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Terence Jansen Van Vuuren: Never Stop Learning

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World renowned L’Oreal Professionnel Colour Judge and Performing artist, Terence Jansen Van Vuuren, runs his own salon in West Africa, called Terenzo Hairdressing International. He has two branches in Cape Town and two in Johannesburg, including a professional academy called the Terenzo Hairdressing Academy. Vuuren travels all over the world as the L’Oreal Professionnl International Ambassador to educate new and senior hairstylists on current trends and styles.

Inspiration
I come from a family of hairdressers, but unfortunately, no one today is really involved in it anymore. I have a cousin who works with me, but coming from a family, does influence your thoughts unconsciously.

Academics
Straight after school, I studied hairdressing for three years. While most of it was in England, I travelled through the world and studied it, too. I also studied Retailing and Marketing Management at the University, which has also helped me to run my business. I am involved in hairdressing photography, too, because you have to do a photo-shoot first to enter your work. So I train hairdressers to try and take photographs. Lighting is a big thing. You need to get the shadows in the right places and the lighting in the correct places.

Challenges faced
I have definitely faced challenges with the staff. We always try to run a very exclusive Terenzo outlet and have a five-star operation that puts us in the lead in the market. We want to spoil our clients, so we have created a luxurious environment where they can have the best coffees or teas along with their massages while listening to special music playing in the background.

India story
One of the biggest challenges for hairdressers in India, is that client’s do not want the length to be cut. I try not to push hairdressers to learn short hairstyles. This time I did looks, styles and designs, where the hairdressers were able to maintain every bit of the length. So it was not even trimmed, but cut into a brand new style and combined with different layering techniques, fringes, to suit the client’s face shape. Hairstylists must play a psychology game with the client and cut as little as possible or nothing. I bring current trends from across the world, also done in South Africa and then take that to different parts of the world. A rage right now on the fashion runways of South Africa, Paris and London are sweeping fringes, including the blunt fringe and popped crown, that gives that extra feminity and can make a woman appear taller.

Favourite look
It is not about the favourite look, but about the favourite feeling. I like to play with textures. People immediately think that texture means a lot of pieces, but even a smooth look is a texture. A bob with a smooth surface is texture, so I quite enjoy working with textures.

Favourite products and equipment
L’Oreal Professionnel products like Diarichesse, Dialight brands and Innova, which is the most famous one is a favourite with me. From an hair care point of view, under L’Oreal Professionnel, there is the Mythic Oil hair conditioner and shampoos. It has a shampoo and an oil, a combination of three products. This gives a beautiful and rich shine, yet it doesn’t flatten hair or weigh it down.

Awards and achievements
Recognition from colleagues is something that I love, especially after winning both the trophies for National Hair Dresser of the Year and the National Colour Trophy in the same year. Both the awards have high respect in our country. I also do hairdressing competitions and judging. So in South Africa, I also try to train my team to enter competitions as well. I am more into training and judging and really enjoying it. I get involved in some of the National competitions to judge.

Advice
If you think education is expensive, you must try ignorance, it is even more expensive! The reality is that students must get have training and education and gradually build themselves. When I started off, I had done three to four courses.

Future plans
We want to expand in terms of training, maybe get a bigger group to be in India much more often. In other words, instead of one person, which is me, we might have a group of five people from Terenzo International that will be involved. I see a need for books, CDs and DVDs to follow up, because when I leave, there is nothing for the students to follow. What I have prepared can be shown again on a step-by-step on video. It is really not about making a difference to my life, but making a difference in people’s lives.