Episode 078

Mark Hayes

Podcast Length: 1 hr 21 mins | Date Published: 23rd February 2021

There are very few job titles in the hairdressing world that carry with them the responsibility of not just keeping a legacy alive, but also having the courage to evolve and reinvent it to maintain its relevance in a fast-changing world.

Perhaps the most significant job that carries that responsibility is being the International creative director of Sassoon, a title that has only ever been held by 4 people: Roger Thompson, Christopher Brooker, Tim Hartley and Mark Hayes.

The Sassoon brand started when Vidal Sassoon opened his first salon in Bond St London in 1954 and here we are 66 years later and the Sassoon brand is still arguably at the top of the tree in many ways and still very much a major force to be reckoned with.

My guest on Today’s podcast is a good friend and the current International Creative Director of Sassoon Salons and Schools Mark Hayes

In today’s podcast we discuss:

  • What is creativity and how to direct the creative process?
  • How we can all contribute to making hairdressing a more desirable career choice… and
  • How training is changing with new attitudes and technology

And lots more!

In This Episode:

[02:05] Welcome to the show, Mark!

[02:45] Mark shares how he has been handling the pandemic both personally and professionally.

[06:06] Antony talks about how important communication with your team is for small salon owners during this time.

[06:48] Mark discusses how Sassoon is keeping in contact with their stylists, clients, and teams in general.

[09:36] Mark believes that come spring, they will be back to work and wants to be ready to hit the ground running.

[11:01] Mark describes his definition of creativity.

[13:43] Mark speaks about the Ted Talk with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on Flow.

[16:16] Mark talks about a hairdresser he used to watch that had huge hands.

[18:28] Mark shares the cuts he used to do on stage.

[19:27] Antony says that he was always good at cutting hair but wasn’t that great at finishing hair.

[23:29] Antony speaks about clients walking away from hairdressers, putting their hands in their hair and bringing it to life by making it more their style.

[24:30] The most successful people are the ones who have a connection to the person they are working on.

[26:45] Mark believes you have to be aware that it is a collaboration between the stylists and the client.

[29:32] Antony discusses a stylist he used to watch that brought an element of beauty that he didn’t believe he could achieve.

[30:44] Mark believes that it’s a confidence thing more than a femininity thing.

[33:00] Mark speaks about his role at Sassoon.

[36:56] What excites you about hair these days?

[38:36] Mark shares what excites him about his salon after all these years.

[41:48] Mark discusses talking with young hairdressers about Sassoon’s legacy.

[43:49] Is there anything in hindsight that you wanted to explore that you haven’t done over the years of your career?

[47:33] Mark speaks about the hairdressers of Sassoon over the years.

[49:28] Mark discusses the responsibility of being the International Creative Director of Sassoon.

[52:16] Mark talks about the people he learned from over the years.

[53:59] Mark shares what the industry needs to do to make hairdressing a career for more individuals.

[57:05] Once you get people in the industry, you have to be able to keep them.

[58:56] What does the Sassoon brand represent to GenX?

[1:01:36] Mark discusses how technology is affecting the industry both in education and internally at Sassoon.

[1:05:28] Antony talks about launching his new course and the diversity of people that have signed up for it.

[1:08:51] Mark speaks about changing traditional salons’ operations and their business models.

[1:11:49] Mark believes that Vidal Sassoon was one of the industry’s biggest disruptions during his time.

[1:13:48] What is your biggest strength? Humour.

[1:14:00] What drives you? Responsibility.

[1:14:16] How do you reinvent yourself? Be true to yourself.

[1:15:28] What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned? Be empathic.

[1:15:53] How do you overcome adversity? Don’t obsess over it.

[1:16:18] What do you wish you were better at? I wish I were less impatient.

[1:17:19] If you could go back and give the sixteen-year-old you advice, what would it be? Don’t worry; you are good enough to be there.

[1:18:56] Mark shares some final words.

[1:20:30] Thank you for being on the show!

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for joining me this week. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons at the side or bottom of this post.

Also, I’d love it if you’d leave an honest review for The Grow My Salon Business Podcast. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show and help other people find my podcast. I also love to hear what’s been helpful! Just click here to review, Click through to ‘Listen on apple podcasts’ scroll to the bottom, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favourite part of the podcast is. Thank you!

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Special thanks to Mark for sharing his thoughts with me for this week’s episode.

Until next time!


Links and Resources

Bonus Episode – Re-release of an interview with Mark Hayes recorded in 2015.

YouTube Ted Talk with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Mark Hayes

Mark Hayes


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