Interview: Introducing Richard Ashforth

During this season’s busy Essential Looks shoot the team sit down with Schwarzkopf Professional’s Global Styling Ambassador, Richard Ashforth, for an inspiring Q&A:

 

As the new OSiS+ Ambassador, you’ve got our most creative range at your fingertips every day. How do the products inspire you to keep it fresh? What do you love about the range?

"OSiS+ is a truly complete range. It not only perfectly provides the tools to achieve the looks and finishes that stylists and clients desire from season to season, but also goes beyond expectation in terms of quality and variety of results."

 

Everyone’s talking about your ‘noise’ project. What’s the idea behind it?

"The idea was to try and take a more raw, visceral approach to the hair show – more like going to a rock gig! We wanted to provide an environment and vehicle for the artists to step out of their comfort zone a little and truly push themselves creatively. Low or no ticket prices also mean that the next generation of stylists can easily attend, which is a major driver for the shows."

 

"The bigger, polished shows we have are fantastic but are geared towards salon owners and senior professionals, which can exclude the younger crowd – but, as they’re the future of our industry, it’s vital that they have the opportunity to see creative leaders. We only use social media to promote the shows and release the venue details just a few hours before the show – it creates a real buzz and is another way to appeal to our target audience."

 

Tell us about the latest OSiS+ campaign shoot – what’s the story behind the looks you created?

"OSiS+ is a young, vibrant brand and embodies a modern, creative approach to hair. The looks represent achievable, fashion-forward shapes and colours, which retain a flexible quality, inviting both the creator and wearer to be creative in their interpretation and styling of the looks."

 

Richard Ashforth

 

Schwarzkopf is all about leading the way in hair trends. What are your predictions for the coming seasons?

"Looking ahead to next season, a major trend is texture. Curl and movement will be big, with volume playing a central role alongside texture but with a natural-looking edge. Another key trend is going to be a matte, undone looks for the guys. Super-groomed men’s hair has had its moment – now’s the time for looser lengths and a laidback, no-fuss look."

 

How can stylists ensure they maintain their levels of creativity, wherever they are and whoever their clients?

"The world is a pretty small place these days, so it’s easy to share your work and be inspired by others in turn. Get online and see what’s out there – there are so many cool people doing innovative things. All the social platforms have something different to offer and, importantly, somewhere to take you! Be a sponge and absorb whatever resonates with you the most."

 

Is creativity something you can learn, or do you think it flows naturally?

"I believe that true creativity is something that comes from our subconscious, so by default it can’t be taught. But I do believe it can be nurtured and that everyone has a creative side, even if it lies dormant sometimes. By equipping yourself with the skills to execute your ideas and feeding your brain with a little inspiration, creativity grows."

 

It’s not always easy to encourage clients to break the mould and be more experimental with their look... What are your tips?

“Take baby steps... always offer a change, however small. It doesn’t always need to happen, but it does create the right mindset for change. Change is scary and exciting in equal measure but it’s also necessary and clients do enjoy evolving their look. They come to you as a professional for your skills, your personality and your knowledge. Be aware of trends and be enthusiastic about their look – change is then inevitable!”

 

What’s your creative philosophy?

"Don’t force ideas, let them evolve. And don’t go looking for inspiration – let it come to you. Keep your head up, your eyes and ears always open. Inspiration and beauty is everywhere so just tune in to your environment and let the ideas flow naturally. Finally, be honest about what you do and don’t like – taste and creativity are inseparable."

 

Now you’ve met the master, discover the new tools of his trade with OSiS+