Peter Downie: 2018 Dare to Hair Stylist of the Year Winner

Pictured L to R: Terry Ritcey: National Education Director, Redken Canada Peter Downie: Chatters Vernon Village Mall Corine Sim: VP Marketing & Branding, Chatters Limited Partnership

What inspired to create your Dare To Hair entry this year?
This year my entry was inspired by my model wanting to lose a lot of her length and do something that was quite daring for her.

My model actually works at our salon and is a fun-loving individual who comes to work regularly on her skateboard. She wanted to lose her length and was totally cool about going into a pixie/crop cut. She has a beautiful face and bone structure, so I knew that this transformation was going to turn out great from the moment we started talking about it. I was trying to fire up my team to enter in this competition as well this year, but some didn't feel ready to compete and needed some more coaching to build up confidence. I decided to set up a class in the salon to show them the haircut from start to finish so they could feel more comfortable in executing a big change on a guest or model themselves. I wanted something that was fun, edgy, natural, simple, beautiful, sexy, modern and androgynous. These words were the feelings that I wanted to inspire when I thought of a short cut. I thought of Annie Lennox and how she inspired these similar feelings in many people. This was the inspiration for my style, which I added my own artistic twist to.

Can you describe your process for the competition style entry?
I anticipated that the panel of judges would be seeing a lot of pastels, neons, unicorns, and brights in the other entries. This consideration/anticipation is something that I think is the most important part of any shoot for a competition or for magazines, publications, web, media etc. Remember:

1 What are you creating this for?
2 What or who is your audience?

Too often this can be totally forgotten/disregarded or neglected. There is definitely a place for rogue artistic freedom and a place for trying to create a beautiful piece of art for a specific purpose or audience. When this is taken into consideration, the results are going to be more on target for what you are wanting to achieve.

I knew my model needed to make it past the initial selection review and I wanted it to be a finalist so I could even maybe make it to become a winner. The judges were from the industry and I knew it was a competition that would do well if it represented the same things that Chatters and Redken where looking for and liked to see. With almost 300 entries that means a lot of photos need to be deselected before reaching the top 12 stage and then the final overall winner. By focusing on what you think the judges won’t like is a good start to not being eliminated right away. Plan your color forecast to the time your photo is being judged so it is on point. Fashion forecast for the season etc. Don't let luck just happen - because it may not.

For my model's look the texture, depth and movement were accented by highlighting with the use of high-lift colors and warm and cool shades. I incorporated razor work for a soft perimeter, disconnection in the cut for more movement and also to create a leaner, modern profile. By using a slightly gradient color selection from a darker bottom to lighter top this helps create a better lighting situation. The highlights then fall over the darker colours more to make them more visible and create more depth.

Products used:
Redken One United Spray, Redken Satin Wear, Redken Fashion Work 12  as a soft texturizer and Redken Triple Take 32 to finish. Blow drying with a directional wrap to create a mirror like polish. Creating the smoothness helps reflect the light off the hair.

How did you feel when you were a finalist?
I felt very grateful. I had taken a break from entering competitions and needed to get back into the game. Taking photos of my work means so much to me.

What does winning the 2018 Dare to Hair competition mean to you?
It means a lot. The amount of positivity and support I have in this industry is amazing. In the recent past, I took a hiatus from competition entries. I was shooting some fun 80s- 90s rock grunge inspired models, trying to hone in doing more photoshoots and working behind the camera myself as well. Entering and winning this year is like a rebirth to me. I feel really engaged and inspired to create more art. I think the reason I pulled back from creating more photo work is because I felt that the world consumes so many images now on social media platforms that I honestly didn't see the need to create anymore and just add to the mayhem. Because of this level of images and platforms the opposite couldn't be more true. The world needs more art that stands out and consists of focus and executes a solid vision. This artwork that is planned will achieve the results that you want and is something you can be proud to stand beside.

What do you see yourself doing differently in the coming months?
I intend to start producing more photos of my work and to just keep going on this.

You won the first ever Dare to Hair competition in 2008. Can you contrast your wins for us?
For sure. The very first time I won I did it because I felt like I needed to show the world who I was. It was incredible and it definitely created an expectation going forward. This year I did it for my team. I wanted to show them not to give up before they even try. If they want it they can get it. Their dreams are attainable and reachable. Winning can create this incredible lift and give you that drive to keep on going.

Who inspires you in the industry?
Robert Lobetta and Trevor Sorbie because their work is so strong and original that it stands out from the rest. Originality is everything in this industry. When it comes to competitions, it doesn't matter what you do, or if anybody likes it as long as you feel strong about it yourself.

What other thoughts do you want to share with us after so many years of doing hair?
Work hard doing what you love and you will enjoy the journey. If you get in a rut - work to get out of it. Feed yourself with education. Without education you won’t have the motivation, skillset or confidence to keep making the journey.

Better things come to those who choose to be a part of a team and are loyal to it and work to create a vision, rather than working by yourself trying to simply grow off your team.
I’ve been in this industry 29 years, 19 of them with Chatters. You are only as fabulous as the last piece of work you did. Truthfully every time you fail you are on a step to growing more. Be grateful for every guest that you have, because without them your art as a hairstylist won't exist. Hold yourself accountable to yourself to grow and educate yourself and create a great career and life.


2018 Dare to Hair winning makeover

2018 Stylist of the Year Peter Downie (Chatters Vernon Village Green Mall) with his team