International Awards winner Hassan Ali talks about his passion for hairdressing

Creativity has no limitations and beauty has no boundaries. When it comes to a combination of beauty and creativity it’s a whole new world every time the artist is at work. That’s exactly what StyleSpeak brings you this December. A candid conversation with Hassan Ali, Founder at Studio Ali Barbierie, Bengaluru, one of the most talented hairdressers of India whose amazing craftsmanship helped him win accolades and awards on national and international platforms of the hairdressing industry. He won the Stylist of the Year 2017 at OMC Hairworld Championship, Paris, Bronze Medal for Individual Championship for commercial cut and style and launched his salon in 2018 and recently bagged the OMC Best Contribution Award 2020.

What made you think of becoming a hairdresser?

Some things are bound to happen without planning. It all started with a knee injury while playing hockey almost a decade ago. I was also a part time model and loved doing my hair. I experimented going blonde with a box colour and the experiments went on for a while until my cousin pushed me into thinking about my passion for hair colouring as a profession. I started off in 2010 and never looked back again.

What inspires you the most in this profession?

The very fact that I can create something distinctive, something that I vividly imagine inspires me every single day. And this is purely because of my love for competitions. For me it’s not about winning but about exploring the ideas that I get from seeing what others are doing. There’s a constant dialogue between my ideas and my mind that helps me materialise the creativity. For me inspiration comes from almost everything around me.

Something you’d like to share about competitions and your passion?

Competitions are a great way to learn, and I’m personally very fond of challenges because they bring the best out of you. In India I’ve participated and won a few AIHBA competitions. I started participating internationally since 2015 and the preparations were really intense. I have spent most of my time experimenting during my training for an international diploma in hairdressing and that made me stronger. My passion for colour grew deeper and that’s what made me win for my country.

I take inspiration from colours that are very natural. It could be from shapes, paintings, nature and techniques that can blended with colours, and hair colouring is just like painting. All it needs is a blend of creativity and technical knowledge. It’s a very important how you think and feel and apply it technically.

“Creativity is an ocean that has no end to it which I have already taken a dive into it.”

How has COVID affected your business?

COVID has affected each n everyone for sure, but that’s how life gives us surprises, with good and bad times. To fight back is the only way. I have always believed in the quality of business, which has been quite good even during COVID. Post lockdown, the business took time to get back on track, but patience and focus is the key to better business and we’re working towards it.

Where do you see the salon industry five years from now?

Things are changing rapidly in the salon industry and businesses have really boomed over the years. Social media has played a vital role in the growth of this creative industry. According to me lacs education and awareness about hair and beauty industry. But thanks to social media, the virtual connection with national and international brands has led to promoting awareness about the importance of education with webinars, virtual events and tutorials that have caught the attention of people. I see the Indian hair and beauty industry grow at least 5 times bigger than it is today in the next five years.

Your advice to aspiring hairdressers?

Practice make you perfect and having your basics strong is very important.

  • A positive attitude is all you need to work on
  • Set yourself short goals and work relentlessly towards them with a vision to have a new and a bigger goal each time
  • Never stop learning
  • Invest your time and money on education
  • Patience is key to being the best at what you do

There’s no end to what is there around us to take inspiration from. Hairdressing is not something you have to struggle to learn, it is an art. Once you start doing it, you will start loving it. I believe in doing what I love and I’d like to spread the same thought to all newbies in the industry.

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