Two words. Hair Extensions… Tape, weaves, wefts, clip-in, wigs, micro beads, clip in ponytails, you name it, Hair Expo Australia 2018 had it all.

I for one, have been around in the hair industry for a good 20 years plus, and I’ve never been a massive fan of hair extensions. Let’s face it, they have not had the best reputation. Glue residue, hair breakage, exposed tapes (insert image of Britney Spears just before she shaved her head) and expensive…

So let me break it down for you… Some things never change and that’s the cost of hair extensions. However, you do get what you pay for. But thankfully, all the other lovely attributes mentioned above have improved drastically.

Hair Extension quality has gone next level. I can vouch for this as I have been wearing extensions for the past 10 months, and people don’t even question if it’s my own hair or not!

I have tapes, and I’m not going to lie, they are a bit of maintenance… But for the results of how the make you look and feel the effort is absolutely worth it.

They are fantastic if you have fine hair, to add a bit of thickness and volume, or short hair to get you past that awkward length that makes you want to throw a Sinéad O’Connor tantrum and shave your head.

There were fantastic clip in hairpieces and halos that slide on and are cleverly disguised. The colour range and quality in all these hair extensions is above and beyond what you were probably accustomed too years ago.

Point being; don’t be discouraged any longer by past experiences. Talk to your hairdressing professional about your options. I bet they are bursting to put forward new ideas for having even better hair. There are loads of companies competing in the market, so the choices are endless.

Reduce, Reuse & Recycle, Vegan Friendly Products

No I’m not talking peace, love & mung bean loving hippies. The hairdressing industry is moving in a direction focused on making products that don’t harm the planet or animals. Yaaay!

I saw the most amazing hair products that were packaged in recycled plastics, and even more impressive the ingredients all made to necessary standards that don’t harm animals in the making.

This is a global trend, and I was so happy to see that hairdressing brands are really taking the next step in making sure their products don’t harm our planet.

Years ago, the only hair products that were good for the environment, or slightly recycle worthy, were extremely poor quality and never up to salon standard… The products on the market now look good, smell good, and even better actually deliver on what they say their going to do to your hair. (Insert applauding women and men around the world)

I’m one to stick to a product for years… If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But drawn to the visually appealing packing and this new focus on the environment was enough to tempt me to try some sample products, and I’m now converted. You can look after your hair and the environment too!

Speak to your hairdresser and you may be pleasantly surprised to hear what’s in your shampoo, conditioner and styling products, if not maybe it’s time to make the change for the better!

Not just short back and sides fellas

Men’s Hair… Wow, hasn’t this industry come full circle? Over the last ten years, my male clients are not just booking in for a trim, but styling too. Sorry guys, but you’re now fussier than most of my female clients! Now this is actually a good thing, Guys are now thinking more about their look, and happy follow current trends.

Watching the talented guys at Wahl do their thing… certainly cemented the notion of ‘Barber life’ has traction and got a life of its own. Low fades, big sweeping fringes, manicured beards and blended fades. The last few years the shaved part has been huge but it was nowhere to be seen. Instead, very low fades and keeping bulk up top on show.

Clipper art is a whole new skill that not only barbers need to learn, but up and coming hairstylists need to get down with this incredible skill. I feel that as a hairdresser now, we need to incorporate barber techniques into our skill set. If you don’t, you’re going to miss out on a huge audience and or client base full stop.

The lads are looking for a hairdresser that knows their stuff when it comes to men’s hair. From products, styling tips and what is going to work for their hair type. There are many courses currently running throughout the year, so there’s no excuse to update your skills and get on board the barber life bandwagon.

Balayage, done right

Balayage demonstrations were happening around Hair Expo Australia and it captured my attention a few times. It’s all about the mix and technique. Having a plan from start to end so you don’t lose focus on the look you want to achieve.

With so many new techniques to get that blended look (usually lighter tones) there’s no reason you should leave with lines or poorly blended colour jobs when paying good money at the salon.

People had their phones out madly recording, (like me, ha-ha) for anything new they could take on board. Balayage is here to stay but constantly evolving. Make sure your colourist is up to date with these techniques.

Be the best you

Overall Hair Expo Australia was a colourful, visually stimulating extravaganza of all things hair. Enhancing your skills and being inspired never gets old. Seeing the new talent and the old showed me that as long as you have the passion and drive anything is possible.

Follow your hair dreams; be good to yourself and the environment. Happy Hair Days for everyone!

Author Bianca Spokes

Born with blade handling skills like no other, Neon Bimbo is ready to slice. The mystical gypsy go getter Edwina Scissorhands is explained right here. Twenty years on and probably enough hair inhaled to compete with the common moggy cat, there has been lots of accolades along the way.

More posts by Bianca Spokes