HairClubLive is a well established platform for hairdressers to showcase their work. Dom Lehane brought it to my attention through a proliferation of posts on social media.

I’m ashamed to admit that until this week i had never attended an event, but it changed when I went along to see what this movement is all about!

I arrived at the venue here in Edinburgh wondering what I was going to witness. It was a club, a club tucked away in one of Edinburgh’s many historic alleyways. I went in and had my hand stamped, gosh how long is it since that had happened to me at a niteclub, far too many years to remember. There were a few people mingling around, and I managed to catch up with an ex Wella Colleague (Mark) who now works for one of the main #OpenChairNight sponsors, Fudge professionals. Alison and Kelly from AJCPR were also in attendance.

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Before the event kicked off I was introduced to Dom, more about that soon!

It was quite obvious to me that I was witnessing something special, there was [something] in the air that made the event feel like the heyday of punk when ‘upstarts’ were channeling their creativity into something that kicked against the establishment. It might not be what it actually is, but there is a raw quality to #OpenChairLive that was energising and electric, punky!

The basic premise; hairdressers register to ‘get on stage’. They have 30 minutes prep time and then 10 minutes to finish off, this is when they are on stage putting the finishing touches to their models hair.

YES, that is a traffic light on the stage. I was fascinated as to what it was there for, and when it was explained it became obvious. Hairdressers climb up onto the stage, some for the very first time of ever doing something  like this. The RED changes to GREEN and they are off! 9 minutes till the AMBER 1 minute left light flashes.

When the light reverts back to RED the stylists have to stop what they are doing. Each hairdresser then reveals their models outfit and has to explain the concept of the total look. It’s a fascinating thing to witness with some stylists creating extreme avant garde looks and others opting for classic structured shapes, each bringing something different and new to the event.

Different to any other hair ‘show’ I have ever attended, the energy remained at a constant high throughout the night, the audience where dancing, drinking (lucky them, I was Sober For October) and cheering each hairdresser who took to the stage. it was this atmosphere that made me liken the event to a punk movement. Some of the hair was created to shock, some designed to delight, but all delivered with passion and fire in the hairdressers belly’s.

Dom was superb at keeping the momentum flowing, and the DJ played music that fitted the bill perfectly. The main sponsors of the tour, Fudge Professionals, Schwarzkopf Professional, Aveda and Paul Mitchell all had a ‘sponsored’ guest who presented on their behalf. I loved the fact that these guys still had the same amount of time on stage as the newbies and the #OpenChairNight regulars, it made for a sense of equality and camaraderie that can sometimes get lost when ego’s get in the way.

I didn’t stay for the entire event as commitments meant I had to be somewhere else later that night. But, i’m thrilled that I went along and witnessed something extraordinary that is leaving a mark on our industry.

It’s chaotic, creative and entertaining in equal parts and that’s what is so refreshing about it. Bravo to each and every person who is brave enough and eager enough to get up on stage to present their vision, and a huge congratulations to Dom and the Hair Club Live team for creating something genuinely new and innovative.

I end my post with Dean Bradwell of Pop Middlesbrough, someone who I have watched develop over the last few years and who is now a seasoned platform artist working regularly on behalf of Fudge. His presentation was (as always) raw and real with his model Maria having ripped up extensions wafted over the top of her exaggerated  hairstyle … and when her outfit was revealed she was wearing a stunning gummy bears necklace (yes you read it right) hand made by Dean! Now if that isn’t punky, I don’t know what is!

Hair Club Live …. it was awesome!

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