The Creative Director with Procter & Gamble Salon Professional India, Stan Newton is a name to reckon with in hairdressing. Renowned the world over for his deft creations, the educator at heart, shares with Salon India his insights and vision
What led you into the world of hairdressing?
Throughout my childhood I wanted to be an helicopter pilot. I changed schools at a crucial age and struggled to fit in, so when the opportunity to do three weeks work experience in a salon, came along (anything to get out of school) I jumped at it! I fell in love with the whole vibe, meeting people, making them feel good, being able to listen to music all day, the fashion element it was all so new and exciting. Ironically, I hate flying so I definitely made the right choice.
Tell us about your professional training.
I joined Vidal Sassoon in the mid-80s where I completed a three year apprenticeship that allowed me to style paying clients. Education is at the heart of being a part of the Wella Professionals Global team. I think, I will always be an apprentice in some shape or form. I have had so many mentors over the years; of course, Vidal had a huge influence on me, as he has had on so many around the globe. More, direct influencers would have been my teachers Howard Harrison, Pam Roscoe, Tim Hartley and most recently, the four times British Hairdresser of the Year winner, Akin Konizi.
How has the journey been so far?
Awesome! I have had the opportunity to see some incredible places, I would maybe have never considered, and met many great people.
What were the challenges that you had to encounter in the initial days?
My three-year apprenticeship was extremely tough and there were many times when I could have given up. As a young stylist, it was extremely challenging to understand what my clients really wanted. I definitely disappointed and upset a few in the real early days. Unintentionally, of course!
How did you overcome that issue?
Well, you make a mistake and you learn from it, in fact, you must learn from it. I have made lots, but have certainly used it to my advantage. I now listen to my clients a lot more carefully and aim to give them what they need, instead of what they want.
Who do you think is the guru of the hair dressing industry?
For me, it will always be Vidal. If you actually mean who’s work do I see currently in magazines that excites and inspires me, I would have to say Eugene Souleiman.
Tell us about your favourite professional tools.
I’m an absolute comb nerd, you should see my collection! My all-time favourite is the special edition, white Cesibon. Other essentials to me are my Matsuzaki 4 star scissor that I have had for years and one should never forget the most important of all – my hands.
Please name some of your celebrity clients.
I’m a huge music buff, so being associated with the band, Radiohead, was incredible. I have looked after both Kylie and Danni Minogue.
Tell us about the awards you have won, so far.
I would consider completing my apprenticeship at Sassoon to be my greatest accolade.
Advice for aspirants who want to enter the line of hair dressing.
The three P’s – Practice. Practice. Practice. To the aspiring creatives, you have to find the right kind of person to experiment on. Be fearless and learn from every experience, good and bad.
View on the emerging hair market in India.
It’s incredibly exciting and the potential is enormous. The market is moving at an incredibly fast pace and client’s demands are very high. Education and the sharing of experience is key to meet the demand.
Do you have your own academy?
I consider the Wella Professionals Studio in Delhi as my own, although I don’t own it in monetary terms.
What are your future plans?
I would love to influence the market in India enough that the Wella Professionals Global Trend Vision competition becomes a reality for all the creative energy that is about to burst!
Credits for images
1. Colin Roy (photography)
2. Mike Diver (photography)
3. Gustavo Papaleo (photography)
4. @chicproductions (photography)
5. Darren Black (photography)
6. David Oldham(photography)
7. Aki Bono (photography)
8. John Rawson (photography)
9. John Rawson (photography)
10. John Rawson (photography)
11. John Rawson (photography)