Some 2,000 hairstylists converged on the Greater Richmond Convention Center in late September to attend a hair show put on by SalonCentric, a Florida-based distributor of professional salon products. Sam Villa, who attracted a crowd at the hair show, is the education artistic director for Redken 5th Avenue and the chairman of his own digital education and styling tools company ( samvilla.com ). He was named Favorite Educator of the Year by behindthechair.com's Stylist Choice Awards for the last two years, and it was easy to see why he's a hit with his fans. Introducing terms such as "tilt" instead of "asymmetry" and telling clients, "We are going to awaken your hair's shape," were among the ideas he shared with local stylists. We managed to catch him between shows for a couple of questions.
RM: I was fascinated by your discussion on stage about the use of "new terminology" to get stylists and their clients excited about fresh ideas. What do you think consumers want to hear now?
SV: I think they are looking for simplicity. It's all about reinventing terminology so it's more consumer-friendly. It gets the conversation going in terms of what we're doing now.
RM: Can you give us an example?
SV: The word "disconnection" creates fear. If we say we are going to disconnect, they say, "No," because they think the hair isn't going to blend. If you say you are going to detach an area to create frothiness and movement, they say, "Let's talk about it." Instead of offering versatility, we are offering haircuts with double identity. You can wear it this way or that way. Ponytails for the suburban woman are popular, but now you can put it in a ponytail and shake the layers out for double identity.
Crystal Rivenbark is a Midlothian-based stylist and cosmetology instructor.