“When I work for the editorials or the shows I like looking for new structures and textures pushing the boundaries but at all times it will radiate an organic feeling.”
Mark van Westerop
What country are you from and where do you live?
I live in the Netherlands in the beautiful city of Alkmaar.
Title of what you do and what company you work with.
I feel very privileged that I can practice all disciplines within our beautiful profession. As the Creative Director of my salon Pro-Solo Hair Artist, I am responsible for the creative direction and interpretation for our team.
I am also the International Creative Artist for The Wella Company for GHD and an Ambassador for Balmain Hair Couture. These are the companies that support me in all my work as a session stylist.
This is a nice balance of being at the cradle of the trends that translate to our consumers and that pass on to fellow hairdressers
After my hairdressing training I went to work in Amsterdam for a year where I assisted many great hair stylists. I loved getting in touch with as many styles as possible and this also on different disciplines such as editorials, shows, and commercial work.
What is your signature style/artistic expression to your work?
I have two sides to my artistic expression. When I work in the salon or commercial work, I create tangible organic sensual hair that you want to touch, hair that a woman wants and that turns a man’s head. When I work for the editorials or the shows I like looking for new structures and textures pushing the boundaries but at all times it will radiate an organic feeling. I want to excite the spectator and make them think about it
Do you have a career turning point or big break that has helped your career?
I have participated in the Dutch Coiffure Awards for more than ten years and was nominated every year, but finally after ten years, in 2014, I won and it was a huge hit! I won the categories women, men and best team which opened many doors in the business.
What was your scariest and proudest moment in your career?
My most intense year was 2015. I felt tremendous pressure to match and follow up on these awards. Due to the incredible workload of all my international activities, I experienced a blackout that resulted in an intense burnout. It was an anxious time where I was afraid that my creativity was gone.
The time I’m most proud of is in 2017 after two years of burnout I was crowned Hairdresser of the Year for the 2nd time and won in the ladies, avant-garde category and our team of Pro-Solo Hairartists was voted best team for the sixth time.
What is next for your career goals?
I hope to be named Hairdresser of the Year again. Having achieved that place three times you enter the hall of fame. I now focus on fine art productions and editorials focusing on seasonal trends. Now I am working on projects that are for art galleries which makes it timeless and last longer. I also guide a number of Pro-Solo Hairartists team members in their careers as a session stylist and educator.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your business?
Stylists who are just starting out and really want to make a career in our profession should be open to education, do free work and to dare to make mistakes. Our profession never stands still and every season there are new developments in technology, products and fashion expressions that you have to master. If you want to get to the top, sitting back and waiting for it to come to you is not an option. Staying sharp, self-reflection and hard work is essential.
HAIRDRESSER OF THE YEAR 2022