Exclusive interview with Lee Stafford, Celebrity hairdresser

When did you first realize you wanted to become a hair stylist and where did you start?
I started out when my mum asked me what I wanted to do and as I didn’t know she suggested becoming a hairdresser. Her reasons were that I hate the cold, I love women and didn’t like getting my hands dirty. She took me to an interview at a salon in the Kings Rd. where I became a junior, then for six months I began cutting hair in my mum’s dining room. I continued to do so for a few years before starting up my first salon in Leigh On Sea.

We always like to ask stylists, what is their own particular favorite hairstyle of all time?
That would have to be Jessica Rabbit!

Where do you get your own creative ideas from?
Every week, I get together with my creative team at my apartment and we have a brainstorming day. We come up with ideas for new techniques, cuts and collections as it is such an amazing process to be able to draw on other people’s influences as well as incorporating the styles I see everyday on the streets. 

What tips can you give to up-and-coming hairstylists?
I would always say for any new hairdresser that they need to walk that extra mile. They need to give blood, sweat and tears and be absolutely dedicated to reach their dreams.

You must have seen many changes in hairdressing over the years. What in your opinion were the best innovation and the worst?
The best innovation would definitely be flat irons and the worst I would say are straightening systems as they are expensive, damaging, time consuming and constantly need touching up.

Is it better to cut and shape hair when wet or dry?
That totally depends on the type of hair you are working with not to mention the style you are creating so you can do it either way.

If you could choose, which celebrity would you like to create a new style for?
The Queen.

Also, what scissors do you use for creating your cuts and looks?
They are Sensei revo made from cobalt alloy and they cut through hair like a hot knife through butter.

Why did you want to create your own hair products?
I wanted to create my own products because I saw it as my biggest challenge yet. It is so fantastic to be able to help women get the hair they have always wanted, at home.

What are the newest trends for 2008?
I would say that from looking at haircuts in the streets the main trend seems to be cuts that go from long to short in intricate places to give a little bit of disconnection and an edgy finish.

What is the most important thing in becoming a successful hairstylist and in managing a salon?
As I said before, you need determination, motivation, not to mention most importantly, people skills. You need to be able to interact well with your clients and staff to earn the respect and trust of the people around you.