Greetings from Down Under! Ruth's trusty, jet-setting mannequin Viola gets, funky haircut on a stopover in Australia.

It was hard to say goodbye, but Viola, my dependable and inspiring mannequin who has been with me for the last 20 years, recently embarked on a three-stop world tour. As I mentioned in last month's column, she will be entrusted to the care of a few fellow hairstylists at every stop on her trip. They will each take a turn styling her to show us what's happening with hair in various parts of the world.

Ruth Roche
Ruth Roche

Viola just completed her stay in Sydney, Australia, where my pal Wayne Friend, a Redken national artist and owner of Form Haircutters in Canberra, took great care of her and accommodated her needs by giving her a new haircut. As promised, he kept the length, since her hair will be styled by a few more people before she returns to New York. Due to the 14-hour time difference, Wayne and I communicated via e-mail. Here is his own synopsis of how he cut Viola's hair.

Well, Viola had her appointment this morning. She wanted to keep her hair long enough to tie up, but she also wanted a style that was a little funky, with added movement and texture. (How many times have I heard clients say that!) Here in Australia, we are seeing shapes that are disconnected and asymmetrical but balanced. With these things in mind, I decided to create a shape that was long but textured with shorter areas around the face, a longer overhang from the fringe and asymmetry to the back.

Here's how I did it: First I separated a horseshoe area from recession to recession, then made a diagonal part from right recession to bottom of left back. The right section was over-directed to the front and cut blunt on the diagonal. Then I over-directed all of the hair above the horizontal and point-cut the weight out. On the left section, the hair was over-directed to the front and cut blunt on the vertical. Then, with vertical sections from front to center back, the hair was elevated and graduated from short to long. The right side of the section was over-directed to center back, then the top section was all over-directed to center back, 90 degrees from the crown. The top was textured by cutting out strong diagonals shorter underneath, working out to the length in radial sections.

Wow! That is some serious asymmetry on the inside. And yet the cut is totally wearable with a definite edge. What a great example of turning things upside down and inside out to stay inspired and keep clients fresh. Thanks to my friend Wayne for taking good ole Viola under his wing Down Under (wink, wink). Next stop? London, where she will be entrusted to the skilled hands of Sally and Jamie Brooks, both former members of the Trevor Sorbie camp. I can't wait to see what they decide to do. Stay tuned for more travels with Vi.

E-mail Ruth at [email protected]. To find out more about RARE education with Ruth Roche, visit, or call 866.RARE.NYC.