A Generation Y walked into Les & Company Hair Designs located in the village of Chester a few weeks ago for a new style upon returning to fall classes. The Y hair had grown to around 15 inches in length. He had a photo of a style he wanted which was that of a rock group member that he followed. The cut was a “disconnect” from styles being worn today. He was referred to Les Blackwell, the lead principal stylist and owner of the 21-year-old salon.
Blackwell and another principal stylist in the salon had just returned from a two-day workshop in New York as guests of Matrix Global Academy, rewarding their top salons throughout the nation. Blackwell’s salon ranks in the top two in Virginia and high in the rankings on the East Coast due to the fact that only 50 salons nationwide were invited to the special event. Due to longevity and innovation, 17-year veteran of the salon, Terry Flanagan, was selected from the group of 15 stylists at Les and Company.
“Just returning from the workshop helped me to make the cut for this guy who came in with long hair,” says Blackwell. “To cut the style he wanted. Cutting class helped me to understand new cuts that young folks are looking for.” Within an hour of time, the new style on the Generation Y was identical to the high profile musician’s style where the facial features complemented each other and the style on mark.
The new styles introduced by Brian and Sandra Smith, artistic designers/trainers for Matrix Academy, were a short and long disconnect. A color workshop was also held on using color to highlight the latest cuts. The Smith’s have been consistent nominees as well as winners in the prestigious North American Hair Dressing Awards. They have been finalists nine times and were winners in, the avant-garde and hair color categories. There resume includes a long list of runway, film and TV, print, and awards.
Blackwell and Flanagan were amazed by the red-carpet treatment they received from Matrix, and both agree the educational experience was an energizing one. “It is a feeling of renewal,” says Blackwell. “It’s like starting over again, the excitement and energy you have when you return. Being able to work side-by-side with renowned world platform artists and bringing the energy back to the salon, it was like coming just out of beauty school again. Flanagan says, “It was an all-around great experience; new techniques, new education, and new ideas.”
Blackwell says all his stylists try to stay current with the latest trends and take advantage of most workshops available in the area. Shortly after the New York experience, Matrix offered a one-day workshop in Richmond focusing on point, plane, and disfusion cuts. Rosy Adams, Cindy Wayne, Chelsea Raddiffe, Angie Dunn, and Lucy Wilkinson attended.
Matrix will be conducting an in-house color seminar for Les & Company in September.
Les & Company Hair Designs is located in the Rite-Aid Shopping Center located at 4416 W. Hundred Rd. Chester. For more information call 796-2887.