It’s not every day you fly in 80 Afros from New York and print out 550 images at Snappy Snaps…

Full of dazzling spectacles, daring interactive experiences and deftly coiffed creations, the first ever Featured Artist LIVE event was held in London last month. Dreamed up by the night’s ringmaster, Syd Hayes, and sponsored by BaByliss PRO,  the evening followed a slightly twisted circus theme. Blending laughter and learning, it saw guests pushing creative boundaries while playing with hair in fun and fascinating new ways.

So… The set designer who was originally going to do this job pulled out two weeks before the event. It was an enormous stress finding a replacement, but we did it in the end. Meanwhile, I took over a former curry restaurant for five days, two doors down from where my salon is based in Kew Gardens. The restaurant had been closed for a year and was full of junk and rubbish, so it was cleared one night by myself and the son of the restaurant owner to allow us to push the tables to the side wall and roll out three extension leads and a mini fan heater to keep us warm.

My two assistants – Paula McCash and Jason Lawrence – were briefed four weeks before the event and we sorted wigs out two weeks later. Each wig was labelled and put into a zip-lock bag and given a name and a number from 1 to 21. The Afros that we had flown in from New York were originally going to be sewn so that one wig consisted of eight wigs; however, in the end I wasn’t happy with the way they looked so I made the team double the size so that they consisted of 16 wigs per head!

For the first two days of wig prep I was away working on a job in South Africa. When I got back I went straight from the airport to the curry restaurant to help out. By the day before the event, we had eight hairdressers working flat-out in the curry restaurant.