Iles Formula Hair Talk with Australian Craig Rhodes August 1, 2017
Iles Formula is pleased to introduce Craig Rhodes, exceptional hairdresser and owner of A Flick Of Hares
This interview took place prior to Covid-19.
A Flick of Hares is a bespoke salon in Canberra Australia. Each client has a private cubicle and can sit back and relax while accessing socials via wifi and reading magazines or working online in one of the communal areas or just sitting back and enjoying the music with their Sonos surround sound system.
Iles Formula hair talk Craig Rhodes
1/ Tell us what you think is the biggest challenge in hairdressing today?
At the moment it’s all about keeping people in the industry. We have so many talented hairdressers who leave the industry for a variety of reasons. I think there are a number of strategies that can help people to stay in the industry, such as continuing education, flexible hours and working arrangements, and opening up possibilities for people to expand their hairdressing careers into other areas within the industry such as product sales and fashion shoots and shows. At my new salon (A Flick of Hares in Canberra) we offer hairdressers flexibility about how they want to work.
2/ What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?
Creating shape and geometry is where I get the most satisfaction. I love creating wearable art.
Day-to-day in the salon I enjoy understanding my clients’ needs and designing haircuts especially for them—to suit their lifestyle, personality, hair type, face shape, etc.
Travel rates pretty highly too. I’ve been privileged to travel overseas to work on shows such as New York Fashion Week. I enjoy being inspired by new places and people, and I enjoy learning new things.
3/ Why did you choose the path of hairdressing and was it easy to fall into this work?
It was totally accidental. I was a late starter to the industry, I was 25 years old. I had traveled around Europe and met some hairdressers during my travels. They seemed to really enjoy their work. They were creative individuals, and we had a lot in common. On my return to Australia I decided to get a trade qualification but traditional trades such as building trades didn’t appeal to me. Being intrigued by the hairdressers I met overseas, combined with the fact that I liked Edward Scissorhands(!), made me decide to try hairdressing. I haven’t looked back.
4/ If you had not made the decision to be a hairdresser what would you have been?
This is hard to answer as I can’t imagine being anything other than a hairdresser. I know that I like being creative. So something creative, definitely.
5/ What is your greatest strength ?
Patience…calmness. I deal with situations rationally, I treat them as problems to be solved. I also like a challenge. That’s probably why I feel so comfortable working back stage on shows.
6/ Your favorite hairdressing tools?
Primp x Sanbi brushes are the most amazing tools. My Dyson dryer is fantastic. Iles Formula 1,2 and 3 are always in my bag in case of any emergencies that might arise —it’s the one system I know of that works on everyone. These all make my life and work so much faster and easier.
7/ Tell us about your relationship with Iles Formula. How you discovered us and which formula is your favourite?
I love staying up-to-date and researching new technologies in the industry. I remember seeing an extremely positive review about Iles Formula when I was in New York, so I researched it and then tried to find out how we could get it in Australia. Luckily, Morph Haircare had taken on the distribution for Australia, and I’m proud to be able to stock Iles Formula at my salon.
Each Iles product is amazing. At the moment my favourite product is the Conditioner. It instantly turns any hair into amazing hair with its sealing properties.
8/ What was the most challenging job you ever made ?
I think the most challenging job day-to-day is communicating with clients to make sure that the outcome is going to meet expectations. It’s challenging to make sure that you both have the same vision. I also find it challenging when a client wants a style that simply won’t work for them, for example the level of maintenance required and their lifestyle.
9/ What was your worst hair moment and why…. privately or on set/stage or in the salon?
Luckily, I don’t have very many bad hair moments! I recall a shoot for GQ where there was some miscommunication about the brief. The stylist and I worked on the model to create a stylized look. End result: I would’ve been better off leaving his hair almost as it was. The lessons I learned were: communication is vital; and don’t feel as though you need to do something when it’s already good.
10/ If you could style anyone’s hair, who would it be and why?
I’d love to do the hair of people who reinvent themselves regularly and are happy to go from one extreme to the other. For example, Jared Leto, Emma Watson and Katy Perry.
11/ Where do you pull hair inspiration from?
I get a lot of my inspiration from overseas travel. I travel as much as I can. New York and Paris are my ‘go to’ cities for inspiration, for what’s trending and what’s on the horizon in hair and fashion.
I’m also inspired by watching my favourite hair people on Instagram including Anthony Turner, Garren, Peter Gray, Duffy, Paul Hanlon, James Pecis, Shon, Edward Lampley, Alan White, Dolly Ward…far too many to name them all though. They all like to push just a bit further. I love it when styles are pushed to be different—often you can see the technical expertise, and this makes what some people might call ugly (in a traditional sense) actually very beautiful.
I also draw inspiration from international magazines such as Italian Vogue, French Vogue, LOVE, Dazed and In Beauty magazine. In Beauty magazine features looks from major international shows, and I love trying to figure out how the different looks were achieved.
12/ Your advice to young hairdressers starting out?
I’d advise young hairdressers to learn anything they can from people in the industry. I still learn so much from my colleagues, including my juniors.
I’d also encourage them to explore different paths and opportunities, including specializations within the industry, to continue learning and to discover what they love.
Young hairdressers are very lucky, they’re blessed with options through the internet—to connect, learn and be inspired.
Some of Craig’s work.