“Will having great hair give women that extra confidence to chase after their dreams and make them come true?”

Apparently, the answer to this question is a resounding “Yes”.

As part of the “Life Can’t Wait™” campaign which ran from April to the end of August, it was revealed in Sunsilk’s Global Survey that 85% of Singaporean women indicated that “they could have taken more chances if they had more confidence in their own abilities”.

The survey also revealed that 94% of the women thought that “if their hair looked good, they would feel more confident.”

The audience at “Shape Your Hair, Shape Your Life” hair show, held at Clarke Quay on Aug 23, were brimming with excitement as Andrew Barton, one of the most sought after celebrity stylist, demonstrated how to transform boring locks into head-turning glamorous hairstyles that are sophisticated-looking yet at the same time simple to do.

So what is it like to transform plain Janes into glamourous babes? Who is the man behind the ladies’ confident smiles?

UrbanWire catches up with Andrew Barton, British Hairdresser of the Year for 2007 who, just last week, won UK’s Most Wanted Hair Icon of the year:


UW: You are no doubt an ambassador of the industry and having been involved in work for AIDS awareness and charity, please tell us more about what motivates you to lend your voice to these causes?

Andrew Barton: As a celebrity hairdresser, I feel I have an responsibility to create awareness for causes that effect my industry and the clients that we look after.

Two charities that I have been personally involved with are AIDS awareness campaigns and breast cancer. Firstly, AIDS awareness, despite 3 decades of this disease effecting humanity, the figures still suggests that there is an increase in new cases effecting a high percentage of young people.

My industry thrives on youth and the young hairdressers of today will be the talented hair designers of the future carving fashion and design, so this cause has been my chosen charity for many years. As for breast cancer, throughout my career I have been saddened by clients who have been effected by this illness, often losing their hair through treatment, so I feel its very close to what I do professionally.

As my career has developed, I’m thrilled that I can lend a voice in a small way to help others less fortunate than myself, and if my voice makes just one more person aware of another’s plight and do something about it then I feel I’ve given something back for the joy in my life!

UW: What are your personal qualities that brought you to where you are today?

Andrew Barton: I hope my personal qualities are known to be honest and down to earth. My world is surrounded by celebrity, fashion, image and style and for many people they can easily get carried away from the person they are, with the glamour and razzmatazz!

I greet every day with a smile and every challenge with a learning opportunity, and whether my client is a super cool VIP or a housewife with her chores, then I love making them happy. I’m addicted to the smile a woman has when I’ve finished her hair.

UW: You travel abroad quite frequently; what is the vision or message you feel most compelled to share wherever you go?

Andrew Barton: A lot of my working life is spent travelling and working away from home and with that comes all kinds of challenges. The actual travel being the worst, but the inspiration I get keeps me motivated. It is the sharing of my knowledge of what I know about how women want to look and how they’d like their hair to look that gives me so much energy to keep going.

Hair has been my design passion for 25 years now and every day feels like a new start, something new to give, discover or experience. The fact that I travel so much exposes me to so many diverse aspects of hair and this experience, call it vision, that I love sharing.

After all life can’t wait!

UW: What makes a confident person? Is it all in the looks and the hair?

Andrew Barton: Good hair can totally give a woman increased confidence. The right style can make a woman look younger, taller, slimmer completely alter her self esteem and attitude to life and the challenges she faces, that day, that week, that moment. When you’ve got good hair everything is possible!

UW: In your words, inner beauty would be…?

Andrew Barton: Inner beauty I think comes from many different aspects, confidence, health, joy in the small things around us every day. My grandmother always taught me about the power of a smile. You can give a smile to anyone and its free. It not only makes others feel good but makes you feel good too!

UW: Having won the highest accolade in the hairdressing industry (in UK?), what’s next?

Andrew Barton: Being awarded the British Hairdresser of the Year and more recently ( last week ) The Uk’s Most Wanted Hair Icon of the year were both special moments in my life and both have turned new keys in new doors for me. Ahead are some fantastic things including my own TV show, a book and my creative work with Sunsilk are all incredibly exciting projects!

UW: You’ve been quoted to have an interest in photography in an interview with UKHairdressers.com. Given a day to be a photographer, what would your subjects be?

Andrew Barton: Photography as an art form along with sculpture and drawing, have been around most of my own creative journey. Certainly, beauty photography would be really interesting as it captures a mood and communicates a message to the viewer. It is very thought provoking for me.

UW: How would you imagine a world without scissors?

Andrew Barton: A world without scissors! Is there one? Seriously if it wasn’t cutting hair it would have been cutting cloth! I left school wanting to be a fashion designer and ended up designing hair fashion – I love it! 

UrbanWire thanks Andrew Barton for his time in this email interview and also for giving us such candid and insightful answers.

All photographs on this page are copyright and credited to Benjamin Yoon.