Tóufǎ. Hair by Roger Cho
“For this series, I wanted to focus on something that brought together both sides of my heritage.” Hair stylist Roger Cho collaborates with British-born Chinese photographer Paul Phung and stylist Karlmond Tang on a series celebrating their multi-cultural backgrounds.
“Throughout Imperial China, hair styles held regal status and was an important feature of the royal court. Men would often have longer hair in half shaved, plaited styles, and the women’s hair would be tied and adorned with beautiful accessories. Hairstyles would be change slightly through the dynasties, but they often remained slick, smart and faultless in their complicated styles.
I wanted a contemporary take on these looks. Though I was born in Hong Kong, I’ve been living in London for 18 years, three of which I spent working with hairstylist Neil Moodie. It was important for me to create a style that mixed two important cultures in my life, something that is done brilliantly by designers such as Simone Rocha or Xander Zhou. The gravity-defying hairstyles would typically be immaculate, but I wanted them to have something natural and dishevelled about them. They weren’t meant to be perfect, but still needed to retain a level of intention and finesse around them. I wanted to keep the shapes, but add the contemporary modern touch that brings Chinese culture to current times.”
Beauty Papers: What was the last beautiful thing you saw?
Roger Cho: The nature side of Dublin as I was there for work for the first time.
BP: Tell us one of your favourite hair techniques.
RC: I love working with heated rollers. I think it is one of the basic equipments that all hairstylists should master. They are such a versatile tool and you can use them to create everything from a classic finger wave to a beautiful big hairdo.
BP: Current kit hero product?
RC: I love L’Oréal infinitum hair spray at the moment, it gives you lots of hold and it’s easy to brush out.
BP: Do you have a favourite hair gadget?
RC: Hair nets. I often use them to protect set hair, and they are also useful to squash and create different 3-D shapes.
BP: What does the word glamour mean to you?
RC: Style with historical aspects and references always attracts me.
BP: What is your first memory of glamour?
RC: My first fashion week season: Spring Summer 2014 with hair stylist Sam McKnight, especially the Chanel show with over 90 models together with an art gallery set in the Grand Palais.
BP: What is the future of glamour?
RC: The future of glamour is about the youth culture. Young people remind you to be brave, be different and break boundaries.
BP: Living, dead, real or imaginary … who has the best hair-do?
RC: I was recently looking at historical hair style from the Tang dynasty, 690-705, especially the empress at the time Wu Zetian. Back then hair was overly accessorised to show power and wealth.