Are those tousled locks and beachy waves starting to feel a bit tired now that you’re back from holiday? Or have the sun and the salt played tricks on your hair colour? Finding a great hair salon is like finding that perfect bikini: a needle in a haystack. When we came across Lisa Whiteman from Whiteman Soho, we were both impressed by the gorgeous surroundings of her very own salon at Ham Yard Village and her expertise in everything hair related. With more than 30 years of experience in hair care as well as traveling the world for Goldwell Professional, Lisa has mastered the art of hairdressing to a T. To get you ready to go back to work, we are offering our readers an extra perk this autumn when booking a service at Whiteman Soho. Read Lisa’s interview below and you might just feel inspired to finally try out that very specific colour you’ve always had in mind!
Tell us what made you decide to pursue a career in hairdressing?
My first ever experience with a hairdresser was when I joined my mother on her hairdressing appointment at a friend’s home on a Friday. When we arrived it was like hair heaven! About six ladies and friends having a really good laugh and with their hair being transformed into incredible Coiffed Lacquered to the max 70’s hair styles. Hilarious. I was amazed and in awe of the hairdresser for her skill in handling a brush and rollers. Plus, I had never seen my mum and her hairdresser laugh so much. That’s when I thought at only five years old: what a great job that must be! I was in love with the industry from that day onwards.
In your three decades of hairdressing experience, what would you consider your career highlights?
It would have to be winning the Global Zoom Colour competition in Miami in 2011. The whole UK client base launched into the air cheering for me- it was a pretty special moment. It lifted my career to another level and I became part of the Goldwell Global Master team. I travelled the world training and educating cut and colour techniques to Goldwell salons and trainers.
You were also a co-owner of the Mayfair salon WebsterWhiteman, what made you decide to finally open your very own salon?
I’ve always wanted to be able to fully make my own decisions in my own salon. I wanted a luxury brand that was warm and friendly but still very professional. Location is key and when the lease was finished on WebsterWhiteman, I went on a mission with my property consultant to find the perfect premises. Ham Yard Village is a gorgeous location and the clients can see the fairy lights in the trees from wherever they sit in the salon. It’s a calm, creative, bright and open space. A great combination for clients and stylist to enjoy the full hair experience.
We understand that colour is your specialty, tell us more about your colour bar and the products you use?
The reception at Whiteman Soho is replaced by the colour bar and exposes the colour process to the clients as they see how colour is chosen and mixed. Clients can have a top up colour here or just enjoy a coffee and chat or work from their laptops or phones. We have the full range of Goldwell colours in view for stylists to tap into their creativity and really present each client with a bespoke formula.
What is your experience working as an international hairdresser for Goldwell Professional hair care for 10 years?
Whether it was working on Goldwell Global shoots in Berlin or training the workshops in Australia, I’ve worked with some amazing hairdressers from all over the world. All hairdressers from different countries have different creative ideas when it comes to hair and it’s a fantastic way to watch and learn new techniques from the best of the best in the world. I have always loved travel as well so it’s the perfect way to see the world and work at the same time.
What would you say is the most demanding part of running your own business and the most fun?
The hardest part for me is making sure the team sees the vision that I have for the future. I have specific ideas about how a salon should run. Its new and exciting for me but hairdressers and clients can be set in their ways. I want to change the day to day way the salon is being run, with less paperwork and make it more effective. As in any business, it’s a challenge. The most exciting part is building a new brand and creating my own education programme for my team and other Goldwell customers. I like to try new things and I get really excited about using my training skills in a positive way.
What are your go to leather accessories and how do you take care of them?
I am definitely a handbag and winter boots kinda girl. Unfortunately, my bags usually take a bit of battering from daily use in London. My handbag has to carry everything so it’s normally a larger, designer handbag with a longer shoulder strap for practical reasons. I’m too busy to change bags regularly and if I did I’d probably leave my house or salon keys in another bag. Not the best idea.
When the winter boots season starts, I normally buy a couple early on and try to avoid eye contact with shop windows until the sales start. Otherwise I’m afraid I’d be left with ten new pairs of boots before November!
What are your expert hair care tips as the seasons change, transitioning into the colder months?
Autumn is always a time to fine tune your hair colour and get it ready for winter. Whether it’s cooling down a summer blonde or warming up to a winter red. The sun has a massive impact on hair colour and it’s always better to avoid direct sunlight where possible. We have a fantastic new product in the salon called pure pigment additives. When mixed in with existing colours, it will enhance, cool or add a new dimension to hair colour. It’s our first winter using this product and it will certainly be amazing for the clients to see the transformation.
This seasons trends will see a deeper cooler toned Balayage, free hand technique. The trend of “showing the roots” will be replaced by a more even root to tip colour. More solid, overall colours with a slight underlying shimmer. Much more subtle than the ombré or heavily emphasised balayage technique we’ve seen during the past seasons.
Whiteman Soho is offering The Restory readers an exclusive 15% discount on all hair care services with the code RESTORY15 when you make a booking. Offer expires 31 October 2018. Please visit https://www.whitemansoho.com/ to make a booking.