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Karen Thomson’s latest collection Grit & Grace is a beautiful mix of form and function. From dissecting shapes and silhouettes to creating styles that clients can strive for in the salon – it is the epitome of #hairgoals. While we are in love with her creations from an editorial standpoint we can’t help but also want to try each of these on for ourselves! Keep reading to get to know more about Karen’s collection and see the inspiration that went into the process!

Where did the inspiration for the silhouettes come from?

I get my inspiration from everywhere, from people watching to architecture, nature interior, magazines, and the catwalks. For this collection, I just wanted to create really beautiful hair, hair that clients would really love and that’s where the silhouettes came from. There’s nothing better than truly beautiful hair with softness and an almost undone and natural finish.

Were there any products or tools that were key to getting the looks?

For many of the looks, a blow-dry cream was used to prep the hair before blow-drying and to give the hair smoothness and shine. Hot irons were also used to smooth some of the looks down and give them movement. In this collection, there are also a lot of texturised looks where we used products to add volume, texture, and movement into the hair. Products included texturising creams and spray waxes that provide the hair with movement, as well as hold.

How did the team decide to finish the images in black & white?

We still love the images in colour, however, on seeing the finished images in black and white, we felt like they had a very high end and couture finish.


This collection is such a source of inspiration - which styles do you think we'll see most in the salon?

The shag is a hairstyle that’s becoming more and more popular this year and we have incorporated a couple of the sort of choppy, layered hairstyles into some of the looks but have given them a more modern approach making them a little softer. These hairstyles are perfect for a client who wants a very quirky, edgy and statement look and who wants a hairstyle that’s super low maintenance, as little styling to achieve the effortless finish. 

We're seeing a great deal of fringe - do you think everyone can pull off fringe? If so, any tips for the stylist/client communication?

Fringes are very popular at the moment and they’re a great way to instantly update any hair look! There’s also a fringe to suit everyone and their face shape. For round and heart face shapes, a side sweeping fringe is great, as it draws attention downwards and elongates the fringe. Oval face shapes suit most fringe styles, however, square, block-like fringes work particularly well and can almost shorten and widen the face. As well as thinking about the clients face shape when opting for a fringe, it’s also important to think about the client’s hair type. Those with thicker, longer hair will be well suited for a blunt fringe, whereas those with thinner hair should consider the wispy or side-swept fringe, as they will be a lot easier to manage. 

Your collection is showing sleeker, finished texture - is this where the trends are taking us?

I think the collection has a mix of finishes – smooth and sleek and textured and effortless. However, even with the messier and textured finishes, I also wanted the looks to look soft. I think this is definitely where trends are taking us for 2019 – think full of body and texture but with a soft and smooth finish, natural looking hair that’s effortlessly beautiful.

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