Michelle congratulations on winning Afro Hairdresser of the year at the BHA’s, Stylist Of The Year and Colourist Of The Year at the 2015 Sensationnel Awards! First of all how does it feel to have won three such prestigious titles?
Words cannot express exactly how I feel – it really is the best feeling ever. To win three prestigious titles which are voted by industry icons and my peers is something very special and I am extremely proud. These awards mean the world to me and I am so thankful. It’s a great personal achievement.
Michelle your collection was stunning! What is the story behind the collection? What inspired your use of colour and texture?
The inspiration behind my photographic shoot was taken from the very talented Italian born photographer Paolo Roversi – famous for his black and white photography. I have followed him for many years and am drawn to the photographic images that he produces. Everything from the lighting to model placement really captures my attention, and this is something I wanted to achieve within my own personal collection. The aim was to provide a raw, enticing and enchanting fee. It was important for me as an Afro hairdresser to demonstrate a number of skills and techniques that you can do with Afro hair.
HERE ARE MICHELLE’S WINNING LOOKS FOR THE BRITISH HAIRDRESSING AWARDS NOVEMBER 2015…..BE INSPIRED!
Have you always wanted to be a Hair Artist? How did you get started?
Always, I’ve never wanted to embark on any other journey. I began my career as a teenager at Walsall College in the West Midlands. The creativity of the industry really inspired me and I knew it was the job for me. As soon as I finished my course I took up a full time position within Francesco Group and am proud to say it’s my hairdressing home – I have never looked back.
What is the biggest risk that you’ve ever taken that has paid off?
I’d have to say my photographic collections. When putting together a photographic shoot, you have so may elements to include that often the shoot can become something different to what you had set out to achieve. I ensure that I stick to my brief and of course prepare for absolutely anything that can happen on the day, including change. I am here to push the boundaries and I’m proud to say that for me, this has always paid off.
Who inspires you and why?
My team. I am extremely lucky to work with such a fantastic group of individuals, who all share one common goal – to succeed. With my fellow Creative Team members, we constantly bounce ideas off each other and pave the way for the younger generation within Francesco Group and the hairdressing industry. Watching the younger team members embrace their career is something I love to see, and gives me great motivation to teach and share my journey with them.
Hair is often a political issue for women of colour: do you feel that women have more freedom now to express themselves or less than ever before?
Absolutely. Now is the time for women to embrace their looks and style, and do what makes them feel confident as an individual. With so many fantastic brands such as Avlon, Mizani and Keracare, there is so much for women to choose from to ensure they can achieve their ultimate hair goal. 2016 is the year of the individual – do what makes you happy!
Do you have any beauty tips or stories that your mama shared with you?
My mama always taught me to mix pure, fresh Aloe Vera gel with fresh lemon juice to make my complexion clearer after a breakout. It leaves my face beautifully clear, and after time, reduces dark marks. It’s a fail-safe, economic solution, to a smooth, mark free, complexion.
What are the three beauty or wellness products that you can’t do without?
I love the fix + spray from Mac! It hydrates my make up, and keeps my skin looking fresh and dewy. It’s the perfect pick up for tired looking skin, and make up. It also comes in a handy little travel size that fits perfectly into my handbag for quick pick-ups throughout the day.
My hemp lip balm from The Body Shop is a God-sent! It keeps my lips soft and supple, works perfectly under lipsticks, and protects my lips from chaffing. I absolutely cannot do without it!
Seche Vite is my go-to, topcoat for nail varnish – nothing can beat it. It dries my nails super fast, maintains the shine for a week, and keeps my nail varnish from chipping. I refuse to do my nails without it.
Have you always been confident with your looks?
I’ve not always been confident with my looks, however, people around me always tell me how well maintained I am, which helps and boosts my confidence.
MICHELLE THOMPSON, FRANCESCO GROUP
AFRO HAIRDRESSER OF THE YEAR 2015
COLOURIST OF THE YEAR 2015
STYLIST OF THE YEAR 2015