Interview With Fantasy Hair Competition Winner Michelle Garande
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Michelle Garande, Stylist at Afrotherapy Salon.
I trained at Hammersmith College and completed my NVQ Hairdressing Levels 2 and 3. I joined Afrotherapy in 2012 and was soon assigned as part of the Creative Team. I have a passion for fusing hair with fashion.
How did it feel to win the Fantasy Hair Competition at Afro Hair and Beauty Live show?
It felt so surreal, I was competing against stylists who have been in this industry for longer than I have and some who have also taken part in this competition before and everyone’s work was amazing, so getting named the winner of Afro hair and Beauty Live show 2013 was such a great honor indeed.
Can you talk us through the winning look and the inspiration behind it?
My inspiration came from Samurai warriors and Japanese culture. I was also greatly inspired by the amazing outfits produced by José Hendo which brought my looks to life. I then did more research into Japanese culture, architecture and music
What did you do to prepare for the competition?
First thing I had to do was create a mood board so I could have an idea of how I wanted the hair, make-up and styling to look like. From there I had to find models that were suitable for the looks I was creating and also models who could catwalk. Once that was in place I had to start work on the hair. I had to make sure that it fitted on the models heads, so the models had to come in the salon about 3 times for a fitting. I also had Harriet Cudjoe (creative director) helping me in deciding the right garments for the models to wear as the designer had quite a few items in the collection I wanted to use. We met up with the designer, Jose Hendo to try the garments on the models and decide how to style the garments to create the samurai look. I had to decide what kind of make-up to do on the models, also finding the right music was very important because I wanted music that kept to the theme of the collection. That is why I chose to use a track by “Yoshinda Brothers- storm” Japanese musicians. The models also had to come to the salon for rehearsals to practice the walk they would do for the show. Therefore, a lot of work went into creating the finished look and making sure we had everything come together on the day.
How was this years Afro Hair and Beauty show?
As this was my second time going to the Afro hair and Beauty show and this time around as one of the stylist taking part in the show, I thought it was amazing, there was a good atmosphere and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, a lot of anticipation and excitement, everything was well organised. The audience were amazing and showed great support and appreciation for all the work created by all the stylists for the show. It was a great day.
When you’re not winning major awards, you’re a Stylist at Afrotherapy. Tell us a little bit about the salon and your role there?
Afrotherapy is an amazing salon to work for. I feel such great honor to be part of the team. Our salon is in Edmonton, North London and we have just recently celebrated our 12-year anniversary. The salon specialises in all types of Afro and Multi-textured hair.
Although we are best known for our ability to Cut well, we also provide Natural hair services, Relaxing, Colour, Weaves & Extensions. We like to work with our Clients’ personal choices whether it be Natural or Relaxed. Our ethos is that whatever personal choices you make, we will work with you to ensure you have beautiful, healthy hair.
I started working for Afrotherapy in 2012 as a Stylist. I am constantly developing myself and training to ensure I keep up with the latest trends. As a member of the Creative Team, my role is to research and create collections that inspire, inform and reflect the style of work that we do. This is a role I enjoy very much as it allows me to express my creativity.
How would you describe the service provided at Afrotherapy?
From the moment, our clients walk through the door we aim to make sure they are comfortable and feel welcome. We always conduct ourselves in a professional manner from the way we are dressed to how we communicate with our clients and between ourselves as staff.
We pride ourselves in the value we place on our clients, we aim to give the best customer service and making sure our clients leave the salon looking and feeling fantastic.
What services does the salon provide for natural women?
As going natural is the in thing now, we have seen a number of clients requesting for natural hair services increasing and especially those clients who are transitioning from relaxed hair to natural.
We provide everything from treatments tailored for natural hair to braiding. Most of our clients with natural hair have their hair cut short and a colour put on to enhance the look. For those who have their hair long they usually go for the twist outs, to create fuller curls.
What are your top hair care tips for women with natural hair?
Always keep up to date with your treatments, regular trim is essential to maintain your natural tresses looking fabulous and making sure you moisturize your hair regularly, as natural hair tends to get quite dry.
What are your top 3 Natural hair care products?
KeraCare Natural Textures Twist & Define cream: this product is perfect for creating twist outs, it does not weigh down the hair or make it too oily once its dry, can be used to moisturise natural short hair as well.
CURLS Curl Soufflé: curl soufflé defines your curls and it eliminates fizziness’ that is why I love using this product, especially on clients with multi-textured hair, also adds moisture and shine to the hair.
Mizani True Textures Curl Revitalizing Mask: I find that natural hair tends to get quite dry and brittle sometimes so this deep penetrating conditioning treatment is perfect to use. It revitalizes the hair and adds moisture; it can be used just as an express conditioner or as your weekly intense conditioning treatment.
How can our readers see your work and connect with you?
Our work is published in various media such as Black Hair, Black Beauty & Hair, and Hairstyles Only as well as on our website and facebook. People can connect with the team and I in the following ways:
Finally what’s next for you?
This is just the beginning of my journey as a Stylist at Afrotherapy. We completed a collection which will be published in the next few weeks and I’m currently working on another collection as well as looking after my salon clients.
I’m also constantly updating myself to ensure I remain relevant in my industry.
Michelle and the team at Afrotherapy did not come empty handed, they are offering out readers a fab £10 off treatments. Click Here...
Shots of Inside Afrotherapy Edmonton, London