The ultimate learning program, ghd partnered two industry legends for an unrivalled educational experience leaving stylists self developed and closer to mastering ‘hair from the heart’ – writes Lauren King.

Jayne Wild

Held at Jayne Wild’s architectural master piece, Wildlife Milson’s Point, stepping into the buzz of the third and last day of the ghd Star Styler Protege Master Series bestowed a feeling you could imagine vibing from a dinner party at the Wild abode – warm, hospitable, aspirational and teetering with history making creative conceptualisation. There was a fierce and almost eery sense of knowing that something utterly awesome was in the making and could emerge from almost anywhere at any given time. And how could one be so sure? Because Romance was Born muse and flagship Australian session styler, Alan White and Hair Expo Australian Hairdresser of the Year, Jayne Wild were sailing the ship.

Alan White

In the making for over a year, the inaugural addition to the ghd education calendar welcomed rich interest from budding ghd stylists passionate to make a difference to tomorrow’s hair design. In a nutshell, each student was required to (with the direction of Jayne and Alan) develop and direct an editorial look suitable for a high-end fashion spread – as shot by a leading photographer.

Participants first sat down as a group and were invited to discuss the ins and outs of what inspired them – touching on music, art, fashion, style icons, eras and anything and everything in between.

Following further discussion and hands on work, Jayne and Alan deciphered the strengths and weaknesses of each student and made it their mission to zone in on areas requiring improvement while instilling the confidence to harness hairdressing from the heart – or hair design built from freedom. Because at the end of the day, who wants to copy someone else’s work right down to the last curl?

“We pinpointed their strengths and then worked to push each student beyond their boundaries. No one can see what’s in your head except you, so the result is never really going to be ‘wrong’ is it? It’s an emotive thing (session styling), a finger wave is never going to look like a carbon copy of the reference at hand, and that’s a good thing,” explains Alan.

Alan and Jayne then sent across a series of Italian VOGUE-style references unique to each student. Each editorial brief demanded the stylist to use skills within their ‘weak’ repertoire, yet was built from all things inspiring to each personality. Upon receiving their tailored brief, stylists were asked to source corresponding references illustrating their interpretation of Jayne and Alan’s vision. And the third day was when it all came to fruition – MAC make-up artists, professional wardrobe, Sydney’s hottest agency girls and leading hairdresser turned photographer, Matt Webb inclusive.

Although it’s hard to narrow down a key benefit from the ghd Star Styler Protege Master Series workshop, a respected point of difference comes in the clashing of two industry entities both equally passionate about their outlook on hair. Jayne Wild’s spiritual connection with hair artistry and Alan’s Quentin Tarantino-esque vision and daring demand on the human fabric combining to leave stylists empowered and equipped to lead, educate and manifest an editorial brief with divine aplomb.

“For me it’s about merging the world of Expo and the world of session styling together. If I know even just five of the 18 hairdressers here walk away educated and willing to produce hair from the heart opposed to the typical shoulder length, straight, three-quarter cropped image, then I’m happy,” reiterates Jayne on her own approach to the industry and drive behind three Hair Expo Australian Hairdresser of the Year trophies.

Always there to guide with wisdom, Jayne and Alan were cautious never to suffocate a students’ vision or thought process. Rather, commentary such as ‘you take it wherever you want to take it, maybe it’s about losing a little bit, maybe it’s about this texture here that’s important, you’ll know, you’ll find it,’ assured Alan to a student tending to a contemporary tribal brief.

“We actually want them to encounter difficulties today. Like this girl over here, her vision has been so strong and direct the entire time, yet the texture isn’t forming exactly as she intended it to, so we are now guiding her through the process of working with what she’s got, and that’s what it’s all about, preparing for such scenarios that are likely to happen on the day of any shoot,” said Alan.

And the proof was in the pudding. Not only from the magnificent, Harpers Bazaar fit images popping up on Matt’s MAC BookPro, but from the conversations (and tear sheets!) bouncing between students and teachers. Pam from X-Treme Lengths in Buderim, was very deservedly vaunting an editorial spread she had completed between ghd Master Series sessions for a local magazine.

“Pam came to us so concerned about this brief that asked for natural hair. So we took her back to basics and recapped on the fundamentals,” explains Jayne.

“It was a stress free day for me thanks to what Alan and Jayne taught me,” recalls Pam. “And working with ghd products made it an effortless day also. The weightlessness of the products allows you to just keep adding until you have the perfect texture.”

Another example came in a salon owner who, upon arriving to the ghd Star Styler Protege Master Series, literally couldn’t blow dry correctly. Her issue was an inability to generate volume from the simple process of a blow-dry, and by the end her time with Alan and Jayne, created an image with relaxed, yet perfectly swept body ready for the glossy beauty pages of any magazine.

And this is the gift of ghd – an ability to instil confidence through beauty intelligence.