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Errol Douglas on Bridal Hair, Education and Success

We reached out to Errol Douglas after seeing his Instagram post on Bridal Hair and the importance of Education.

“I’ve always said this and I cannot stress how important it is to know your foundations in Hairdressing…” Errol Douglas

Now this Industry Leader needs no introduction…but here it is! Because it’s not every day you get to pick the brains of such an accomplished professional.

“Errol Douglas was awarded his MBE for education and services to the hairdressing industry. Widely considered to be one of the most influential hairdressers in the world, his role as Dyson Ambassador results in a strong reputation globally, as well as in the UK.

The Errol Douglas salon in Belgravia is unique in that it is accredited with International Technical Excellence. The salon looks after every hair type at the very highest level of technical and artistic ability. Clients travel to the Errol Douglas salon from all over the world. The salon enjoys a loyal following and an unquestioned reputation.”

Errol Douglas has impacted practically every area of the industry:

  • Session styling and fashion - Regularly featured in Vogue, Elle, Tatler, and Cosmopolitan.

  • Celebrity clientele - Including Naomi Campbell, Emilia Fox, Brad Pitt and Diana Ross

  • Countless industry awards and titles - Including President of the Fellowship for British Hairdressing 2013

  • Charity work - Including Great Ormond Street Hospital, Centrepoint and Haircuts4Homeless

In our Q&A, we share his philosophy on Education and what it takes to become a successful Bridal Stylist…

What is Bridal Hair to you?

Bridal hair to me is one of the most important occasions of a woman’s life. The importance of the day is make or break. I get great pleasure creating something that makes the bride and her family happy. If she feels beautiful then my work is done.

What is your personal experience of Bridal Hair?

I was fortunate enough to have a really good mentor who always loved bridal hair. My show work is so different to when I create a bridal look, which is great as it adds variety. Bridal is more contained and precise, it is a technical art. I have created for top society and celebrity weddings, which is always an honour. I have also worked with large bridal companies on their bridal editorials. I take on bridal work a lot, and a lot of brides come into the salon to see my incredible team of stylists.

I have been creating bridal looks for 21 years in my salon, which means that brides I have done previously are now bringing in their daughters to have the same service.

How does Salon training prepare you for the world of Bridal Hair?

It is very important that hairdressers train on a professional NVQ and apprenticeship course. We make sure all of our upcoming hairdressers understand the vital techniques of styling long, short and afro hair. For long hair we teach how to blow dry properly, tong, backcomb, plait and create up dos. The salon environment teaches them to be able to create perfect hair on all hair types.

Please explain your philosophy on Education.

Our philosophy is every assistant on an Errol Douglas apprenticeship should have proper training. I mean complete all modules to the highest standard. This includes cutting, colour, styling, afro hair, men’s hair, and hair ups. Our education strap line is “technical excellence”.

The individual to us is so important. We produce stars of the future.

We do an extensive training in afro and textured hair, which is missing on so many other training programmes.

Please describe your courses and how you teach.

Our courses are bespoke. We work very closely with an educational team called “hair project”. All our teachers are NVQ qualified and take turns to share their experience and talent with our apprentices.

What qualities do you look for in a student?

Artistically I want to know where their head is at. I want to know if they have good hobbies, what they fill their time with. Before they get a job at the company they have to know our history. As well as their artistic behaviour I am also looking at their personality to see how they would fit into the Errol Douglas brand. I like to see how they are around other people and what their enthusiasm and dedication towards the industry is like.

How did you become so successful at your craft, and how do you stay successful?

Success is a vision, and you have to work hard to get there. Success isn’t given to you. If you put the time into learning and enhancing your craft then the industry is what you make of it.

Any advice for Bridal Stylists who want to grow in their career?

The main thing is you have to drive your own awareness locally. You have to do as many models and take as many pictures as you can so you can market yourself correctly. Team up with a great photographer, a wedding planner, a bridal store, and a good makeup artist. The thing that will drive you is how active you are on social media and the internet. Brides like to see visuals. Another great place to get work is to take part in exhibitions and bridal fares

A huge thank you to Errol Douglas for his massive contribution to this industry, and for taking the time out to answer our questions - it really means a lot.


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