Bernadette Beswick shares five key takeaways from her time at the Sassoon Academy in Santa Monica, U.S.

She’s one of Australia’s most beloved educators, inspiring professionals the industry over with her unique brand of positive mentorship.

Gliding seamlessly between retail and consultation education, classic skills training and business mentorship, Bernadette Beswick not only boasts experience in spades, but also an acute ability to connect with varying personality types, tailoring her teaching to suit students of all experience levels.

Having worked alongside some of the best names in international hairdressing – and educated globally – the Melbourne native took her passion for learning one step further, jetting off to the United States last month to partake in a lineup of exclusive sessions with Sassoon Academy heavyweights Traci Sakosits and Mark Hayes.

“Having attended Sassoon Education in London previously, I knew this would be another amazing experience and I wasn’t wrong!” shares Bernadette. “I strive to always keep learning and growing; to bring fresh, new and precise content to my students, as an educator, and to bring the best to every haircut I create as a hairdresser.”

Fresh off her whirlwind sojourn, Bernadette shares five of her key takeaways from the illuminating experience that was:

  1. One of the biggest takeaways? Learning all about the Sassoon way of cutting, specifically cutting for head shape. These techniques were quite different to what I had learnt in Australia. During my one-on-one with Traci, I was lucky enough to experience personalised, tailored education. We worked through everything from the theory of haircutting and the correct techniques for cutting curly, long hair types to the art of cutting short-to-medium styles, pixie cuts and creative, disconnected bobs. It was all about learning new ways to execute precision.
  2. A concept central to the Sassoon way of cutting? The idea of ‘exhausting’ your technique. Whether you’re layering, graduating or point cutting, it’s vital your technique is precise. That’s what is meant by the term ‘exhausting your technique’; honing and practising (over and over again) to absolute perfection… to a point where finishing is either minimal or barely necessary. This was a real eye-opener.
  3. Another big takeaway was learning how to style hair for photographic imagery. I was lucky enough to be one of five students personally mentored by Mark Hayes (who is essentially the closest person you can find to Vidal Sassoon!) and together we worked through specific techniques for styling hair for the camera. It’s important to know how to style hair for photographic imagery; the camera sees hair one-dimensionally, whereas we experience things multi-dimensionally. The challenge is to capture that.
  4. during my time with Traci and Mark, I was able to enhance and build on my knowledge of layering, graduation and line. The learning really solidified my knowledge of cutting theory, and I feel as though I see these three vital components in a new light.
  5. Finally, I was reminded of the importance of really listening. It doesn’t matter how you’ve been in the industry, nor how long you’ve been hairdressing or educating, there’s always room to learn even more. The learning I experienced on this trip was absolutely phenomenal! I left equipped with so many new resources to draw from, whether it be with regards to theory or the creative side of hair. I can’t wait to share my knew learnings and insights with my students in 2020!

To keep up to date with Bernadette, follow @be.the.exceptional.hairdresser