By Nayera Yasser
The art of hair styling has always maintained a central point in the heart of Egyptian culture. For generations, many local icons inherited their ancestors’ empires and even managed to compete on an international level.
Hairdressing is a captivating form of art that extends to touch the lives of millions. L’Oréal Professionnel academies worldwide created a chain of the most renowned entities that aim to professionalise the hairdressing business. Today, local hairdressers have access to this academic module to enhance technical know-how and erase any creative boundaries.
From offering a compressive educational portfolio, to organising specialised artistic courses led by international ambassadors and performers, the academy offers this world to partnered Egyptian hairdressers in order to advocate this art.
L’Oréal Professionnel Egypt aims to connect Egyptian women with the world of beauty through bringing the latest seasonal hair trends right from the international runways to the heart of Egypt. They have successfully raised awareness, confidence, and creativity bars, converting the International “It Girl” to the girl next door.
Daily News Egypt spoke with Bassant Zeitoun, Group Product Manager, and the L’Oréal Professionnel team on the academy’s role, the status and potential of the hairdressing business and what the future holds for the end consumer
What is the L’Oréal Professionnel academy’s main goal in Egypt?
Within L’Oréal Egypt, we have four divisions, each with its own identity and set of brands; each with a specific DNA catering for you and your needs.
The Professional Products Division (PPD) caters for the hairdressing business, and our brand portfolio includes Kérastase, L’Oréal Professionnel and Essie. Our team’s mission is to inspire and achieve each hairdresser’s dream as an artist.
L’Oréal Professionnel offers its partners, hairdressers, the highest performing products and services, the latest trends, as well as business partnership. Our heart is colouration; however, we also provide high performing products, in-salon services and home routines in order to allow every woman to achieve her desired look and feel.
The pillar of our brand is education. At the end of the day; we do not sell a product on a shelf. We assist your hairdresser to provide you the ultimate services. Accordingly, we technically advise and educate on the qualitative usage of the products.
Our entity’s main goal is to provide educational services to our hairdressers, who are keen on developing the newest techniques in the industry.
Educators are an essential part of the L’Oréal Professionnel team. Academic sessions are held in our Cairo academy, where hairdressers from around the country attend theoretical and practical sessions on colouration, hair care products, hair diagnosis and product recommendation for both in-salon treatments and client home routines.
L’Oréal Professionnel is all about helping women reach their highest beauty aspirations; therefore, we work hand in hand with your hairdresser to help you achieve your dreams.
When did you establish the academy in Egypt?
The PPD team launched the academy in 2010.
L’Oréal Professionnel is initially built around education. The company was founded in 1909, by chemist Eugène Schueller, who invented the first hair oxidation colour.
Educating his clients and partners was his main trait of success. Hence, our academies worldwide continue to solidify our partners’ satisfaction and success via this educational pillar.
Since the academy’s inception, how did the local scene evolve?
The hairdressing business has beautifully evolved in the past five years. On a business level, salon owners in our profession are fast tracking their growth and are very keen on providing their consumers with the highest-end products and services.
On an educational level, due to our country‘s natural notion of curiosity, we are increasingly able to saturate more knowledge and development of artistic abilities as the years progress. The L’Oréal Professionnel team has successfully structured a method to efficiently modernise and develop various hairdressing tiers.
In Egypt, we offer our hairdressers a comprehensive educational portfolio, and provide inspirational shows and performances both locally and internationally; moreover, we regularly introduce the newest techniques and tricks in closed styling sessions. Each service is tailored to ensure the development of our partner depending on their artistic and business needs.
A turning point for the academy and our Egyptian hairdressers was introducing the “IT girls” and the seasonal “IT looks” for the local consumer. We introduced the first IT looks in Spring/Summer 2014, with the international ambassador, Christophe Gaillet.
Since then many additional L’Oréal ambassadors have both performed and conducted artistic sessions in Egypt; including Laetitia Guenaou, who introducing the AW 2015-16 IT looks, as well as Olaf van Den for the SS 2015 and most recently the renowned colourist, Bernie Ojjetis.
Every season, we aim to inspire your hairdresser with the newest tricks and techniques in colour, cut, and style, in return for offering all Egyptian women the latest hair trends.
L’Oréal Professionnel sets the trends, and only our partnered hairdressers can realise your tailored IT look.
In what other ways do you inspire/develop the local industry? What is the L’Oréal Business Forum?
Over 3000 of the top L’Oréal Professionnel hairdressers worldwide gather every year at the L’Oréal Business Forum (LBF). This yearly three-day event is simply a source of inspiration; where ambassadors from around the globe get their hands on pure experience through extensive shows and step by step sessions, as well as exposure to the hairdressing world.
Over 200 of our very own Egyptian hairdressers have joined us in the LBF over the course of the past seven years. Many of our hairdressers have returned more inspired either on an artistic perspective, business manner, or even both. Hence, our number of invitees has consistently grown over the years.
Walking the same line, we encourage local artists to attend specialised courses in Paris to solidify their knowledge in specific areas with the help of hairdressing icons. Our aim is to ensure that our Egyptian hairdresser is on the international map; to be the beacon of beauty.
Based on what criteria do you pick your partners?
It is not about a certain criteria; it is a mutual understanding. Collaborations work in both directions and it is based on common agreement. It is all about how we build this business together.
Partnerships grow every year – and we are proud of our partners and their success. Their success is our success.
How do you manage the process of bringing international “It” looks to Egypt?
In terms of trends, we have teams dedicated purely to researching and bringing you the latest ones, analysing the international scene and events. We are always on the runway, we work with top international stylists and we have experts that provide us with upcoming trends.
The international team develops the colour, cut, and style looks; meanwhile, we adapt it locally to suit our Egyptian consumer. For example, last season we presented the Shag cut. Local experts completed the trend with the latest colouring techniques in order for consumers to get their tailored version of the trend.
This season, L’Oréal Professionnel introduces hair contouring in the AW 2015-16 “It” looks, where your hairdressers have the technical ability to realise your ideal face shape in a natural and trendy manner.