Meet Ollie Blackaby, he has worked on the hair of David Gandy and Yasmin la Bon and even presented alongside Joanna Lumley. Ollie worked for Trevor Sorbie for many years, followed by Headmasters where he was quickly appointed as a member of the prestigious art team where he got to work his magic backstage at London Fashion Week for many years.
Ollie is a hair GOD who knows his stuff and has his moral compass positioned just how I like it. As a vegetarian he has decided to start up his own salon in Brighton which only uses animal friendly products. Personally I wish more companies would take on this ethos. Ollie seems to think it is feasible so why can’t the big boys join him in a new revolution in 2017.
What made you start to use animal friendly products?
I have worked with some of the biggest brands in the hair and beauty industry and was becoming more and more aware of how I feel about the big wide world, I felt I had a duty to myself to make a change. I want to build a successful salon that doesn’t hurt animals in the process. I am a big animal lover (I am even tattooed all over with furry creatures) and do not understand why we have to test anything on animals.
Do you think it will be a struggle to use all ethical products that aren’t tested on animals?Initially I thought it was going to be difficult but when I started my research I realised that anything is possible. There are lots of smaller brands that are cruelty free. Colour is a bit different, as it is a chemistry. I have always worked with Paul Mitchell, but I didn’t realise until recently that even their colour products are cruelty free.
Do a lot of hairdressers use products that test on animals?
I am sure there are a lot of stylist out there who are unaware that they are using products that are tested on animals but are blinded by other benefits the products have, so the cruelty thing get lost in marketing and hype.
Which hair products and brands can you recommend that we should use which aren’t tested on animals?
Any Paul Mitchell products, there are a lot. Their new Awaphui & Ginger range is amazing. The Swedish are creating some amazing ethical brands, Marina Nila are a beautiful range, they also do some amazing temporary colours too. For mens grooming, Bulldog do a great grooming range, as do Bearfaced and did you know that Superdrug’s home brand is cruelty free?
What do you think is the hottest hair trend of the moment?
Technology has allowed hair to be strengthened whilst still being coloured, Uber-liss is an amazing hairstrengthening system, which is also cruelty free. I feel ultra bleached hair and pure tones are huge at the moment, Hailey Baldwin recently went pink and its stunning!
Can you forecast the hair trends of 2017?
There is a lot of change politically, and this will affect fashion trends. I think we are going to see lots of movement in the hair, lazy curls and layers. It is hard to product colour, as everything under the rainbow exists at the moment, but I have a hunch that teal is going to be big for the bold ones, and for blondes I think oyster-golds.
How often should we get our hair cut?
If you have a strong shape or style, every 6-8 weeks. If you have longer hair, it will only need a trim every 3 months. For a guy, every 2 weeks if you can.
What is one hair tool that every woman should own?
A Mason Pearson brush, especially for long hair. It is the best at keeping your hair in great condition, and will last a lifetime.
Can you recommend a hair spray that will help keep a hair style in place even in the windy winter air?
I hate a hairspray that makes hair rigid, so it has to be a flexible spray, Paul Mitchell super clean spray is awesome, it smell great too.
CELEBRITY & THE MEDIA
Where do you get your hair inspiration from?
Everywhere, the street, art, fashion, editorials, film. Films can envelope you and take you somewhere different. I like to build a story around my inspirations.
Is there a celebrity you would love to work with?
Someone that isn’t too commercial, as I like to be creative, maybe Tilda Swinton or Bjork.
To me, great hair is…
something that shows the individual’s personality, don’t blend in.