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Saturday, 5 March 2011

Michael Barnes hair extraordinaire tells why Pierre’s show was his best work to date!

Michael Barnes, 52 based in South London has been hairdressing for 30 years. His experimental, avant-garde hair creations can be seen in trade and consumer magazines worldwide. When he is not trotting the globe demonstrating at big industry hair shows, he is the creative director of his busy salon Michael Barnes Hair based in the West End. With a loyal following the price doesn't come cheap, a snip with the boss could set you back roughly £100! Read on to find out more about his work and why Ombre is the top hair trend for 2011.
Michael Barnes Hair

Michael thank you for taking the time to interview with Pierre Garroudi’s blog. Tell us about your journey into hairdressing?
“When I was 13 I used to play truant from school and hang around Kings Road looking for odd jobs to earn money. Myself and a friend got a job cleaning and painting a cellar for Manolo Blahnik who wasn't that well known at the time. He paid us with a pair of shoes each, wish I still had them.”

Michael happened to get his golden opportunity when asked by Manolo's assistant if he wanted a job shampooing.“I took the job and the moment I started I knew I wanted to do hairdressing.”

Michael was responsible for some of the amazing avant-garde hairstyles seen in Pierre Garroudi’s AW11 Royal Collection. (See crucifix, castle and crown pictures)

What was the experience like working with Pierre to come up with these hair themes? “This is the third show I've done with Pierre. I love working with him because he gives me total freedom (apart from the color) to create what I like. I enjoyed the show; it was the best I've worked on for Pierre.”

What was the creative process like?
“I start working 4 weeks before Pierre’s shows to make the pieces. I run a busy salon so I do the work when I can. My inspiration was from Pierre's royal theme. I used a number of techniques for the Crucifix and Castle they are basically sculptures made from a two-part plastic foam, covered with acrylic hair using cooking gelatin. For the Crown I used acrylic hair and gelatin which is attached to a buckram base and finished with human hair. The messy looks I did were all acrylic hair backcombed and pinned onto the models own hair.”


Michael creating the crucifix hairpiece

How very resourceful. So where did you learn these techniques from?
“I started my training at Ricci Burns Salon and developed these techniques myself.”

Michael confesses he doesn’t do many fashion shows but mainly demonstrates at hair shows for hair companies such as Goldwell, around the world. “...My next one [show] will be in Vietnam.”

What do you find most challenging when demonstrating at        hair shows?
"I work with a company called Goldwell for hair shows. The shows are challenging because I'm demonstrating or presenting to my peers and they can be very demanding."

For budding hair enthusiast's Michael has somewhat ‘groundbreaking’ advice for you. “Same old cliches. Work hard, never give up, always be true to yourself and try not to compromise.”

and finally... What is the top hairstyle in your salon? What is everyone coming in asking for in 2011?
"The most sought after looks in the salon are Ombre colour and long soft 70s waves."

Sidebit: Ombre colour is created by gradually colouring or dip-dyeing hair from dark-to-light or light-to-dark to create this amazing effect. The style has been featured as a top trend in 2010 by Vogue and seen on celebrities alike. Noticeably catwalk trends have also been 70's inspired from designers such as Marc Jacobs and Fendi.

Sarah Jessica- Parker sporting the Ombre colour and 70's wave.

Will you be donning the Ombre look this season?  If so you can visit Michael’s salon http://www.michaelbarneshair.com/ and tell them Pierre Garroudi’s blog sent you!

Photo credits: lapoubelleverte.com and Michael Barnes



  1. Thank you Michael for contributing to make our show a complete success, and for providing us with the final touches to truly put things over the top.
    Your understanding of what we wanted to show, and your ability to bring these ideas to life was incredible.
    We look forward to working with you again soon.
    Sincerely, Coco Lee on behalf of Pierre Garroudi.

  2. awesome show I look forward to the next one and again a big thanks to coco michael for the hair and the rest of the team to make it a wonder full show raymund

  3. The PIERRE GARROUDI show looks stunning and eye-opening especially with the unique collaboration of the Michael Barnes works on the hair sculptures,Pierre's creatively, Coco and the team. Keep up the good work and looking forward to see more...luv...o(+_=)o Yanny X.