New York-born barber Sid has travelled worldwide educating for Vidal Sassoon and a host of other leading industry names, and now runs his own academy. This week, we’re catching up with the now Nottingham-local about how Sassoon has informed his past and present.
Tell me about the day you first stepped into a barbershop.
The first day I stepped into the barbershop I knew I belonged. The strong masculine feeling and the funny banter and chat. It was a wonderful place where men can go to look and feel great.
Why barbering? When did you know that you were a barber at heart, rather than a men and women’s hairdresser?
I just realised I felt more comfortable doing mens hair than womens. I could easily talk to men and advise them honestly about their hair and style. I always found it a bit tricky speaking to women. I can be quiet shy around women.
You were at Sassoon for 17 years. Can you describe a typical day during your time there?
For myself as I was an educator, I worked in the various academies. Including the famous advanced academy where the latest collections were created. We would always start off with a morning meeting to talk about the day. We would of course start our model prep for our demonstrations. After the demos and lunch, we would start to organise the practical models for the students. After all the consultations, we would take the students through the haircuts and colour. At night, we would either train or look for models for the shows and demonstrations. It was never ending. I loved it! Always pushing yourself.
How has Vidal influenced your work today?
Vidal has taught me discipline and to push the boundaries of creativity.
And how do you see that influence informing the future of a) your hairdressing career and b) the industry?
What I had learned as being an educator at a Sassoon academy has completely made me the hairdresser, barber,educator today. Vidal’s ethos has created and nurtured the passion within me. I share my strength, hope and experience with all my students. My students are my biggest success story. I personally feel we need to go back to the basics of Sassoon’s philosophy in the industry. Going back to precision haircutting and colouring. Start to break the boundaries of creativity.
Who do you see working in the industry now, who’s work is informed by that of the great hairdressers of the past decade?
I personally feel that I admire the works of the Claire turner. Her hair colouring techniques and determination is inspiring. My other favourite is X-presion from Madrid. Their creativity is second to none. Strongly inspired by their work.
You travelled the world through your 17-year tenure with Vidal Sassoon. What did that exposure to the global hairdressing industry teach you?
I have traveled to may different countries sharing my knowledge that Vidal has taught me. It has opened up my eyes to various different cultures and concepts to approaching hairdressing/barbering. I continuously travel to Russia to bring the barbering culture abroad. The long hours and hard work inspire me the most. From the sold out courses to the various photoshoots, its what keeps me going and pushing myself to deliver the high quality education for all my students.
What inspired you to open your Nottingham-based barbering academy?
I was born to be an educator, therefore it was destined that I would eventually have my own academy. I chose Nottingham as its in the middle of the country and we can cater to students from all around the UK. We also have an airport nearby so we can also cater to students internationally.
Instagram seems to be a massive part of your business. How important do you think it is to be a progressive hairdresser, embracing new technology?
From early on in business I had learned to always be willing to change and go with the times. I had to learn that technology is the way forward. From hairdressing and barbering platforms such as Hairbrained and Barbershopconnect, it brings a whole new freedom to share our wonderful industry to others.
Where would you like to see the hairdressing industry in 10 years time?
I would love to see barbers and hairdressers being more positive to each other. Also to be more open minded about new ideas and try to create newer styles.
And what are you most looking forward to about being on stage at On The Edge?
To be very honest, my highlight of the show would be to be on stage with my icons Tim Hartley and Mark Hayes. As a young apprentice at Sassoon, these guys were my idols. I now get to fulfil a life long dream and be onstage with them representing my favourite clipper brand Andis.
Want to see Sid Sottung, and his idols on stage? Get your tickets to On The Edge HERE.
£50 tickets are proving particularly popular – snap up limited band B tickets HERE.
At Tribu-te magazine we encourage you, as hairdressers, to seize the power and put yourselves in charge of the industry’s creative direction! We believe that hairdressing is all about you – and design the content of our publications both in print and digitally, with hairdressers firmly in mind. For nearly 15 years we have been feeding your imagination, supporting your events, and delivering plenty of our own.
Here online you may browse our Portfolio section to find inspiration from the greatest hair artists… read our Blog to discover the top events and what we like about them,… then visit our Magazine section to read the latest edition (and archive editions) of Tribu-te publications. If you’d like to enjoy your very own edition of Tribu-te delivered direct to your home – visti the Shop to order a subscription to arrive quarterly. And of course, once a year, you can visit the Tribu-te Show – it’s an awesome presentation of the leading hairdressers on the best stage possible in central London each October! Contact us if you have any questions or would like to submit photography and ideas for any of our editions in Europe – we’re particulary keen to see your salons for our Design section both in print and online.