This year, Beauty Launchpad had the opportunity to speak with Director of Education for Sam Villa®, Andrew Carruthers, at the final showdown of the Battle of the Strands 2013 in Las Vegas. Carruthers expressed his excitement about being a part of the epic competition, stating that this is "a totally new event for [Sam Villa], this is something that we just got offered this year for the first time, [and] it's something that we look forward to continuing to be a part of."
According to Carruthers, the competition's inclusion of hair stylists from vastly different backgrounds played a major role in Sam Villa's enthusiasm to be a part of the event. He revealed how Battle of the Strands included stylists from all over, stating that they had "hairdressers from Utah involved [as well as] hairdressers from Vegas, but then there's [also] five countries represented here this weekend. Thats what we're most excited about as a company. We're a very inclusive company, we don't want to be seen as this exclusive… 'members only' kind of crowd, and I feel like this is what Battle of the Strands has done really well… they've created a very inclusive vibe in the competition." Carruthers went on to assert that "this isn't a competition of stars of our industry, this is a competition of actual hairdressers," and that this aspect of the event "fits with [Sam Villa's] mission."
As the leader of an interactive master class to be held during the event, Carruthers praised Battle of the Strands' emphasis on education. He stated that, "there [were] about a dozen education classes yesterday and it was really cool to see [Battle of the Strands] involve that aspect into a competitive arena. It's not something I think I've seen before."
Before heading out to prepare for his spot as a judge on tonight's panel, Carruthers gave us his forecast next season's upcoming trends. According to him, "men's [styles are] a big thing that we're going to continue to see… A big drive in our industry is [a] return to this masculinity factor, so we're seeing a lot more barbering - very tight, very sculpted looks that you might have seen back in the 30's and 40's but… with a fashionable aspect to them."
Carruthers also commented on something that came up during his master class, and that is a "resurgence of short hair with women." Carruthers explained that this re-vamped trend is no longer "wispy, frilly short hair," but instead "something more strong and more structured [that] can be almost borderline androgynous [such as] Charlize Theron's [haircut] back at the Oscars. Those types of shapes are really popular right now and we're having fun with them because we actually get to leave weight in the hair… it's not about shattering everything until it's just little wisps of hair, which is traditionally what short hair has been about for the last ten to fifteen years. So I know we're very excited for this fresh trend, it gets us into a place that we're able to practice new techniques, and old techniques too."
When asked what could be expected from this year's epic Battle of the Strands finale, Carruthers simply told us that he was "ready for a big surprise tonight!"