Illawarra hairdresser Peter Thomsen making waves: photos

Illawarra hairdresser Peter Thomsen is one of six Australian L’Oreal ambassadors for 2014. LISA WACHSMUTH hears about his latest role.

It's a whirlwind year for Illawarra hairdresser Peter Thomsen, which kicked off with a trip to Barcelona to network with the world's best stylists and will finish with a backstage gig at New York Fashion Week.

In between, the artistic director at Chelsea Hairdressing in Shellharbour will be travelling across the country to run workshops, present the latest looks and style models for the catwalk as part of his role as a L'Oreal ambassador.

Mr Thomsen is one of six Australian hairdressers chosen to represent the French haircare brand's styling range Tecni-Art for 2014, and he's happy to share his enthusiasm with his peers.

"As a L'Oreal ambassador for Tecni-Art I'm on top of the trends happening internationally, and nationally, and that's something I can pass on to others in the industry and ultimately I can bring that back to my team and my clients in the salon," he said.

Mr Thomsen has spent 27 years in the industry, and Chelsea Hairdressing started off in Wollongong before a successful move to Shellharbour Village eight years ago.

He's a lively character and his wit and charm, along with his obvious talent, have resulted in a steady stream of regular clients over the years, and he actively encourages networking between salons as well.

He pays just as much care and attention to his clients as he does the top models whose tresses he tames during industry events including Australian fashion weeks.

So what is new for 2014?

According to Mr Thomsen, it's time to give those straighteners a bit of a break, with a more "dishevelled" look making its mark.

The bob is back, with a slight difference. It's a little longer, ending between the chin and the collarbone, and it's got lots of lovely layers.

Pixie cuts are still popular but with a bit more length in the fringe - think Jennifer Lawrence. And those who like it long should go for a more "shaggy" effect, with layering again playing a bit part.

"There's a lot more movement coming into hair," Mr Thomsen said. "A bit more of a shattered, shaggy look where the wave looks more uneven and relaxed.

"We're moving away from straighteners and more towards tongs and using products to give a softer look, while still giving enough hold."

Double moussing is a popular styling effect to create more texture in the hair, while gloss can add shine and dry shampoo can create a modern, matte look. Meanwhile powders or "dusts" are also popular.

Colour is also going a little softer. Balayage - where the base hair colour contrasts with the end colour - is still in but there's less of a contrast between the base and the ends.

"Sombre is the new version where the colours are more harmonious," Mr Thomsen said. "It's a bit softer, the contrast is not as intense."

In terms of colour - cool browns; coppery reds and rose golds are adding a warmth to the winter months.

"Just as fashion progresses, so does hair," said Mr Thomsen said. And so it seems, does the hairdresser himself.

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