Interview with Vanessa Koeb: Hairdresser & Colour Expert from Cuttlefish Eco Salons, Brighton

If you’ve been reading my site for a while or know me personally, you know I’m a nerd when it comes to hair and DIY colouring. Part of me thinks I should have become a hairdresser or a make-up artist, but chances of that happening as I’m turning 30 are looking unlikely. You can’t do everything after all. For those of you who may be better equipped for career change, I thought it’d be useful to highlight a few colourful and creative people within various career niches as a source of inspiration for us all. I love hearing people’s stories and I love finding hidden talent, so when I stumbled upon Vanessa Koeb via Evia Poppin‘s instagram, I just had to get in touch! Vanessa is a hairdresser and hair colour expert based at Brighton salon, Cuttlefish Eco Salons. Vanessa is Italian, growing up on the coast close to Rome and she’s been in the UK for three years so far. You know me, I’m super fussy when it comes to going to a hairdresser’s and although I’ve yet to make it to Cuttlefish, it’s been on my Brighton salons to watch since I first visited the seaside town. So, if you’re on the South Coast and looking for a salon that specialises in natural, cruelty free products with vegan options, Cuttlefish is one to watch!

I’ve asked Vanessa a few questions about her career so far as a hairdresser and colour expert, I hope you’ll give her a follow, show her some love and get inspired!

How long have you been working in hair and how did you get started?

I have been in the industry for 11 years, I’ve decided I wanted to be a hairdresser a bit late I was 18 , after my year at university went completely wrong. I have always been a very creative person and tried university, my hairdresser asked me if I was interested in this job. I didn’t really know until the day I started in his salon as apprentice what the job was and I remember he had a little library near the reception, full of books about hair, and the first thing I did on my first day was to read Toni & Guy look books .When I’ve opened it I said to myself “I want to do hair like this one day”. Their collections seemed art for me, very far from perms and rollers which I always thought being hairdressing was about. Definitely Toni & Guy inspired my whole career and made me know another side of this industry.

You work at Cuttlefish, that specialise in cruelty free and natural hair treatments. Can you tell us a little bit about the ethos behind the salon?

Cuttlefish is a Eco Salon in the heart of Brighton Lanes, it prides itself on providing a bespoke experience in a relaxed environment. The team of highly trained stylists make every work creative, exciting and individually tailored to the client. Cuttlefish is also a positive working environment with endless opportunities for stylists. I enjoy every second of my working day at Cuttlefish.

What tips would you share with someone thinking about pursuing hair as a career?

I would give them 5 tips.
Number 1: Be passionate.
Number 2: Always Push yourself (trainins, research, hair competitions…)
Number 3: Make yourself open in learning from others, good things and bad things.
Number 4: Being critical with yourself makes perfection in what you do, you can really improve if you understand your mistakes even the little ones.
Number 5: If you want to do hairdressing because of the money then do not even start. You are doing hairdressing just and only because you love doing hair.

What are your favourite colours to create on hair for clients? Do you have a favourite brand or shade?

I do like colour changes  and colour corrections the most but I believe that every client has a colour or a shade that reflects her personality and I  love to find out what that is. I also get inspirations from hair trends of the year or of the season and from Pantone too. I have been working for many years with big brands, with some of them I have my main degrees in colouring but working in Cuttlefish made me understand the important of the benefits that a natural eco brand brings to the hair. At the moment I am using Davines products and colours and I am really loving it. It just makes the hair beautiful and healthy and shiny.

Who inspired you to get into hair? Was there a particular reason why you pursued bright colours as a speciality?

I would say my big inspiration comes from Toni & Guy, from Cos Sakkas, Efie Davies and Jody Taylor hairstyles and haircuts, but I had the pleasure of knowing or just following other people’s concepts about hair and colours and that made me be the colourist I am today. Gina Rossi from Gogen in Italy has been a great example of professionalism and culture about hair and coloristry. Nicola Casalvieri my mentor, he taught me everything I know about my job. Jason Grey whom I never met but is one of my favourite colourists and the amazing educators I had in the  L’Oreal Academy in London when I did my Colour Expert Degree, they made be want to be the as good as them I guess. I wouldn’t say bright colours are my speciality, I would say bright colours are the big boom now and lots of young women constantly ask for it and I am as up for it as I would be for a nice glossy blonde.

Do you have a specific dream or plan for the future of your work?

My dream is perfection and confidence. The more my skills are perfect the more I can be a professional confident of what I am doing. Future plans is do the British Hairdressing Awards.

Which Instagram hair accounts do you love the most? Who should we follow for more hair inspiration?

Definitely: Not Another Salon, Skyler McDonald and Skyler London, Jaymz Masters, Bleach London, Matthias Herzberg is a great colourist,  Kevin Lunchman. Jonathan Soons, Cos Sakkas, and of course Cuttlefish Brighton!

If you liked this post, I’ve more Hair posts on my site and will be adding more creative careers content very soon. If you know someone who you think I should interview, get in touch or tag me on Twitter or Instagram @JayneKitsch. If you are looking to break into hairdressing, Cuttlefish Eco Salons are currently recruiting for an apprentice.