I was really excited to be back in Asia recently, educating there for Redken for the first time in seven years. I was in Taiwan, presenting to 400 hairdressers in a theater just outside of Taipei. The local crew put in a lot of effort to get the staging just right. When I walked in, I got goosebumps!
All of the models had been preselected according to the shapes and silhouettes I wanted to explore, and I have to say that this was one of the best groups of models I’ve worked with in a while. They were beautiful women and very open to getting their hair cut, plus they really knew how to work the catwalk! Models can make or break a show, and so can the translator. I was fortunate to have a wonderful translator who was able to deliver my message with the same passion that I was expressing.
I did have a couple of challenges. After I’ve done some very theatrical segments over and over, I drop them and move on. But this audience had never seen anything like our “Changes” segment, so I had to recapture my enthusiasm for it; I didn’t want to disappoint them! Also, although the audience was very hungry for education, in my experience, the Asian culture is not interactive. I work best with the energy that comes from interaction with the audience, so I tried my best to create that give-and-take, and they began responding.
Disconnection continues to be the big story in hair shapes, so I demonstrated our latest disconnected cuts. For an added fee, the hairdressers could attend a hands-on workshop to try out the techniques themselves, and 45 stylists came back the following day to participate in that.
To give credit to the support team, I had the Asian Redken artists come out on stage during the finale and do hair with me. These artists understand the passion that drives someone to want to teach. I could tell that they were already thinking about how they were going to spread the spirit of Redken throughout their country. I advised them: Hold onto your passion, and you’ll be fine. When you love what you’re doing, you’re able to help other hairdressers become better and better.
Sam Villa has more than 25 years experience as a platform artist and educator for major salon professional companies. Part of the Redken family for the past 11 years, Sam is Redken’s Education Artistic Director and Design & Training Consultant and appears on redken.com as a spokesperson for consumer consultations. He is in constant demand at international and domestic trade shows and in-salon programs, where his progressive teaching approach enables stylists to absorb new techniques quickly and for practical use in the salon. In 2008, Sam launched his website, www.samvilla.com, along with his own brand of digital media education and styling tools for salon professionals.