My profession allows me to visit some of the most beautiful and fashionable cities in the world. Being a hairdresser is more than a job for me it’s a lifestyle – so whenever I travel I always take time to check out the hair culture.

In recent years, my son Nic and I took a trip to Italy. It is such a beautiful country – the culture, art, fashion, food, design and architecture. Here are a few of Italy’s global fashion and beauty influences.4

In the 1950’s Gina Lollobrigida made an impact on American pop culture, with her short and sexy hairstyle. Women were heading to the salons wanting to copy her dark hair and Mediterranean look.

The Italian Cut: It had a tousled look but it was a sculpted hairstyle with waves at the crown and curls framing the forehead/cheeks.

Sophia Loren was known as the Italian bombshell and in the 1960’s was one of the most popular actresses in the world. Loren helped make one of the most classic looks in beauty history – the cat eye – popular.

Sophia_Loren_-_1959There are so many famous Italian designers: Giorgio Armani, Roberto Cavalli, Dolce and Gabbana, Versace, Gucci, Fendi, Missoni and Prada just to name a few – they all make Italy one of the world’s fashion leaders.

Dolce & Gabbana created ad campaigns inspired by Italian beauty, tradition and film. They played to the stereotype of the Italian women’s style and seductive beauty. Beautifully shot, these campaigns, told a story without using words.

dolce2Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2012 Campaign by Giampaolo Sgura

Soccer is Italy’s most popular sport – it’s like a religion. Soccer players are seen as national heroes and cultural icons. So it’s no surprise that players have a huge influence on hair and fashion trends.

“Today it’s the players with their looks and their lifestyles who are creating the trends.”
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, Calcio

Nic and I decided to walk the streets and see for ourselves Italy’s amazing culture in motion.

We were in Rome. What a city full of culture – past and present. Amazing food and fashion. It’s like an outdoor museum. Everywhere you look there’s something beautiful to look at  – statues, monuments, buildings old and new and of course the people.

What really blew me away was how well dressed and groomed these people were. I mean not one person walking the street was underdressed. It was fashion heaven. Hair done, make up done and dressed just right.


Men and women take the time to look good. I truly enjoyed this part of the culture. Nic and I couldn’t believe it. We even shopped more than usual, because we saw looks that we liked and wanted to have the same style.

People in Italy, even if they are going to the grocery store, will wear something that looks really good. Every woman was dressed like she was a star. Just amazing. I heard it, but now I believe it. I know this may not be the way it is all over Italy, but in Rome and Milan, it’s definitely the way it’s done. Like I said – fashion heaven.

I was so impressed by this that I started to wonder, where does all this begin? Obviously for me, it starts at the hair salon. So we decided to dedicate some time and do just that – visit hair salons.



Here I am with a hair stylist named Emilio who I met in Rome.

I met some really cool people from our industry. So welcoming: “Oh wow you’re from Canada. Please come in.”

Very warm, nice and so much talent. It is simply amazing to see how much love there is for our craft and how alive and flowing it is. This is when I realized, Italy’s culture is very motivated to make people look good and feel good, as we are in North America. However, they got a little twist to it because of the European culture. Which we seem to always love so much.

I really enjoyed my trip to Italy and will visit as often as I can. It’s impossible to see and do everything in one shot, because of it’s beauty and detail. I miss it so much.

Ciao Italia.

See you soon. Signup

Stay inspired. Stay informed. Stay beautiful. Click here to sign up for the Dear Hairdresser Newsletter.