The Hugh Campbell Hair Group in Limerick is delighted to welcome a new Senior Stylist to the Marbles Cruise’s Street salon. Shane Woods took some time to answer some rapid-fire questions which give us an insight into his illustrious career and overall approach to both his work and hair in general.
Q: Hi Shane and welcome to the Hugh Campbell Hair Group! Before we do a deep dive into your career and move from Australia to Limerick, can you sum up your approach to hairdressing in three words?
A: Thank you, I’m delighted to be here: Natural, fun and wearable.
Q: So are we sensing that you’re a fan of the boho look?
A: I like a more polished version. Mussed, lived-in hair that looks like you just came from the beach or bed but with the perfect styling and products to make it look that way. Like you managed to roll out of bed with amazing hair.
Q: You have just left the beaches of Perth behind to move back to Ireland. Can you tell us a little about your time in Australia?
A: After a year in Chicago, I moved to Western Australia where I spent four years working at Maurice Meade, a high-end salon chain. The team there was made up of mostly international stylists and colourists so I learnt a lot. It was there that I realised that cutting and styling is my absolute passion so I gave up colouring to really focus on that. I worked as Head Stylist and that opened the door to some amazing opportunities.
Q: Do tell!
A: Well, I oversaw all of the hair design for TV commercials and campaigns for Maurice Meade, which meant incredible locations and meeting celebrities. For the fours years that I was there, I worked Perth Fashion Week – working alongside Sloans of Sydney, I assisted with hair design for L’Oreal. I loved the energy and the pace of that work, as well as the glamour of it all. I also worked as part of the Australian Artistic Team for Shu Uemura which involved travelling around the country doing photoshoots and workshops. I was able to train with Daren Borthwick, the Creative Director of Shu Uemura’s Art of Hair. That gave me fresh insight and ideas and led to features in the Hairdressing Journal, a career high for me.
Q: Did we hear that you worked with Russell James?
A: Have you been checking out my Insta [laughs]? Russell James is a renowned international photographer in fashion and entertainment. He’s probably best known for his work with Victoria’s Secret models. I worked on private photoshoots with Russell and other celebrity photographers during my time in Australia. They were that lovely balance of work and wow!
Q: In terms of the industry, that work must really have shaped your own style and approach to hairdressing. How would we see that? A: I think you’d see it in how I translate catwalk to commercial. I would see something incredible during Fashion Week, for example, and would be constantly figuring out how to bring a less processed version to the salon. All of the glamour without the 6 hours behind-the-scenes work. I looked after training and education for apprentices at Maurice Meade and always tried to pass that need for vision on. Great hairdressing education is never about replicating – it’s about taking inspiration and putting your own professional stamp on it. That is a significant part of what drew me to the Hugh Campbell Hair Group. The brand has built its reputation on training and development and I am really looking forward to that as part of the team here at Marbles Cruise’s Street.
Q: How important do you think mentoring is in hairdressing?
A: It’s core to what we do and who we become. Yes, I had incredibly educational and almost privileged experiences in Australia, but my earlier mentoring had set me on that path. Back in Omagh, I trained originally as a barber but was encouraged by my employer/mentor at the time to continue on and study hairdressing. In those early days, I learnt the importance of customer service and how to create an exceptional salon environment. I was also encouraged to take part in competitions. For me, that’s what great mentoring is about.
Q: You touched on customer service there. What is your calling card – why would someone call Marbles and book you as their stylist?
A: That’s a fairly blunt question [laughs]. There are two things that I like to do in terms of customer service. Firstly, I like to see each client through which means I do their cut and blow-dry from start to finish. That way, I bring our shared vision from idea to finished look. I also ask every client what they don’t like instead of asking what they do. That way, I can work backwards and really build a picture of what they are working towards. It’s a bit of a different approach but I find that it’s much more effective as the client feels heard from the get-go.
Q: I love that! And tell me about your signature look or style?
A: As I mentioned earlier, I’m a big fan of natural, undone looking hair. It’s almost grungy but styled to look effortless. Beachy without the seaweed or sand. I think that my style is a mix of what I have picked up in Australia and Asia, mixed with European influences. I look forward to seeing how it will both influence and be influenced by clients here in Limerick.
Q: And what products do you have in your style arsenal for that kind of look?
A: I like using products that can be reworked into the hair, to allow flexibility and movement and for that I love Kérastase’s Styling l’Incroyable Blowdry lotion. It provides amazing heat protection and keeps the air frizz free for 96 hours. For texture, I reach for l’Oreal’s Savage Panache because as a dry touch texturizing powder spray, it gives great grip. To finish then, you’ll want a good hairspray like Air Fix by l’Oreal because that gives you hold without the crunchiness.
Q: You certainly know your products. Any recommendations for something to make hair really healthy and vibrant looking?
A: Regular trims and cuts eliminate any ratty-looking ends. Clients often think that growing a style out or longer means not cutting it. I tell them that the opposite is true – have it trimmed every 6-8 weeks and that gets rid of split hair. Because hair grows down, the healthier hair grows up top so the ends are basically the leftovers. I also think that it’s always worth investing in a salon grade shampoo and conditioner. If you have gone to the bother and expense of having your hair professionally cut or coloured, those products support that investment. It’s like taking an expensive dress or suit to the drycleaner because you want to mind it and get as long as you can out of it. Healthy hair looks glossy, even if you wear it undone or natural-looking. You can really see that in the popularity of ‘bronde’ right now. It gives the vibrancy of blonde with the gloss of brown. So, start with the basics of great shampoo and conditioner, then use good heat protector styling products and finish with a fast-drying texture spray for healthy-looking volume and movement.
Q: If you could work your magic on any celebrity, who would it be?
A: It would definitely have to be Kate Moss. She really has stood the test of time and ever-evolving style and looks. She’s done it all from grungy to pulled back and sleek. I also think Kendall Jenner and J-Lo would be great to have on the seat – there’s just so much you could do and they both have really healthy, glossy hair as the starting point. Kim Kardashian rocks that wet look like nobody else so she would be a fun client for that and lots of other reasons.
Q: Do you have any hair no-nos?
A: There are a few! You probably picked up on it earlier but ratty or straggly ends are definitely my biggest no-no. I would always veer away from hair that is over-processed or overdone in terms of colour, cut or product. Also, bad extensions are jarring. Where they look piece-y or stuck on, I just can’t look away.
Q: Any predictions for trends this Christmas?
A: We’re seeing increasing demand for that relaxed look I love. Soft, s-shaped waves that strike the perfect balance between looking effortless and yet polished. I see that being big at Christmas, enhanced with subtle tones that catch the light.
Q: We’re all on Zoom these days – Any tips on getting camera-ready hair?
A: We see photos and forget that it’s just smoke and mirrors in terms of lighting and angles. Zoom doesn’t really facilitate any filtering but my top tip is easy – clean hair! The camera reflects light and so picks up on everything. If your hair is spotlessly clean, you’re covered.
There you have it folks. Marbles on Cruise’s Street has an incredibly progressive new Senior Stylist on the team.
To meet Shane and experience his signature ‘undone-but-styled’ look for yourself, book an appointment by calling our Cruise’s Street Limerick hair salon 061 410 955 or via on-line booking at www.hughcampbellhairgroup.com