The Lounge

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Art Director Matt Q&A

How many years have you been hairdressing: Almost 19 years!

What training and experience have you had: I originally trained with Toni&Guy. Forward from there, I have worked numerous times at London Fashion Week, worked on prime time TV shows, and currently work with artists from Virgin EMI and Sony records. I also regularly take myself on courses with/at the industries’ top educators to learn and forecast current techniques and trends.

When did you realise you wanted to be a hairdresser: I was watching a very early hairdressing tv show called ‘The Salon’ on Channel 4. The two main guys seemed pretty cool, and not what my perception of a hairdresser had been, and fundamentally I wanted to be like them.

Who is your ultimate hair icon: I wouldn’t say a specific person is my icon, but I would say there are a couple of scenes I’ve always found inspiring. Early 90’s Manchester, Ian Brown, Inspiral Carpets etc, also the early 70’s post Skinhead/Suedehead scene is iconic to me.

Describe your cutting style/strengths: I try to put a personality into every cut I do. I’m certainly not a sexy/glamorous hairdresser! My cutting is informed my street/youth culture, so I suppose you could say I like to de-age people with a haircut, but everything I do is very wearable and personalised to the individual. I love clients that aren’t afraid to push their cut, or a texture that little bit more than the ordinary.

What type of client should come to you and why: Guys with long hair, and anyone that needs a refresh or a different approach to how and why they wear their hair. I’m always researching trends, so I’m always keen to have a client that likes to freshen their look up regularly!

What type of styling hair product is indispensable: The range of looks you can create with the classics: Gel, Mousse and hairspray are endless, but a sea salt spray or wax spray are brilliant for creating modern texture and movement.

What’s your favourite professional tool and why: Scissors and comb for obvious reasons, but GHD Platinum Plus hair straighteners save the day whether I’m dressing hair straight/wavy/curly.

Best tip for someone looking after their hair: If you use a great shampoo and conditioner, do less heat styling, and have regular haircuts that are sympathetic to your hair texture/type/density, you’ll basically have the hair of your dreams.

What inspires your creativity: Music, street/youth culture, art, and hairdressers I look up to. These have been a constant to me since day one.

Who’s the coolest person you’ve met: George Michael. Not necessarily “cool” to some (although he certainly was in the Wham days), but certainly one of the most refreshingly nice, and interesting people I’ve met.

If you could be featured in any magazine, what would it be and why: The Face. It’s the original, and the coolest magazine there’s ever been.

Sum up your personality in the length of a tweet: Friendly and approachable, a big talker, and an even bigger story teller!

How would you describe your personal style: Pretty casual, loosely based around street wear, I dress from the trainers up usually!

What’s your most treasured item of clothing: I’ve got a few pairs of trainers in my collection that I treasure, and an Louannis Dimitrousis jumper I bought from his ready to wear collection working at my first fashion week many years ago. It’s basically a museum quality piece of clothing, completely impractical, but it’s very intricately put together and a one of a kind.

What’s the best thing about working in Soho: Soho is basically a village in the centre of London. It’s the only legitimately interesting, forward-thinking and diverse area in town, and it’s a place whereby you really feel like you’re adding something to the culture whilst being here.

Name your previous salons: Percy&Reed, Toni&Guy

What personal interests do you have: I’m a DJ, so spend time hunting for music new and old. Eating and drinking in interesting restaurants around town basically consumes 50% of my life! I consider myself an expert in fragrances, so spend too much time researching smells. Also, I’m hugely consumed researching youth/street culture/trends as I mentioned before, so that’s my evenings sorted minimum 5 days a week!