In September of 1999 Steven Smart opened his first salon, Hair Wizard, and started what can only be called one of the most successful careers in the british hair world. He’s been named one of the World Hairdressing Champion’s (he’s only the second Briton to be awarded the title), as well as having won two European champion awards and seven in Britain. He’s also been an American Crew ambassador and a Revlon ambassador and educator. This month we’re sharing his beautiful Feline Collection which won an award at the 2016 British Hairdressing Awards.
What made you interested in a career in hair?
I was always creative from a young age and so veered towards art at school. I started doing graphic design at college but I quickly cooled towards it. I’m very sociable and found it difficult sitting at a desk drawing what other people told me to, plus it was just at the time when computers were taking over and I really didn’t want to spend my life sitting in front of a screen. It was my mum who suggested hairdressing, as I could spend my days being creative while chatting to people. She was right; it’s been the best decision I ever made.
What inspired the Feline collection?
I’ve been shortlisted in the British Hairdressing Awards for the past four year, but I just couldn’t snatch the trophy on the night, so I decided to go back to my roots. I seem to have developed a reputation for colouring and dressing beautiful hair, but I was raised on classic precision cutting and creative colour; it’s what won me the European Champion and World Championships. So I decided to surprise everyone, focusing on shapes and silhouettes rather than producing beautiful images. From there Feline developed.
Were there any parts of creating this collection (or any) that were especially challenging to you? And how do you overcome those things?
To challenge other people’s perceptions of where my skills lay, I decided to produce my BHA entry in black and white (for this issue we’ve presented them in color), and use color only to create shadow and texture. I love colour so it really stretched me out of my comfort zone. I couldn’t rely on color to enhance or distract; my work had to be as purist as it once was for the floor competitions.
- Do you have any advice for aspiring stylists?
Don’t compromise and never settle. It takes hard work to get to a place where you really believe in yourself, but it is worth it. Your talent won’t reveal itself unless you have perfected your technical skills through practice and perseverance, so keep at it.
And love what you do, because then you’ll enjoy all that hard work and even if it doesn’t bring you success at awards, you’ll know you are doing everything you can to be the best stylist for your clientele.