Top hair stylist to the star Trudy Hayes may have worked in London, New York and Paris but its Dublin where her heart lies. Here the entrepreneur tells The Beauty Inbox about her innovative hair styling app, Raven.
On her work ethic
I’m originally from Walkinstown, Dublin and am the oldest of four – one sister and two brothers. My dad is a steal metal fabricator and my mum is a housewife. My dad always worked hard and gave us a good work ethic and my mum has a wicked eye for detail. I think I managed to get these two traits from them.
On her career path into hair styling
Both my aunts owned hair salons and brought me along with them on Saturdays to sweep up hair and make tea. I thought it was so glamorous!
I got a job at 16 in Reds on Dawson Street. It was so exclusive at the time and I loved that everyone was a perfectionist. I went on to be Creative Director at Dylan Bradshaw for nine years and finally became a session stylist represented by one of the best agencies in Dublin, Morgan The Agency, working on everything from film, advertising, TV, campaigns, education and shows.
On the most memorable campaign she’s worked on
There are many. Just recently I worked on a beauty campaign for Pantene for TV. It was very beautiful and luxurious.
I also love a Brown Thomas campaign I did a couple of years ago with the supermodels and some great Irish hair and make-up people. And an Aer Lingus campaign a few years ago where we shot on the plane in first class.
Finally, a shoot for L’Oreal on a New York SoHo House rooftop in the scorching heat and with gorgeous male models!
On her new hair appointment app Raven
Raven is my baby – I’ve been working on it for over a year. I’ve worked with women for nearly 18 years and I realised the demands on their lives while trying to fit everything in to a jam-packed schedule. Trying to work around salon times was proving difficult and I found more and more I was going to women’s offices at lunchtime to fix them up before an important meeting, going to a hotel to get a few women ready for a night out or simply going to a busy mum’s home because she couldn’t get in with the kids.
I felt there was a market for this and I wanted to develop something that could be tailored to modern living. So why couldn’t I bring the salon to them instead of the other way around?
I did a lot of research and found some amazing web developers and designers that understood Raven. That was very important to me. I wasn’t going to release it until it was perfect.
They worked with me night and day on getting it right. And it was difficult as they were in a different time zone, so often taking calls in the middle of the night.
I wanted to keep Raven high end. I’ve been very lucky to always have worked with the very best professionals in the business and I wanted to continue this with Raven. People, products, equipment, technology all had to be up-to-the-minute and fashion-forward. This I feel makes it different to anything else on the market.
We also have plans down the line to have online consultations. So the chosen professional can see your skin, hair and nails before they come or you can just ask for advice without making an appointment.
On a typical day
Day to day is always different. I check emails and get back to requests in the morning, update all Raven social media and check in with the agency.
If it’s styling, I could be on a shoot for the day or working on private clients. Other work includes education with a product company which could take me anywhere in Ireland. Or I could be working on Raven, vetting professionals for the app or in meetings. Some days I’m up at 5am and on the road first thing for a job, or I could be at my computer all day. It varies.
On who she would love to makeover
Britney Spears – she needs some serious work. I would strip her right back to her natural self and get rid of the awful hair extensions.
On her top hair-styling products
I have two. Kerastase Elixir – I love hair oils and this is completely absorbed by the hair and nourishes it from root to tip.
Pantene Youth Protect BB Crème is another favourite. I love a multi-purpose product. It conditions, heat protects and adds shine and suppleness to hair so it’s a win-win.
On her hair icons
Blondie. I love her, she was so iconic and cool at the time. I love her block hair colours and she wasn’t afraid to experiment.
I also love 1980s Madonna, from the disheveled hair scarves and back combing to the bleached pixie crop.
And my favourite now is Sienna Miller – she is such a chameleon. She can look like a 1950s Hollywood star with finger waves, to boho chic with beach waves and back to a natural beauty with top knots and classic highlights.
On the big hair trends for autumn/winter
Shorter hair is still going to be big until next year. We will be channeling Michelle Pfeiffer’s look from the movie Scarface. Our lobs (long bobs) will become a little more turned under and some shorter fringes will be in fashion.
On her signature hairstyle
I love the idea of effortless hair, not too stiff or done looking and with movement. I like to use heated rollers on dry hair with texture spray for a little grit. Remove after 10 minutes, turn head upside down and use some hair powder to give volume and movement.
On the worst hair faux pas women commit
Unblended hair extensions. There is just no need, it’s unforgivable.
On her proudest achievement
Raven is my proudest achievement. Even though it was very stressful and I haven’t slept in a year, it has also been exciting seeing it become a product.
Career highlights have included working in London, New York and Paris for the shows and with product companies. And I’m also very proud of Glam, a charity event I created with my sister a couple of years ago. We brought a lot of talented hair, make-up and brow professionals together for a ladies beauty day in Fade Street and raised lots of money for Temple Street Children’s Hospital.
On the best advice she’s ever been given
If you are passionate about something, you can make it work. Also my dad always says “don’t be afraid of failure, at least you’ll know what doesn’t work”.
On advice to up-and-coming entrepreneurs
Have a plan. Have twice as much money as you think you’ll need. Don’t listen to the begrudgers. And never give up.
- as told to TBI