Preparing for the Big Hairdressing Awards: Interview with Rafael Bueno
Within the world of hairdressing, we have many different paths. One of these paths includes hair competitions, which are tied to fashion and catwalks. Rafael Bueno is an expert in this world, with many amazing prizes and awards to his name. Rafael has worked in many different countries with various designers and personalities, from cinema to international socialites. Join us as we speak with our Revlon Professional ambassador from Malaga as he shares some tips on how to prepare for this exciting journey to the hairdressing podium.
Revlon Professional: Hi Rafael, it’s a pleasure to have you with us. Before we start, we would like to know a bit about how you got into hairdressing. What were your first steps and, above all, what was it like when you started participating in hairdressing competitions?
Rafael: I was introduced to hairdressing in my aunt’s salon, where I discovered that this profession was what I wanted to dedicate myself to as a way of life.
The first competition I participated in was the Picasso Awards, the Andalusian hairdressing awards in Seville, presenting three collections in different categories, but I did not win any awards. However, this helped me to gain more enthusiasm for the next one, which I did not hesitate to return to with commercial and avant-garde—a specialty in which I get to develop my creativity the most, which I really enjoy.
Revlon Professional: When did you realize that you had the potential to win a competition? Do you remember your first award? Tell us what you did to achieve it.
Rafael: Honestly, I have never felt like I had the potential to win a competition, as I do not plan it as a moment that will make me a winner of any award, but rather, as a place where I can share what I love most with other colleagues in the sector whom I admire and love.
I will never forget that moment. It was the second time I participated in the Picasso Awards, when I was named Andalusian Hairdresser of the Year and for me it was very exciting. I was full of pride and satisfaction and these amazing feelings were heightened due to the fact that I did not expect it.
I don’t know how to answer that last question, because I didn’t do anything special to get it. I guess just being me, putting passion and desire into what I love most, which is hairdressing in any of its aspects—whether that be in the salon working with clients or at home putting together a hairpiece or wig.
Revlon Professional: And how do you prepare for a competition? Where do you look for inspiration for your creations?
Rafael: I don’t really prepare, as I never stop creating. I’m always active! I find inspiration in my daily life—in nature, in animals, among my friends, on my travels, or even while watching a documentary or a program that I like… it comes to me! It is a wonderful thing to be able to easily feel inspiration coming to you. I am really grateful for that.
Revlon Professional: Do you prefer to work alone, in a team, or a combination of both?
Rafael: Always as a team. In fact, my team and Moises are my right hand, my partner, and my ally in this beautiful adventure of creating.
It is true that there are times when I go to the hairdresser’s and I escape by being alone, immersed in a project. But I usually get my team involved and go over feedback with them on whatever comes to mind.
Revlon Professional: Do you do pre- and/or post-competition photo shoots of your creations?
Rafael: We usually do shoots once we have finished the collections. It is such an important way to capture our work, as we then use our favorites to decorate the salon as a memento; for publications, in magazines, etc.
Revlon Professional: You have worked with great fashion designers. What are the differences between working for these designers and a hairdressing competition where you are in charge? What is it like to work with professional models?
Rafael: It’s really different. When you work for a designer, they are the ones who set the guidelines and organize the work, and although I still take on the responsibility, the pressure is somewhat less.
When I take my collections backstage, participating in a show, the nerves and vulnerability are greater, as I am leading my team and I feel very responsible for making sure they feel comfortable and enjoy the experience.
Working with professional models is fantastic, as they are used to the long waiting times at these types of events and always have an excellent attitude. In fact, I almost always work with the same models on different jobs.
Revlon Professional: We would like you to tell us a little ‘secret’ about how you manage to win. Do you have any tricks you can share?
Rafael: I wish I had a trick to share with you, but I really don’t think I have any tricks up my sleeve that will make me a winner—hence the nerves in the days leading up to and during the event—which let me enjoy the experience in a slightly different way than my teammates. I never feel that I have the job won, but it is true that if you have a good team, good products, and the right tools, everything is easier.
Revlon Professional: When the competition is over, do you take a break or can you ‘not stop creating’ for the next one?
Rafael: I think creative people don’t have an on and off button that connects or disconnects you to your inspiration. When I am immersed in a collection, I inevitably come up with new ideas that lead me to another and so on.
Revlon Professional: Could you give us the three essential tips for entering a hairdressing competition?
Rafael: Of course! First and foremost, it is essential that you really like your work and don’t mind spending your free time on it.
Secondly, you need to have a good team to support you in your work. And thirdly, you need to work with a good brand that will support you in terms of the quality of your work.
Revlon Professional: And finally, how has Revlon Professional helped you on your road to success?
Rafael: Revlon has been an incredible support in this journey, giving me quality, greater visibility in the sector in terms of events and training, and providing us with the knowledge and techniques necessary to get the best results in our work—and that’s fantastic.
Revlon Professional: Thank you so much for answering our questions, Rafael. We are sure that you will continue to receive awards, success, and accolades wherever you go, and that Revlon Professional contributes to this. We wish you the best of luck!
Inspired? We invite you to create something truly unique that distinguishes you in your field and to use your creativity to leave a mark in the hairdressing industry. Keep learning from our global ambassadors and join us as we explore how Fabrice Chesaux defines creativity and creates his one-of-a-kind modern styles.