Classic Techniques are the Foundation of a Creative Career
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Classic Techniques are the Foundation of a Creative Career

There is so much incredible creative work to see on social media and in the hairdressing press, and it’s great to be inspired by these artistic creations. But to embrace the more creative side of hairdressing, it’s important to master the classic techniques, says TONI&GUY international artistic director and two-times London Hairdresser of the Year Daniele de Angelis.

“A huge part of my career has been developing beautiful photographic collections and creativity plays a major part in the entire process, from concept to shoot,” says Daniele. “But without the classic techniques that I learned early in my career, creating these looks would not be possible. Having an artistic eye is only part of the process, mastering certain classic techniques gives me greater freedom and the ability to stretch myself creatively for the ultimate results.”

Here are some of the classic techniques that have helped me become the creative hairdresser I am today.
Finger Waves. Every time this classic seems to have had its day, it appears in a collection from a major hairdressing talent. Techniques like this will never disappear completely as they are the foundation of so many beautiful hair looks. The skill needed to create finger waves is also a great way to develop dexterity in your fingers while working with hair. Through this technique you will learn how to place your fingers and brush hair in a way that will create continuous movement that is visually stunning. Today we see modern interpretations of finger waves on the catwalk and the red carpet. As with all these classic techniques, once you have mastered the basics, you can develop and modernise the process to create looks that are contemporary but with a nod to the classic.


Setting. This technique is considered old-fashioned and unlikely to be requested by a salon client, but you might be surprised to know that the out-dated shampoo and set is a great way to create volume in hair that will survive the rigours of a show or photoshoot, making it a skill worth learning in the world of contemporary hairdressing.

Daniele de Angelis

Tonging. Most hairdressers will regularly use a pair of tongs, but are they getting the most from this kit-bag staple? Every hairdresser should own a pair of tongs and understand the variations in curl and textures that they can achieve. Tongs are not the same as irons — the results achieved using tongs can be more subtle, including creating root lift and volume, a flat wave, a deep wave, or an irregular wave. Mastering this familiar tool can help you stretch your creativity and create beautiful finishes, whether in-salon, for a show or photoshoot.

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Backcombing. This technique is the basis of beautiful hair-up. If you don’t master backcombing, you will never excel at hair-up. Creating big hair without using the proper back-combing 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.


Blow-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, nothing beats the beautiful finish that can be created using a round brush, tension and a hairdryer.

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