Laara Raynier’s exclusive interview in Winston Wise Magazine.
You’ve been an integral part of the beauty industry for 40 years. How does it feel to be nominated and a finalist for the New York Hair & beauty Awards 2019?
It’s a great feeling to be recognized for my talent and gifts. I’ll be able to reach, inspire and share my philosophy of precision haircutting with the world. I have so much passion for teaching & transforming people, their careers and their lives, I’ve worked really hard these past 35 years – from opening Mastercutters Academy, through to being nominated makes me feel recognized and appreciated. I’m honored. There is no one who has had my training, no one teaches like me, this is my chance to make it a better business with better education
You’re behind some of the most iconic bob looks in recent years, not to mention many magazine covers and fashion shows. What inspires you as a hairstylist?
People and their hair and their energy is what inspires me. I want to bring out the best in them, to inspire them for them to see themselves the way i see them. I get inspired by faces, by beautiful women and their hair, by clothes, by shapes, by beautiful hair.
“I didn’t let the fact that i’m a powerful woman stop me going after what I wanted, so i went for it, i found they always appreciated my tunnel vision to get all they could give me”
You are among the 4% in the world who can cut a bob to precision, how did you learn this technique and what can you share about your process?
Yes only 4% of hairdressers can cut a razor sharp bob like me. I first learned my bob technique from my mentor the legendary icon Roger Thompson, (who was the first world art director of sassoons in the 60’s in London). Over the years i have perfected and refined this technique by adding flawless precision techniques, adding texturizing techniques, layeriing techniques, product, graduation different tension techniques for curly hair, and make the techniques my own .
You started Mastercutter Academy by Laara Raynier, where you teach aspiring hairdressers your techniques and how to become a hair master, tell us more about the academy…
The academy is the place to learn Laara Raynier precision haircutting, to become all you can be as a hairdresser, and aspire to greatnes to master precision cutting, to master the consultation, to learn to communicate with a cllient from a place of confidence, to take haircutting as an art form to approach each client like you’re creating a masterpiece. To teach hairdressers that expertise and confidence are the most important skills they can have. To build them up and give them the best precision skills i can, to be dedicated to their transformation and success. We are based in nyc, yet we travel all over the country and will go to salons and give them in salon training for the owners and their staff.
“Have scissors will travel”
How did you first get your break in the states?
I got my first break in the U.S. when I became Roger Thompson protege for 2 years and then worked along side him for 10 years at Barney NYC.
You have an inspiring story of breaking into the hair dressing world as a woman in a primarily male dominated industry, tell us about that experience…
I felt driven to work with only the best so I could learn the best techniques and give the best haircuts, I knew I had to train with Roger because he was the best. I didn’t let anything stop me from knowing i have what it takes to get what i want, i didn’t let the fact that i’m a powerful woman stop me going after what i wanted and at the time men had that, so i went for it, i found they always appreciated my tunnel vision to get all they could give me. I don’t ever feel that because i’m a woman im not going after something that has been a man’s domain, it doesn’t even enter my mind. Once i know what I want I just go after it. It might be a man’s world but it’s mainly female clients and only a woman can truely know what another feels and i think only a woman can really make my destiny the most memorable.
“The high energy of nyc the way it looked, the fact that my dad loved it, the Beatles, loved it, i felt if i came i could be my true self which i never felt in London”
What’s been the most memorable moment of your career to date?
When Jayne Atkinson walked down the red carpet at the Emmy’s and felt and looked the most beautiful she had ever felt in her career. I gave her an incredible make over and told me she had never looked or felt more beautiful than when she was nominated for her role in House of Cards.
You’re originally from Britain. What attracted you to New York?
The high energy of nyc the way it looked, the fact that my dad loved it, the Beatles loved it, i felt if i came i could be my true self which i never felt in London. I was fascinated with NYC since i was a small kid and i loved the builings the art deco, the empire state building i was drawn to all Mahatten represented.
What is your fashion & beauty hair prediction of 2020?
Classic bobs, bobs, bobs, layered bobs, wavy bob, curly hair, wavy hair, short feminine haircuts. short edgy bobs!
What advice do you have for budding hairdressers to break into the market?
Come train with me I’m ranked #1 worldwide for the best private classes, people come from all over the world to train with me, their most important asset to break into the business is great training and massive confidence and I can give them both.