If you’re given the chance to speak to legendary Scottish hairdresser Neil Barton – over a delicious lunch at Sydney’s Nour restaurant, no less – you take it. The Goldwell Master and Professional Trainer, as well as KMS ambassador, utilises his exceptional colour and style work as something of a passport, taking the opportunity to travel the globe and offer incomparable knowledge when it comes to hair skills, editorial looks and trends.
Sydney was a primary stop on his full-city tour of Australia, and one of the main events was a lunch with beauty media over delectable Lebanese cuisine. Appearing alongside two key launches in the new Goldwell Kerasilk Styling range and KMS Primer products, the brands’ teams used the new tools to create styled looks at Nour’s neighbouring Prema salon in Surry Hills, before lunch commenced. There, beauty media were given unrivalled access to Neil, and we took that opportunity to discover his thoughts about current trends, the new product launches and Color Zoom and it’s 2018 Elemental Trend.
As a winner of the Goldwell Color Zoom Trophy back in 2010 and as a consistent mentor for the teams that create the yearly Color Zoom trends, Neil was the ideal person to explain how to master Elemental and, beyond this, editorial creation in general.
“Keep the hair self-made looking, the hair has to look like the model has done it herself, the hair has to be more powdery, and the pastel colours have to be soft and not so metallic,” he said of Elemental. “Elemental, even more so than the previous years, is for the salon, with its twisted razor cutting and twisted scissor cutting, it really fits in with exactly what we’re seeing with textured haircuts and micro-fringes. And you don’t have to go so crazy with the colour palette but it’s there to take inspiration from, you can tone it down and translate it.”
Neil’s eye for editorial is born from his background in fine arts, a skill that catapulted him to the title of Scottish Hairdresser of the Year as well as many other coveted titles.
“When I won Color Zoom, I didn’t understand why I had won when I had just done a simple bob and never went so crazy, and they told me that was why I won, because I kept the style simple and classic and didn’t try too hard,” he explained. “What you have to remember, is that the judges see hundreds of hair entries, and you can’t go too crazy, or what I call too ‘hairdresser-tastic’ – for me hair has to look beautiful and suit the model’s face shape. Sometimes when you go for a competition, you have ideas of a hairstyle that you fit on someone’s head. I look at the model’s face and do something that suits her look.”
This talent has also seen him step into roles of education and brand progression (he’ll be designing Goldwell’s campaign images to be used over the next five years later this year) and ignited his international travel schedule. He sees our global hair industry as one giant community, facilitated by social media, with runway and viral trends that are very much up to date with each other no matter where you are in the world. When not constantly travelling, he still works as close to full time as a professional traveller can at his prized Scottish salon, with a 13-strong salon team that he counts as his greatest pride and accomplishment.
“My biggest achievements and what makes me most happy is my team, who I’ve trained from start to finish, I also get to travel and work with lots of younger people who are inspired by me, but I’m inspired by them and watching them grow,” he said. “I like to lead teams and find a different outlook on hair – when I was younger I was obsessed with creating hair that had never been seen before, but to me everything’s been seen before, it’s about creating a beautiful image on the model that suits her look.”
Neil is optimistic about a 2018 that looms with his own new academy and salon renovations – as well each of the brands’ new launches. KMS has rebranded entirely, speaking to a wider demographic and releasing the Primer products that work in conjunction with styling products for more optimal textures. Meanwhile, Goldwell’s new Kerasilk Style products cater to that high-end client who simply wants the best.
“I see the Kerasilk Styling Range as a Gucci handbag, because it’s top range product and it’s for the client that really looks after themselves and is really proud of what products she buys,” he said. “Every product in the range has silk in it so it makes the hair feel expensive.”
As you possibly prepare for your own take on Elemental and Color Zoom 2018 entries, it’s nice to hear and learn from one of the most respected editorial artists in the business. Particularly, one of his statements has stayed with us since lunch.
“Because of my art background I’ve always loved creating images, but I’ve never done a competition to win a competition, I just want to create beautiful images,” he said.
Use that as your mantra and we don’t see how you can go wrong.
For more information visit goldwell.com.au
Images by La Tessa Photography
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