Grealis
Styling: Ann Shore
Photographs: Jenny Hands