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Have you Conquered the Classics?

August 24, 2023

Whilst it’s great to be inspired by the endless artistic creations we see in the hairdressing press and on social media, it’s important we remember to master the classic techniques first.

We caught up with TONI&GUY international artistic director and two-times London Hairdresser of the Year, Daniele de Angelis, on how classic hairstyling techniques are the real foundation of a successful career in the industry.

“A huge part of my career has been developing beautiful photographic collections – this is where I learnt how much creativity plays a major part in creating beautiful looks,” says Daniele. “However, without the classic techniques that I was taught early-on in my career, creating these more Avant-Garde looks would not have been possible. Having an artistic eye is only part of the process; mastering the classic techniques has given me greater freedom and the ability to push myself further.”

Here are some of the classic techniques that have helped me become the creative hairdresser I am today:

Have you Conquered the Classics? 1Finger Waves
Every time I begin to think that this classic style is on its way out, it appears in another collection from a major hairdressing talent. Now I realise that techniques like this will never disappear as they are the foundation of so many beautiful looks. Aside from developing excellent finger dexterity, this technique will teach you how to place your fingers and brush hair in a way that creates continuous movement. As with all these classic techniques, once you have mastered the basics, you can develop and modernise the process; right now, we’re seeing many different interpretations of Finger Waves on the catwalk and the red carpet.

Have you Conquered the Classics? 2Setting
Whilst you may consider this technique old-fashioned and unlikely to be requested by a salon client, you’d be surprised to learn that the ‘shampoo and set’ is a great way to create endless volume in hair. Fit to survive the rigours of any show or photoshoot, this is certainly a skill worth learning in the world of contemporary hairdressing.

Have you Conquered the Classics? 3Tonging
Most hairdressers will regularly use a pair of tongs, but are they getting the most out of this kit-bag staple? Tongs are not the same as irons, they offer much more subtle and varied results – this includes creating root lift and volume, as well as flat, deep and irregular waves. I believe that mastering this familiar tool can help you stretch your creativity to the maximum.

Have you Conquered the Classics? 4Backcombing
This technique is the basis of beautiful hair-up. Creating big hair without using the proper backcombing technique is like building a house without the right foundations. If you don’t backcomb from the roots, you will just create a knot in the hair. Whenever you see an incredible, voluminous hair-up look, you can be sure that backcombing was used to create it.

Have you Conquered the Classics? 5Blow-drying
Today, a lot of stylists forgo a blow-dry in favour of using rough-drying or heated tools as these methods produce faster results. However, I believe that nothing can beat the beautiful finish created through using a round brush, tension and a hairdryer.

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