Valentine’s Hair With Manic Panic UK and Poppy Lockett

Celebrating those closest to you, whether that be family, friends, a partner or even your pet is a natural trait that many of us tend to do without any encouragement, however, with it being February, this offers a whole other opportunity that many will grasp and use to their full advantage. As creatives, hair stylists tend to be keen on a challenge that will allow them to explore and use various hair colouring techniques in their work. At Manic Panic UK, we wanted to challenge our affiliates to create something that fits the Valentine’s theme but also displays a visual representation of their own style. 

Manic Panic UK affiliate, Poppy Lockett took this opportunity to create something that she might not be able to do during her every day hours in the salon. Joining up with photographer friend Caitlin Sanders, Poppy set out to create her very own DIY professional Valentine’s photoshoot. Poppy opted to create a variety of looks for this project that pushed the boundaries of what a Valentine’s photoshoot might commonly be pictured as “My initial thoughts were to branch out from the usual valentine’s themes, I chose to focus on three looks: Punk Love, Vampyr Valentine and Galantines. The goal was to show how love can be expressed through different styles as there is no one perfect Valentine’s theme. I worked closely with Caitlin to bounce back and forth ideas to make sure that the result was a true representation of our vision. We looked at a lot of punk and Goth scenes as well as modern social media trends and from there, our ideas grew into personalised backdrops, outfits and hair colours.”

Having joined the Manic Panic UK affiliate family over a year ago, Poppy has expressed a true passion for working with vivid colours and has created numerous looks with her chosen Manic Panic UK colours. Since these particular Valentine’s looks display an array of techniques we wanted to know what it was about vivid hair colours that allowed Poppy to visually express her own style. “As I’m a creative person, I like to express my own style by using vivid colours. I’d say I’m quite a rebellious person, so I like for my work to stand out and not “fit the norm”. I like to be non-conventional, and I enjoy tailoring colours and styles to people’s individual personalities, helping them to feel confident and unique. Hair colour is a form of self-expression and I love being able to take not just my own, but my clients’ creative visions and ideas, and make them into something physical.”

As Poppy has mentioned, her work is heavily influenced by the personalities of her clients and ensures that they all feel a comfortability in their new hair and that it really resonates with their own style and likes and this definitely became a huge factor in the inspiration for her three Valentine’s looks “The three different looks represent various sides of Valentine’s, when creating each theme, I tried to imagine each look as a personality and a character to help bring the vision to life.” When looking at the work that Poppy created for this shoot there is an obvious distinctiveness between each look, all representing the same theme yet in their own individual way.

“Punk Love” was inspired by punk self-expression and individuality, showcasing the bold and  non-conforming spirit of Valentine’s and celebrating love through the vivid hair colour pattern.”

“For “Vampyr Valentine” I wanted to show the darker, more mysterious side of love. Using deep red and purple colours, I felt like these went hand in hand with the gothic and Valentine’s themes.”

“The “Galentines” shows a celebration of self-love and the fun side of Valentine’s day. It showcased the playful, light-hearted side and encourages people to embrace their own beauty and love themselves. We wanted to capture the traditional Valentine’s colours, reds and pinks, but to also change the meaning of the tradition.”   

As we know, the world is becoming more and more digital in many aspects and the hair and beauty industry is still very much a part of it. With social media taking over and becoming one of the main platforms for displaying work, for many, it now acts as a portfolio. With this in mind, we wanted to discuss the importance of capturing work digitally with Poppy and Caitlin to understand how they believe this benefits the industry and why.

 “I think it’s crucial for stylists to embrace the digital world, capturing your work and putting it out there allows you to reach such a larger audience and advertise to clients. It’s important to use your online platform to inspire and educate other stylists as well as showcase your art and creativity.” “Caitlin and I brainstormed the shots we wanted before the shoot to maximise the content we could get from it. With social media trends ever-changing, it is important to capture multiple types of media and tailor this to different platforms. We wanted to include a range of Valentine’s colours and styles in the photo shoot and the editing process to captivate a wider audience.”

Poppy is definitely one to look out for. Her specialised technique of working with creative hair colour has put her in the eyes of many clients and other professionals within the industry, but what is it that got her here?

“As an up-and-coming stylist myself, my advice would be to keep educating yourself to better your work, perfect your skills and try new methods to suit you. Don’t be afraid to put your work out there and be patient. When it comes to exposure, don’t pass up opportunities to showcase your work and always strive for quality over quantity. Reach out to brands and other creatives to work together and most importantly, enjoy the art that you create and be proud of your work. With social media, it’s easy to get lost in new trends and constantly compare yourself, establish your own unique brand and just be your authentic self and don’t follow what everybody else is doing. Be true to yourself and brands will recognise that.”

To check out more of the awesome work that Poppy creates, you can follow her Instagram page @popsofcolour_hair and look out for more tagged posts of Poppy’s on the Manic Panic UK social media pages @manicpanic@_uk.