Get your basics right, says Sumit Malkotia of LOOKS Salon.

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Celebrity hairdresser Sumit Malkotia believes the key to any hairstyle is a healthy foundation.

Creative Director at LOOKS Unisex Salon, Sumit Malkotia is a talented hairstylist, who is known for his finesse and tailor-made haircuts that create the perfect look for his clients.

Been in the industry for over eight years now, Sumit’s profile boasts of top-notch commercial and editorial projects. During his stint at BBLUNT Salon, he has also worked on films like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Youngistan, amongst others.

In a tête-à-tête with Professional Beauty India, Sumit talks about his role as L’Oréal Professionnel ID Artist and his expectations from the industry in 2019…

Tell us about your association with L’Oréal Professionnel as an ID Artist.

L’Oréal Professionnel ID Artist position has given me the opportunity and responsibility to impart my knowledge to Indian hairdressers.

The Indian Hairdressing Awards (IHA) are always theme-based and you need a tremendous source of inspiration. What better than a fast-paced, digitised country as inspiration. Hence, this year’s theme was ‘futuristic’ hair, inspired by modernity, social media, art, and digitalisation. Modern versions of braids, clones and Afro hair were seen at IHA 2018-19 performances.

What are your thoughts on the evolution of the industry especially in terms of the products and brands?

Hair industry has changed drastically from what it was to what it is today.

Social media has become a powerful tool in influencing people, which has further made them aware of their looks and style. Also, the exposure people have to search engines like Google has helped them search and understand the industry and the products better. So now, people come with high demands and expectations. To be in the race of satisfying clients, every salon is trying to give their best and that means constant up-gradation with their services and creativity.

Who’s your mentor?

Every person I come across has influenced me in some way or the other. When it comes to hairdressing, I look up to Christophe Gaillet for his dedication to hairdressing and his creative mind.

How will you define the hair industry?

The hair industry is a magical world. You have the power to transform a person completely, which is the best feeling.

Do you think Indian industry lacks somewhere?

India is one of the fastest growing countries for our industry, but we still lack in creative aspect needed for hairdressing. Till we don’t feel and do hairdressing from our heart, we won’t be able to get better.

Which was the breakthrough/game changer launch in 2018. What are your expectations from the industry in 2019?

L’Oréal Professionnel SMARTBOND has changed the game totally. Clients who used to be apprehensive about hair colouring, have become more experimental because of SMARTBOND.

I am sure 2019 would be more interesting than 2018. I’m really looking forward to more products like L’Oréal Professionnel SMARTBOND and POWERMIX, which gives freedom to an artist to explore more.

Any advice to the gen-next hairdressers who look up to you?

Foundation is the key factor. Concentrate and focus on the basic course, and then practice as much as possible. If you get your basics right, the sky’s the limit.

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