Professional Hairdresser Live is the IMATS of the hair world - with top brands exhibiting, hair demos, catwalks and hair royalty milling about it's easy to see why it draws such crowds. I made my way into Manchester's G-Mex, immediately spotted Errol Douglas tapping away on a laptop in the organiser's office, picked up my pass and headed into the exhibition area - already amazed at having seen such a legend of the industry!
I wandered around, taking in the stands before watching Mr. Douglas open the show. He talked a little about how he's proud to have just become president of the Fellowship of Hairdressers (how medieval does that sound?!) and how he wants to keep the UK the home of the best hair professionals in the world.
I then made my way around watching demos at the stalls. Everywhere you looked there was somebody being hands on with hair - popping in extensions, back-combing wildly, delicately braiding or shaving funky patterns into gent's heads. It was a real visual feast and I know for a fact anyone passionate about hairdressing would have been utterly inspired!
The aesthetics of 'Doll Hair' really appealed to me, the model even sat with her arms and legs in that 'doll pose' the whole way through - what a star! I've always loved a brand that goes all out with their image as well as their products.
The first show I watched was presented by Warren Holmes, Nicky Clarke's international creative director. He talked through some catwalk styles while three young hairdressers who usually assist completed the looks on their models. He chatted a little about the industry, naughtily trash talked a rather popular at home ombre kit and home box dyes in general (I guess we're all 'guilty' of those!) and really put the focus on the stylists on stage and their rather impressive work.
Nipping over to the bridal stage, I wasn't at all surprised to find it utterly rammed for the demonstration by GHD! They created a couple of gorgeous, modern styles with a bit of a dishevelled feel. The majority of the bridal styles I spotted at the show were definitely more low maintenance that of previous years - with the focus on stunning accessories instead.
The Fellowship stage hosted a constant stream of 'collections' from various salons and companies, everything from the highly editorial to the extraordinarily low key. A great stage to sit by for a bit of a chill out, while still being inspired by some great looks and excellent speakers.
GHD stole the show a little, with their awesome wagon/ truck/ tanker studio and swanky bar complete with styling pods, plus demos which filled up within minutes.
The funky scissors at Cool Blades distracted me for far longer than necessary for somebody who doesn't even cut hair! I love the designs and the prices seemed more than fair.
I can't explain how strange it is to see people in the flesh you aspired to as a kid (I did work experience as a hairdresser!) Pro Hairdresser Live is simply unmissable for anyone interested in hairdressing - not only can you stock up on products and equipment, watch demos and learn from the best but you find yourself stood by hairdressing royalty everywhere you turn. If that isn't inspiring - well, I don't know what is.
Pro Hairdresser Live is also on tomorrow at Manchester's G-Mex, online registration is closed but you can still get tickets at the event.
I was invited to attend Professional Haircare Live by their PR team. All opinions 100% mine and 100% honest, as always!