The energy, connection and support of an editorial hair team is maybe the best part of being a session hairdresser, at its best creating a sense of artistic recognition, validation, camaraderie and the knowledge that you’re part of something bigger than yourself.

So how do you facilitate these magic-making teams, whether editorially or backstage, or even in salon, that can work together and elevate each other creatively?

Teresa Romero, a Sam Villa Ambassador and salon artistic and education director, works with celebrities and in fashion, as well as being a two-time North American Hair Styling Awards (NAHA) finalist in the category of Team of the Year, for her Downtown and Domain Northside Teams. So she knows a thing or two about session spirit and she’s here to share her advice.

“Collaborating as a team isn’t always easy and can seem daunting to some, but it’s a beautiful thing to see a group of individuals come together on a creative journey and discover the team experience. Producing hair artistry together will bond a group of people like nothing else can,” she said.

Jose Luis Salon (Domain Northside); Photographer/Nico Nordstrom; Hair/Teresa Romero and Jose Luis Buitron; Makeup/Tanya Ortega and Sarah Contey; Wardrobe/Teresa Romero

Here are the five essential steps you need for team success.

1. Have a Team Leader

“There has to be a leader with a distinct concept that can clearly communicate with each member and keep things on track,” Teresa said. “It takes patience and motivation skills to navigate through artistic ideas and make each member feel vested, while keeping the concept in focus.”

2. Collaborate

“Team members should feel like they can contribute ideas – some might make the concept stronger, and some might be off the mark, it’s up to the leader to listen and then make the final call.  Sometimes the most unexpected ideas are the best,” she shared.

3. Define the roles

Each member needs to know what they are responsible for, play to their strengths when assigning roles,” Teresa explained. “Invite newer members to assist more experienced members to give them an opportunity to evolve and be part of the team.”

4. Don’t get lost in the hair

“The magic happens when, hair, makeup, wardrobe and photography are in harmonyso include all talent in the planning process and do a test shoot, if possible,” Teresa said. “Choose a photographer that understands the nuances of shooting hair and hire models with confidence that can make the hair shine. Makeup artists and wardrobe stylists and designers play a major role in the overall aesthetic, so choose them wisely too. When all parties are involved in the planning process it creates a more positive team experience on shoot day and reduces post-editing time.”

5. Plan well but stay flexible

“Plan meticulously with a well-stocked session kit but know that there will always be unexpected things that occur on set, so don’t stress, stay positive and flexible.Keep the shooting atmosphere drama free, and have additional hair pieces and tons of irons at the ready – a winning combination for saving a shot!”

“Working on a team is full of discovery, collaboration, practice, planning and editing.  It’s so rewarding, and when those hidden unexpected gems are created on set, that’s when everyone feels the magic and it’s a beautiful thing be a part of,” Teresa finished.

Keep these rules in mind and go team!