Each week we feature a hairdresser from around the globe. This week Iles Formula Hair Talk featuring Olivier Schawalder is one you won’t want to miss. Olivier is an accomplished hair stylist based in Paris, France. At the young age of 16, Olivier Schawalder fell in love with hair. His curiosity led to an internship, a turning point that launched what was to become his career. Beyond mastering the skills of the coiffeur, he quickly understood that he possessed both the passion and imagination to take hair to an art form. His work is exceptionally creative and can be seen published on magazine covers and editorials.
If you would like to see more from Olivier, be sure to visit his website or his Instagram page @olivierschawalder
IF: Tell us what you think is the biggest challenge in hairdressing today?
OS: To respect your signature without getting eaten by the system and the politics of fashion. Basically the biggest challenge is to stay as genuine as possible.
IF: What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?
OS: Creativity, working with inspiring people, and to deliver something interesting in an image or a film.
IF: Why did you choose the path of hairdressing and was it easy to fall into this work?
OS: I grew up in a tiny town in Switzerland very far from all the trendy fashion or art school…Hairdressing was the only option for me to do something creative…It was not easy at first as I was absolutely not interested in learning basics but I had the most amazing teacher who made me love every single aspect of the job! I am still in touch with him…
IF: If you had not made the decision to be a hairdresser what would you have been?
OS: Millinery, Shoe Making, Accessories Design or a Sculptor.
IF: What is your greatest strength?
OS: Intuition and being a perfectionist.
IF: Your favorite hairdressing tools?
OS: The Crimping Iron.
IF: Tell us about your relationship with Iles Formula. How you discovered us and which formula is your favorite?
OS: I discovered the Iles Formula Finishing Serum on set while working with an assistant. It instantly blew my mind. The Finishing Serum does everything on it’s own. It’s like a multi tasking product, that gives shine and luscious hair with a hold, which is very paradoxical…That’s why the Serum is so unique in my opinion.
IF: What was the most challenging job you have ever done?
OS: Transforming Katy Perry into Warhol’s Elizabeth Taylor with Jean-Paul Goude.
IF: What was your worst hair moment and why….Privately or on set/stage or in the salon?
OS: It’s probably during my first year of hairdressing when I couldn’t get a bob haircut even on both sides. I kept cutting and cutting to try to get it even. It ended up below the ears when the model wanted just a trim…She cried, but at the end it was even!
IF: If you could style anyones hair, who would it be and why?
OS: Since I started doing hair, I’ve always wanted to do Nina Hagen’s hair…She is the person who fascinated me the most since I was a kid, my father was a big fan of hers also.
IF: Where do you pull hair inspiration from?
OS: Inspiration comes from different places for me, not necessarily related to fashion. I am very much inspired by animals especially birds, old encyclopedias, astronomy, and world maps…This inspires more than fashion magazines.
IF: Your advice to young hairdressers starting out?
OS: My advice is to never give up and to believe in what u do. Everybody can do anything, sometimes you just have to think outside of the box.
IF: Thank you Olivier for sharing with us your passion for the industry. We appreciate you being part of our Hair Talk and sharing your experiences with everyone.