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Article by Heather Bell
with Top Stylist & Trainer: Gary Sunderland
By Heather Bell
Sunderland has been in the professional hairdressing industry for
over 24 years. He has travelled the world presenting shows and seminars
to the professional hairdressing industry in his own unique style.
The creative flair and passion for his "out of the box" thinking
has captured the attention of hairdressers attending his seminars
and workshops. Three nominations for the British Hairdressing Awards
was just the start for Gary. His strong imagery captured the attention
of the industry and he produced an educational DVD on Blading Techniques
which is endorsed by L'Oreal Professional.
blading techniques are legendary.
Left: Before blading, Centre and right: After blading
looks. By using the best tools around you ensure your clients have a fantastic
finish to the hair.
regularly presents at the L'Oreal Professional Studio in Hammersmith,
London. He has also presented main stage events in LA and California
demonstrating the creative "out of the box" looks that have become
his signature trade mark.
Gary strongly believes "education is the key" and strives to push
both himself and all who attend his seminars and workshops to expand
beyond their boundaries of what they think is achievable with hair.
Having the ability is only part of the equation and using the best
professional tools in the industry is key to creating beautiful
live catwalk show at Salon International, was a tremendous success
and he created cascading curls and short sleek styles with his versatile
FHI Heat dryers and stylers, now so efficient they condition and
Gary is a resident hair expert in our 'Ask the Experts' section
on UKHairdressers.com, offering solutions to hair problems. He popped
in for a chat recently and we asked him a few more
about his life in the hairdressing industry. Here's what he had to say:
Q: "How do you think hair trends will develop this year?"
A: "2009 will
see a significant shift toward curls and movement on all levels. "Bring
sexy back", let your own personality show through in your hair.
Smooth and straight will still have its place this coming season, yet
the catwalks, movies and music videos already see the transition to curl
coming through with a vengeance. Smooth curl, soft curl, loose curl, big
curl, tight curl, S curl, afro frizz, spiral and zig zag all make a big
"What influences hair trends?"
like the fashion designers show their collections for the season,
these become softer for the consumer when they hit the high street
stores. The same can be said about hair. Big hair from the catwalk
will soften into loose soft waves for sexy luscious locks.
Afro frizz will soften, or not, depending on the individual and
how bold and confident they feel.
I am a big, big believer in setting trends and not following them.
If you see something you like, change it slightly so it becomes
yours. Own it and make a statement.
Q: "How do you get the best out of a curly style?"
even in curl is an excellent way to change a look. Have that confidence
and work with your stylist to put your twist on 'BRINGING SEXY BACK'.
With any curl result it is all down to the finish and the products you
Ensure you get the right advice, right product, right result and get noticed."
Q: "How important is colour to a hair style?"
A: "Colour plays
a huge part in hair and never is it more important to ensure it is applied
correctly than in hair with curls. Soft browns and caramel tones look
beautiful. Remember lighter tones in curl become translucent if the amount
applied becomes the primary colour.
Get the colour, get the curl, get the look. But first!!!! GET THE ADVICE."
"You created your own special blade for hair, do you have any
tips for professional blading results?"
blading techniques include cutting on the curve, concave shapes
around the face, layers with no visible cutting lines, removing
weight, and adding volume. For a step by step guide, my instructional
video offers lots of help"
Q: "On a more personal note, if you hadn't become a hairdresser,
what career path do you think you would have followed?"
A: "An Artist or photographer."
Q: "How did you get started as a stylist? Who were your hair mentors?"
worked as an apprentice in a great salon in Wakefield and attended
college for 5 years day release."
Q: "We know you're a big fan of the FHI
Heat Straighteners and Dryers -- is it true they actually condition
the hair and stop static?"
A: "The NANO
FUSZIEON combined with the tourmaline properties re-hydrate hair as they
force moisture into the hair shaft leaving hair smooth, silky, shiny and
Q: "What is the strangest request you've received during your years in
the hair industry?"
A: "To pass
someone in their hairdressing qualification when they were just not good
"Whose hair would you like to get your hands on and why?"
Ross. It is desperate!!!"
(Couldn't agwee more Gary!)
Q: "There have been many changes in hairdressing over the years.
What in your opinion is the best innovation and the worst?"
doubt the best innovation that has affected the professional stylist
and customer has been the straightening iron. The worst would
have to be thinning scissors as in the wrong hands they are deadly."
Q: "What do you consider to be the finest scissors to use for cutting
A: "I do not
have a particular range but, Buttercut and Matzusaki scissors are quality."
Q: "Apart from a pair of scissors, what hairdressing tool or product
would you never be without?"
A: "Easy answer
a razor or Blade as it allows you to do anything with hair."
Q: "Is it better to cut and shape hair when wet or dry?"
A: "I always
cut hair wet then finish off on dry hair to detail if need be."
Q: "What type of hair is the most difficult to cut?"
A: "Baby fine
hair. It is unforgiving and needs skill to bring it to life."
Q: "What is the secret of getting the best results from hair straighteners?"
A: "Using the
best tools FHI irons in the 'one pass way' will definitely reward with
the best results you can get. One smooth slow action down each section
of hair leaves it like silk. Smooth, shiny and soft."
"For our many web visitors who want to become hairdressers, could
you give them a couple of special tips to help them on their way
you local salons and choose the one that is willing to help YOU
get to where YOU want to be.
Set out your aims and ambitions within the industry and explain
what you want to achieve.
You must enthuse with ambition, desire, drive and determination
to get to where YOU want to be. Never stop learning, otherwise
it is time to pack in and hang up your scissors.
Put yourself forward for everything you can and always try your
best. DO NOT be afraid of making mistakes along the way, it is
the only way to learn."
Q: "And finally... we'd love to know what your favourite hairstyle
of all time is?"
A: "I do not
have one as I like all hair styles (probably because I have none myself)
but it would have to be the Internal Diffusion technique that can be used
on any hair, it brings it to life."
Our thanks to Gary for answering our questions. If you would like more
information about his seminars and workshops, Gary can be contacted on
is a fan of the
"I'm crazy about it! I can't live without my flat iron! It takes
me about an hour to do my hair, and the only time I don't is when
I'm on vacation."