Determined stylist Fern Bowler definitely brings a burst of passion into everything she does — including her hairdressing. With her infectious personality and endless streams of creativity running through her, we were intrigued to know even more about the buzzing stylist behind the chair.
What first sparked your passion for hairdressing?
“Well, my mum is a hairdresser, so I’ve always been immersed in the industry. I’ve worked in salons from the age of 17, as front of house and a receptionist. After a summer working in Ibiza, I decided to dive into my passion and become a hairdresser. I worked as an assistant at Taylor Taylor in London, but when they wouldn’t give me the colour training I wanted, I looked elsewhere. Determined to reach the goals I set out for myself, I started at Aveda and threw myself into it. I worked really hard, taking only a brief break to have my wonderful son Oliver.”
So how did you find yourself working at The Chapel, Horsham?
“Throughout my hairdressing career I always knew about The Chapel from social media, and I always wished they would open a salon closer to where I lived. When I found out that Horsham was popping up, I applied immediately and they snapped me up. Horsham is such a lovely area, my dad has lived there for over twenty years so I’ve fallen in love with the place. What’s so great is that, when The Chapel finally opened, it added so much vibrancy. Horsham needed The Chapel, and we’ve really been welcomed by the community.”
How do feel about The Chapel’s ethos towards time?
“If I could give someone a whole day I would. In fact, for a few guests — I have! A stylist’s tools are always important to them. Give them the best colours and heat tools, that’s all great. But the most valuable tool you can give a hairdresser is time. Without it, the final product just wouldn’t look the same as if you had the time to give your guest the right amount of attention. I definitely support The Chapel’s desire to give guests all of the time they need, because that way, guests leave happier and stylists can become much more expressive with their services.”
Are you influenced by any trends in the hairdressing industry today?
“Having completed a lot of technical training with colour, this is definitely one aspect of the trends that I like to keep up with. Even though I’m a brunette myself, I love blonde. Whether its freehand or highlights, I love to get involved with any placement involving blonde colours because I really like learning about the new colour technologies and techniques. Plus, I find that when everyone has a bit of blonde in their life, they feel a bit more lifted. When it comes to cutting, I’m really enjoying seeing shorter styles coming into fashion, not only because I think they look great, but also because you can become more passionate about them as a hairdresser. They really push your skill set, and I love to get stuck into a challenge.”
A lot of stylists get their hair inspiration from social media. Are there any other places you’re inspired by?
“For me and my guests, I find that Pinterest works really well. It’s great because you can really think about what you want and out that into mood boards: one for your hair goals, and one filled with styles that you dislike. It’s important to get an overall image of a guest’s likes and dislikes, so you can build a full picture of what they want to achieve. I do follow a few accounts on Instagram, but I find that they can set unrealistic expectations about what we are able to achieve for guests. If a client wants rainbow hair, that’s great! But social media doesn’t show you how that colour will fade, what the regrowth will look like, or the homecare required. So while Instagram is a great resource, it’s always best to follow up with a chat about how the style will fit with the guest’s individual style.”