We may have mentioned that our friends at Schwarzkopf Professional invited us to the launch of the newest product range – SESSION LABEL. With a Graham Norton chat show vibe, Schwarzkopf Professional’s Kay Brady interviewed the brand’s Global Styling Ambassador, Nick Irwin and his first assistant, Ellie Bond who shared an insight into the session world and how they perfected the range.
Q&A with Nick and Ellie
How did you make it into the session world?
Nick: Early in my career, I worked with Gary Hooker and he was the first person to expose me to photoshoots. It was the catalyst I needed to make me realise what I loved doing. My first session job was actually by chance, standing in for someone who was ill on a shoot with the legendary David Bailey. It was my first big break, and it was then that I knew session was what I wanted to do.
How does styling differ between salon and session?
Ellie: I think the big difference is how you work with products. You’re prepping and setting the hair very differently. It’s almost like you have relearn everything you’ve been taught in the salon, or at least flip it on its head.
What was it like to develop a product range?
Nick: I love being involved in the entire process; being sent a basic idea or product from the chemists and considering what works and what needs changing. I’m from a salon background and I do still see clients, so I understand both sides. I actually got to put the products to the test last summer when I was on a shoot and my kit didn’t turn up. All I had with me in my backpack were the sample testers of the new range, so I used them and was amazed at how well they responded in that situation.
How versatile are the products?
Ellie: It’s a streamlined edit, but there’s everything you need. You can use all of the products in diverse ways, so you don’t need much else in your kit.
What’s your favourite product?
Nick: I love The Mousse. I’m a bit old school and I know mousse gives me the result I want. With this one, you can really pinpoint and work in specific areas, and can be very directional with your application. I also adore The Texturizer – it’s a hard one to get right, and I’ve tried so many. They often leave residue, but if you just want to add a nuance to a blow-dry or palm the surface of the hair for a natural static, this really enhances that with a lightweight feel. The Powder is also a real problem-solver, and great for anyone with finer hair – it’s a game-changer.
Ellie: My favourite is The Strong hairspray. It performs really well in terms of strength, but it’s not too sticky or harsh. Some of the strong hairsprays are like glue, but you can brush this one out easily and still get the results you want. I also love The Salt, which is not too heavy compared to other salt sprays, which I find can be very drying. I’ve used it on location when you have no electricity and you just want some texture, and it really works. The Thickener also really does what it says on the tin and is great for a blow-dry.
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