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Let it go

Fun, creative and playful, Darren Ambrose’s hand painting technique is a fantastic example of what you can create when you let go and just go with it. Here, the owner of D&J Ambrose Hair Salon in Pinner reveals how listening to his gut and a trip to an art exhibition inspired this colour technique.

“I first did this technique for Wella Professionals TrendVision Award at the Roundhouse in Camden, but subsequently went to see a Jackson Pollock exhibition at Royal Academy of Arts, which really inspired me to build on this technique. I loved the textures on his canvases.

“It’s all about free styling. It’s very alternative and more about a feeling; it’s creating art on hair. I mixed paint with latex as this helps it become more 3D and more textural when you layer it. By using a multitude of different solutions to build on the hair – some are more watery and diluted, some are more intense – you’re creating a picture, but with added texture.

“I always have a fixed idea when I start, like when you’re doing a haircut or hair up, but I see it as a journey and it can take you in obscure directions. You set up to create an image, but because it’s a freestyle approach, it’s open; you can let yourself go and create something with visual impact as you go.

“I chose bright, intense colourations as neon colours are big this year. I painted these hues onto a bleached bob or long hair, enabling me to can anchor it like a canvas and paint or splash, so it’s a multitude of art on the head. It’s also fun.

“You can also isolate the paint by taping off sections of the hair to create a panel of art within the hair. So much of what we do as hairdressers is mathematical in its precision so sometimes it’s nice to throw that to one side and do something off the scale – that’s why I let the paint go across the face, neck and clothes as I wanted it to tie in. The garment takes on the print of the hair, it’s a continuation…”