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Modern mullet is 2021's most-wanted cut for women, says Hairdresser of the Year

Award-winning stylist Candice Mckay on the inspiration behind her annual hairstyle collection and the latest hair trends

21 March 2021 - 00:00 By and nokubonga thusi
The mullet is this season's most-wanted haircut, says stylist Candice Mckay of this look from her latest hairstyle collection.
The mullet is this season's most-wanted haircut, says stylist Candice Mckay of this look from her latest hairstyle collection.
Image: Justin Dingwall

There's no doubt that the pandemic had a huge impact on our creative expression and, for Candice Mckay, newly awarded Hairdresser of the Year at the Salon International Africa Awards, her annual hair collection expresses an ode to resilience, regeneration and rebirth.

Called the Lotus Collection, it's dedicated to Andrea Diobelli, and looks to the lotus as a beacon of solace in a time of uncertainty, hardship and loss.

We chat to Mckay about the collection, as well as how this visual presentation signals the birth of a new way of hair expression and point of view.

How did you convey a spirit of renewal and empowerment in the cuts and colours chosen for this collection?

I wanted to portray a collection of styles that blended avant-garde ideas with wearability and an expression of hope. The styles are simple and elegant; they are salon-friendly and could be replicated by a hairdresser in the salon, or they can be a starting point for the intimate creative process between hairdresser and client.

What lesson have you taken from the past year, and how has it impacted the way you now approach hairdressing?

I think what I have learnt is the value of human connection and how important my industry is in creating impactful and supportive relationships between hairdressers and clients. Our industry is not only an essential creative service, we also help our clients build self-confidence and provide therapeutic emotional relief.

How do you think this shift will change how clients think about their hair, and how hairdressers facilitate the salon experience?

I believe it is important as a hairdresser to be able to truly listen and understand the desires of our clients in order to facilitate their expression of themselves to the world. To identify our clients' needs, we need to practice mindful listening. We must give suggestions and spend time getting to know them by asking questions.

MCKAY ON THE LATEST TRENDS 

Hair trend to trash: unnatural texture and styling

“Mermaid hair and vivid colours are outdated. The Instagram tonged hair with extensions as well, and anything that is obviously unnatural.”

Most wanted haircut: the mullet

“The modern mullet is soft and less aggressive than previously seen. There is a femininity to it that relies on gentle textures and colour.

A look from Candice McKay's latest hairstyle collection titled the Lotus collection.
A look from Candice McKay's latest hairstyle collection titled the Lotus collection.
Image: Justin Dingwall
Ashy hair colours are trending, say stylist Candice Mckay.
Ashy hair colours are trending, say stylist Candice Mckay.
Image: Justin Dingwall

“When thinking about a mullet, your natural texture needs to be considered and easy styling is a must — nothing forced or too contrived. Make sure to visit a stylist who has a solid understanding of cutting short hair, and a knowledge of using layers to enhance the facial features.”

Must-try colours: beige, taupe and ash

“Glossy, shiny, well-looked after hair will always be in vogue. However, we will see traction in beige and taupe, as well as a further explosion of super ashy brunette shades as colour houses make advancements in their ash pigments.”


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