« Take a break with… » Samuel Rocher – Hair dresser – Paris
Samuel Rocher just finished a blow-dry for one of his client. We are pleased to be welcomed in his new prestigious hairdressing salon. He arrives with a huge contagious smile and takes place with us. It is obvious that we are truly well received here!
More than a simple hair salon, you just opened a real space dedicated to “haute coiffure”, beauty and well-being. What was for you the starting point for this adventure?
The starting point for this adventure is ultimately the result of many years of experience. I had the opportunity to work with leading hairdressers, real masters of their profession.
I travelled to the Middle East and across the whole of Europe training people. After France, I moved to Portugal where I created, 5 years ago, my own brand. Later after that I headed and managed a group of international salons across the United States. I spend a lot of time observing, I wanted to bring together all the skills I acquired from my travels and experiences and bring them into this new salon.
It is by sharing ideas with Frédèrique Agnès, my associate and childhood friend that we developed this project. For me the new luxury is quality in its simplicity. We analyzed the market and found that they were no more “grand” salon in Paris. Salons that offer services to match those of the upmarket hotels and restaurants. I don’t speak only about the technique, which of course has to be of superior quality, but also a top of the range service, where you get attention, availability and kindness from the staff.
Very often you must meet the expectations of a demanding clientele. How do you train your staff?
Training is indeed extremely important. Our facility also holds a training school: L’Atelier de formation. The training of our staff is essential and will be carried out regularly. However, I still wanted to emphasize our difference by creating a unique culture of directives, protocol and etiquette.
During my stay in the United States, I had the opportunity to meet Marie-Claude METROT (former head housekeeper at the Ritz and now training staff, among other roles, in some of most prestigious hotel establishments). I asked her to pass down all of her experience to apply to our business. We are the opposite of a cold and pretentious place. On the contrary our staff here is instructed to listen to the customer, to be considerate, to be courteous and to be discreet and friendly.
For me, this is real luxury today.
So together with Marie‐Claude METROT we created a set of directives, protocol and etiquette, which are taught during all of our training for each of our staff teams. She then accompanied us for a week before the salon opening, going through everything from reception, to valet parking, to laundry space. Miss METROT also gives us a visit six times a year checking and controlling quality as well as ensuring the smooth running of our protocol and etiquette directives.
Regarding the subject matter of trends, where do you get your inspiration?
I like that you used the term « trend ». Indeed, I consider that we work more in term of trend than in term of latest fashion. The aim of our concept is really to return to the expertise of the French know-how. We do not cut hair just to cut them. What interests us is to bring out a look, an expression or highlight the contours of a face. The hairstyle will be adapted to the silhouette. Our job is to please our customers, to emphasize their beauty.
You have to be attentive, and for that we have a space dedicated to advising clients, accessible to all. When we receive our clients, we listen, we talk with them, and then we advise. Our goal is to get as close as possible to each person’s natural beauty and harmony.
You only work with the best products. Which are they? And which is your favorite one at the moment?
After six years of working in my salon in Portugal, it was a no brainer to choose and work with Davines as exclusive partner for my new project in Paris.
This is an Italian brand, more precisely from Parma, which I trust completely … They are lightweight products, easy to work with, which always produce great results. It doesn’t qualify itself as organic, but it still is all natural, paraben free, sulfate-free and with a minimal impact on the environment. We are not trying to cheat. I do not have a leading or favorite product. The key is finding the most suitable product for each of our customers. Currently I have a passion for VOLU range, products designed for fine hair!
What do you like most about your job?
I love everything! I have the amazing opportunity to work the way I always wanted to. Even during the hardest times of my life, I just have to start cutting hair for me to be I’m happy again. I can spend the entire day cutting hair while … singing! I also like the idea of being able to share this passion. When you see the talented new generations it gives me even more desire to move forward.
The creation of this new salon marks a new stage in your career. What do you think is the key to success?
The key concept of our salon is attention, service and simplicity. Not cheating and being as honest as possible. Since I started working everyone has always been talking about the crisis … one of the best compliments I have ever received came from a journalist who wrote « When times are hard, we just get a haircut at Samuel … because it will last « . In this salon we want to offer a real well-being interlude to our customers. Spaces are welcoming, comfortable and give privacy. And if you’re an active person, you can still continue working while being pampered. Each styling area is a mix between a boudoir and mini-office. You can have lunch, do your hair and work at the same time … We have WI-FI access so you can bring your laptop. Each area is also equipped with touch screen tablets as well as phone chargers. We have to adapt to our time, we want to meet our customers’ needs as much as possible.
Some tips between us … What are the next hairstyles and color trends for fall?
Trend is everywhere. Today everyone has access to it. You can see some great looks on the street. There are indeed some trends, but I think that everyone creates their own style. The hair also becomes a reflection of your personality, your mood and your desires. Our role is to capture it and guide you to release its beauty.
Thank you Samuel Rocher!
Interview by OOB MAG
Translation by Audrey Hefes
Photos ITW by Jordan I
Photo Salon by Didier Adam