Starting off by teaching cutting and then moving on to specializing in color, Jo Mckay has become a master of her craft. When she began hair cutting she enjoyed the sculptural aspect of it. With color, she liked freehand work and the excitement of waiting for it to process and seeing what turned out - “it was like receiving a gift” she said, always something new and exciting to discover. With her latest collection, Stella Nova, she explores intense bursts of color within her styles. Keep scrolling to see her stunning collection and to learn more about the inspiration behind her work.
What drew you to hair styling?
Many members of my family were hairdressers, so I grew up with it. My mum had her own salon, she also worked in a salon with her mother, and my Aunt had salons too.
What is your favorite technique to use?
My favorite technique is called “The Kiss Color.” This is a technique when two different color formulas meet, creating a kiss effect which is very similar to foiling with a seamless blend. It was inspired by Gustav Klimt, the “The Kiss.” I’m always trying to evolve the foiling work hairdressers do on the floor, to make it more inspirational for them.
What has been the biggest defining moment in your career?
The biggest defining moment in my career was working for Aveda as a “Hair Color Specialist” for EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Asia). I worked at Aveda for 16 years and collaborated on the seasonal Collections with Antoinette Beenders and the Global Artistic Team. I had seen Antoinette in Sydney at her hair Show and always wanted to work with her, and this was definitely a defining moment for me in my career.
Is there a specific area you often find yourself looking for inspiration?
I love art, fashion trends and color trend forecasting. I tend to do a lot of research in these areas to use as my inspiration.
What is the one product/tool that you can’t live without?
The tool I can’t live without is my Black Matador tail comb with a metal tip, this gives me the cleanest sections.
How did you dream up your latest collection?
I’m fascinated by the universe, it’s magic and a mystery to the world. I’m always intrigued, wanting to discover more and understand our existence. I named the collection” Stella Nova” which means new star, a Stella Nova is an explosion of colors.
How do you use styling to enhance your images?
I collaborate with a stylist to create the images - Bastian Casaretto, the Artistic Director for Aveda Germany, Austria and Switzerland - we have worked together for many years.
How did you work with your makeup/styling team to craft a final image?
I choose the most talented team and we collaborate on the ideas. They specialize in their skill, so I always allow a lot of freedom for people to be able to create their vision.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Oh to fly, I always dream I can fly so it would have to be that….and fast!
Who were your mentors along the way and how have they shaped your career?
My first mentor was Adam Noble in Australia, he opened me up to the world of shows and photographic work, he made me feel like I could always achieve it and gave me a lot of confidence.
Ian Michael Black, the Artistic Director for Aveda Hair Color, he has an incredible aesthetic of what looks good, we worked together at Aveda and he was a big Inspiration, we collaborated on many projects together, he is a real showman and very good on stage.
Antoinette Beenders is a true visionary, working on photo shoots with her, incredible force of creativity and energy, she has a great eye for detail.
What hair/color trends can we look forward to this season?
This Season has a big trend towards futurism with technology taking leaps and bounds forward.
Color palettes are bubblegum pink, mixed with oranges and reds. Yellow and lemon with soft lavender washes over blondes. Green is still a big color palette, which is forever evolving. Dark green and blue look chic in dark hair and pastels are a great way to define blondes.
Naturals are coming back, which is great for a consumer salon-friendly color with rich bronze, and metallics with gold and silver. Choosing the right color palette for the client’s skin tone and lifestyle is key and the consultation is the essential part of the booking with the guest.