TRESS TALK Stylist to the core
Lakmé Salon, in association with international hairstylist Winnie Loo, introduced an exclusive hair collection — ‘Showstopping Hair’. Amid the hurry and flurry, VIDYA KISHOREKUMAR manages a small chat with Winnie Loo, an acclaimed hairstylist and founder-
What prompted you take up hairstyling as a profession? As a child, I loved everything with scope for creativity and that requires an artistic touch. I entered the industry back in the 1970s and I feel associated with the hairstyling industry for ages. But without a doubt, I remain as passionate as I was when I started off 38 years ago. The profession has helped me grow immensely. If it were my choice, I’d do hairstyling even in my next life. You have seen four decades of changes in the industry. What’s the biggest difference you see? Initially, I trained in London and went back to Malaysia only to see that there’s no scope of a job. I then shifted to Singapore, where I did get a job but with a very, very low salary. People did not respect this trade back then. There were very few good salons. But today if you see Kuala Lumpur, salons are competing fiercely to become bigger and better and good stylists are always in demand.
What inspires you? Travelling inspires me tremendously. Also, I am a complete magazine freak – I buy magazines from wherever I go and keep them as my reference books. Fashion comes back in cycles and you never know when you’ll need to go back to old styles. Today, a lot of trends we see are retro. Recently, Sassoon hired me solely on the basis of my yesteryear expertise. I had to put to use what I learnt in the 70s at Sassoon. What’s your favourite type of hair to work with? I like hair with movement. At international styling sessions, while most stylists would pick models with straight hair, I’d pick those with wavy or curly hair. According to me, it’s when you can style and beautify less-manageable hair that you prove your effectiveness and skill. I am not one to encourage rebonding, I’d rather work with natural texture. Of the numerous famous clients you have worked with, who were your favourites? Ohh, there are so many! I have had the opportunity to work with Michelle Yeoh, Andy Lau, Teri Hatcher and many such top-notch stars. Recently, we also styled Cimorelli and have been working with many supermodels. What are your must-have styling products? The power of hairspray, sculptes and texturisers is undeniable. They help me transform hair. Hairspray would top the list — I’d be one angry stylist without it. Which styling tools do you use most often? Hair dryer is, of course, the most important. A good flat iron is also important. I suggest that everyone buy one for themselves to style at home.