The mental time it takes to ‘make something work’ or to over compensate for tools and products that aren’t top of the line, could be spent on creative thinking and ‘what else can I do here’- which is where the magic is; where the fresh ideas and constant creative evolution comes from.
Lauren McCowan, Creative Director, Haircare Australia
Haircare Australia Creative Director and all-round boundary breaker, Lauren McCowan is one of Australia’s smartest, saltiest hair artists. A guaranteed crowd pleaser, she hosts a hat of hair tricks and techniques otherwise unimaginable, and according to the genius herself, its all in the kit.
TJ: What does your kit say about you as a hairdresser/artist?
LM: It definitely reflects my varied tastes and influences, especially once you start going through my wigs and pieces. Creative chaos.
TJ: Strangest thing in your kit?
LM: La Mer The Mist – I spray it on my face all the time. I don’t want to get wrinkles while I’m working.
TJ: Absolute can’t-kit-without products?
LM: There’s not an evo product that I don’t use. I’ve never used a product line that allows me to build my own products within a line like this before – the ultimate in blending and layering – it means I never get bored; I’m constantly evolving creatively. Absolute must haves on set are evo Day of Grace pre style primer, Icon Welder hot tool shaper and Builder’s Paradise working spray.
TJ: Strangest thing you’ve ever applied to hair?
LM: I’ve put all kinds on things of hair and in wigs. I like to look at hair as a fabric. But the weirdest thing I’ve ever had to do was incorporate a live snake into a hairstyle when I first moved to New York. That was some crazy sh!t. And I’ve also sewn hair before. When I say sewn, I mean literally putting hair through a sewing machine I brought on set … I was young and very much into weird techniques back then. I don’t like to box myself into traditional ways of thinking … also I may have been drunk.
TJ: How important are the right hot tools, to a good kit?
LM: I demand the highest in performance from the tools I use to support my craft – I don’t want to be constrained by the limitations of hot tools with no temperature versatility or low-grade coating slash inefficient heat transfers. The Cloud Nine Original Iron allows me to cater for absolutely any hair type and style imaginable. Further to this, the new Cloud Nine Curling Wand is like a round iron that adds a whole-other dimension to creating effortless movement and beautiful, quality shape memory. All without sacrificing the health of the hair.
TJ: How essential is a well-equipped kit to a solid performance on set?
LM: Absolutely essential. I look at my kit as my first assistant, it is my safety net that I know has everything I could possibly need to cater for any brief or creative opportunity. It is so important to ensure you have a well-stocked, comprehensive kit to support you, instead of just ‘making it work’ with a basic kit. The mental time it takes to ‘make something work’ or to over compensate for tools and products that aren’t top of the line, could be spent on creative thinking and ‘what else can I do here’- which is where the magic is; where the fresh ideas and constant creative evolution comes from. When you can completely rely on your kit and you know exactly what every piece of your kit can do for you – that’s creative freedom.
TJ: How does your kit look now as opposed to 10 years ago?
LM: After collecting things for a decade, my kit is a lot more comprehensive now. I used to think products and tools were much of a muchness, but now every single thing I have is essential to me. I have incredibly high expectations for the things I select to use and support my craft and creativity. It has many more wigs and hair-pieces now than it did when I was an apprentice … And it’s definitely more chaotic when working to fit everything back-in after a shoot. It always starts off so neat and tidy …
TJ: A hairdressers kit isn’t a hairdressers kit without …?
LM: The Hairdresser who it belongs to. And also a Mason Pearson.