• Christina M. Morrison

Clint Wilson: Stylist to the Stars

You can find him amongst the fashionistas and celebrities at one of Melbourne's most exclusive hair styling salons in the upscale suburb of Windsor, advising clients (including a veritable Who's Who of the fashion and economic capital of Australia) on what's hot and what's not.

You can also spot him appearing on the panel of advisors at a leading hair and beauty industry think tank.

He loves fashion, travelling and is always ahead of the curve on the trends you need to know about.

He's Clint Wilson and he agreed to speak with Goldrush in this exclusive interview to give us an insight into the hair trends you'll be wearing in 2019 and beyond.

The ever affable and deeply stylish trend-consultant, leading hair stylist and creative consultant, Clint Wilson, strides into the room, cutting a dashing figure with a manner exuding a mix of style and warmth.

It’s easy to see why he’s one of Melbourne’s most popular hair stylists and, the one that the stars trust implicitly with not only their tresses but their privacy in general.

Naturally discreet, Clint refuses to name names, but let’s just say, that his clientele represent the creme de la creme of Melbourne (which as you may know is Australian’s fashion city and economic capital) and the jet set within.

(above: Clint Wilson - Stylist to those seeking the best of the best in skills & technique)

Christina Morrison: “Clint, what would you say led you to develop an interest in personal styling, hair design and creative consultation (and by the way, congratulations on your new role as a selected panel member of one of Melbourne’s leading industry consultation think-tanks!)”

Clint Wilson: “First of all thank you for that! I’m looking forward to this new panelist role and making a difference within my industry and, looking back, as far as developing an interest in my field, I guess I’ve always had an eye for aesthetiques. I come from a theatre/dance background and performed onstage from a young age and so, really, going into the hair and beauty industry seemed very natural for me.”

CM: “What do you find yourself focusing on when you assess your clients’ needs?”

CW: “I like to consider what is truly going to help them look their best 24 x 7. After all, you wear your hair every day and it sends an immediate message to others about whom you are and your concept of yourself and, your personal standards.

When I assess my clients’ various situations, I also like to look at the bigger picture, so, when I consider what a client really needs, I don't ONLY focus on the client in terms of them as an individual, but I also take the time to really consider the places they will go to during the week, plus the different contexts from day to day in which their hair really has to be able to present the best possible image for them at all times.

I think about where my client will be going (for example, if they are going out to events and so on) and what their surroundings are going to be. So it's not just about them and what they look like in that moment but it's also about the fact that they should ideally blend in effortlessly, or, from time to time, stand out from the crowd, depending on the event at hand.

My mantra is, ‘What would this hair look like on a lazy Sunday?’ If the look I create still looks effortlessly good on a day off for the client, then I know I’ve created a cut and colour and style that are classic and that offer longevity. At the end of the day, a classic look is trans-seasonal.”

CM: “Having said that, what trends are you noticing now?”

CW: “We are seeing a lot more solid hairlines with internal texture, through the hair cut. Think of the classic long bob, just with a lot more layering. Alexa Chung’s haircut never goes out of style.”

(below: Alexa Chung in Vogue China).

CM: “Do you think it’s interesting that the move occurred from super long hair extensions to a chop in recent times?”

CW: “I don’t think it’s that surprising, considering the fast-paced world we live in. We are constantly looking for ways to manage time and shorter, sexier hair-dos look fabulous and save precious extra minutes in the morning and at any time we need to get ready to go out.”

CM: “Which products are you loving at the moment?”

(above: Savage Muk Styling Mud)

CW: “My absolute fave would have to be the Oribe Dry Texturising Spray; it’s like a cross between a dry shampoo and a very light hair spray. What it really gives you is a gorgeous matte/dry texture and it’s the beachy lived-in look that everyone one wants at the moment. Also, personally for me, I love MUK products, such as the Savage Muk Styling Mud, which I use in my men’s cuts for a malleable dry texture.”

(below: Oribe Dry Texturising Spray)

CM: “Fun Question: If a client just says ‘Oh, I’m not sure what kind of hairstyle I want, so just go ahead and do whatever you want,” what would be your response?”

CW: “First of all: that’s actually a great question! Well, back when I was a younger stylist, (as opposed to my role now which is ‘Senior Stylist’), I would, back then, actually get very nervous in front of the client at times and not know what to say. However, now, in my more experienced years, I will now actually LEAN IN to the client’s discomfort and I’ll say things like, 'Oh, ok...Great, so...when you say you're happy for me to do WHATEVER I want with your hair, then I’m guessing that means you are ok with, say, a Green Mohawk today?' and I watch the client’s eyes widen in terror!

And then I’ll actually take a more serious note and attempt to create collaboration between identifying what the client’s ultimate hair goals are and what we can actually achieve with what we’re working with. It’s about being respectful, but being honest.

(above: You've been warned: Telly Tubby Red IS a thing!)

Another thing I say is that when people say ‘I want red hair!’ I have to say, ‘OK…so, do you mean you want, say, wine red, Telly Tubby red, or fire engine red? So I understand that you want RED, but we have to understand EXACTLY what shade you want. You, as a client HAVE TO HAVE a point of reference you can offer your stylist, IF you want to be fully satisfied with the outcome. So the more research you’re willing to do before you come in, the better.

I ask if they have a photo of themselves from a time when they LOVED their hair, or if they have a photo of someone ELSE with the hair they want. If they don’t, I allow them to take some time to go looking. My number one tip is to take a screen shot, maybe of a Pinterest picture and keep a hold of images that speak to you. After that, it’s so much easier for your hair dresser to find a way to collaborate with you to work towards something you’re ultimately happy with.”

CM: “So is there such a thing as ‘the perfect client?’”

CW: “For me, the perfect client is someone whom has a clear idea of where they want their hair to be but whom is open to the professionals' opinions as well.

So, in terms of behaviourally, whether the client is being quiet, or talkative, or being sociable, or whether you're an introvert or extrovert doesn’t matter to me; a good hairdresser can pick up on those things in terms of being able to read your personality and either leave you to yourself or engage in conversation…however the main thing is that you are as passionate about your hair as we are."

You can find Clint Wilson at Y Salon, Windsor, in Melbourne’s Eastern Suburbs.

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