Iles Formula Hair Talk : Salon Hairstylist Robyn Tornabeni

Iles Formula Hair Talk is a new segment where we ask hairdressers from around the world about Hairdressing today and their relationship with hair. Let us introduce you to hairstylist Robyn Tornabeni from Dennis Bartolomei Salon in Chicago.

1/ Tell us what you think is the biggest challenge in a hairdressing career today ?

The biggest challenge I see in hairdressing today (referring to mainstream hairdressing, not celebrity, movie set, etc.) is balancing customer demand, salon life and how those two relate to the online world.  As our world becomes more and more app dependent and used to immediate gratification, I find that clients want services on site immediately. This is not always possible for an in salon stylist who is booked with appointments in advance. Also, doing hair services outside of the salon setting is never easy as we need our professional set up, chairs, lighting, shampoo area, heating elements, chemicals and so forth to work correctly and efficiently.  Today, there are many apps being used to cater to an onsite clientele.  I feel that it may be diminishing the respect and professionalism of our hairdressing industry that many of my predecessors worked very hard to ensure is seen as a technical and chemistry laden, skilled profession. I know that tides change and evolve and I hope that my industry can continue to hold itself to a high standard within this new mold.  Also, with respect to social media, I feel there are thousands of talented hairdressers who are not very tech savvy and will find it hard to stay relevant in today's social media saturated world.  Many young beauty professionals are very tech smart as they grew up on computers and can make their feeds and imagery look fabulous, but may not have the actual technical skill, experience or professional demeanor that a discerning clientele may want.  The good thing is that these are just a couple of downsides, but there are many, many positive effects from social media on our industry as well.

2/ What’s the most enjoyable part of your current job ?

The most enjoyable part of my current position is and has always been the finished product. I love when all is done and the person walks out of my chair feeling and looking fabulous, whether it is a salon client that I just colored, cut and styled or a bride and her bridal party that trusted me with making their hair look absolutely fabulous for the big day. I also absolutely love photo shoots and seeing the results in the shots or models with my hair walking the catwalk ... great creative satisfaction for me.

3/ Why did you choose the path of hairdressing ?

I chose the path of hairdressing for several reasons about 18 years ago and I can say that the reasons still hold up today.  I am naturally talented at hairdressing and I knew I would be able to make it in any setting. I love styling hair. I am good at talking to people from all walks of life and can make people feel comfortable in my presence.  I knew this career would offer me autonomy over my schedule and provide a fun, upbeat, more flexible and social vibe.  If one must work, it is a pleasure to work doing something you love.

4/ What is your greatest strength ?

My greatest strength is styling hair and especially under pressure and with time constraints. I can make it happen for a photo shoot, bride, runway, etc. Also, I tend to have a calming affect on my clients so they can come in stressed out (or be a nervous bride) and when they leave me, they feel calm and confident.

5/ Tell us about your relationship with Iles Formula. How did you discover us and which formula is your favorite ?

I was fortunate enough to learn of Iles Formula via my colleague and salon owner, Dennis Bartolomei, here in Chicago. He showed me the packaging and I instantly fell in love.  I thought whomever designed this is a person I would want to design my home. Then I got to try the 3 step formula and that was it ... It was as if the skies opened and angels sang down as I have Italian curly, frizzy, highly lifted and bleached long hair and this shampoo, conditioner and serum hydrated my stressed tresses. The shine was restored, the pliability returned and softness was perfect.  I am a bona fide addict.  I will ALWAYS use Iles Formula the for the rest of my life. Easily. I have been a hairdresser for 18 years and I have never and I mean never felt this way about a product.  My favorite of the three must be the serum because it saved my life one morning. I was to be at a hotel at 5 am to do a celebrity's hair for a news segment and commercial shoot. She screamed when I rang the door as she overslept. She forgot her shampoo and conditioner and so she washed her frizzy, curly, thick, long hair with hotel shampoo, but there was no conditioner. I was sweating. Thankfully, I grabbed my own bottle of Iles Formula Finishing Serum as I walked out the door just in case. This was when it was very new so I did not have any extra bottle in my travel kit yet. It was Iles Formula the rescue as I couldn't get a wet brush through her tangled mess of medusa strands. I put the IF Serum in and voilà, it detangled instantly and blew out beautifully to bouncy, shiny, TV ready hair.  Thank you Wendy !

6/ New Hair trends :

Is there something happening with hair right now that is exciting you ?

Trends, they come and go and then in about another 20 years, they come and go again. Right now, I see the disco scene coming back both in fashion and in hair. I see a lot of layers coming back in a la Joan Jett, Stevie Nicks and showing a lot of texture and width. The old is new and with today's refined technology such as Iles Formula, we can achieve the looks, but with such a higher degree of shine and health to the hair that it will be even hotter !

Your Motto ?


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