Dramatic hairstyles, daring s, challenging techniques and endless creative possibilities are a few of the daily jargon commonly used at Neville Roman Zammit’s hair salon. Neville is a true talent with an ability to transform any hair into a true work of art. His curriculum is impressive with successful experiences both in Malta and in England with Sassoon UK. It is by no coincidence that Neville is considered as one of the best talents Malta has ever produced in the beauty industry. Neville shared with Atelier his early steps in hairdressing industry, his interpretation of beauty, COVID-19 and his upcoming projects.
How did it all start?
I started off in the industry as a shampoo boy in a leading hair salon in Sliema. From there, I moved to another salon in Attard until in 2003 I decided
to follow a hairdressing course in England offered by Sassoon Academy London. They liked my work and I was invited to pursue my career in the Sassoon London Mayfair Salon. For fifteen years, I worked in London and also in their other outlets situated in Liverpool, Nottingham and also Manchester. I also had the opportunity to travel the world with them and work with leading international celebrities.
My work was also published in leading magazines including Vogue Japan, Vogue UK Online and also on the Cosmopolitan. It was indeed an experience that enriched me both on a personal and professional level.
American actress, Jaclyn Smith once noted; “You must understand the texture of your hair before you choose a style.” To what extent do you agree?
I fully agree! There are fundamental elements which need to be taken into consideration before choosing a style namely; the texture of your hair, your bone structure as well as the of your skin. No matter how much technology develops the hair industry, such factors remain essential for any style one opts for.
What is your definition of beauty?
As the saying goes; “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Beauty is cultural. What one community admires may leave another group of people cold or even repulsed. What one individual finds irresistible elicits a shrug from another. Beauty is personal. But it’s also universal. There are international beauties— those people who have come to represent the standard.
We live in a society where baldness is seen as an opportunity.
Some agree with the term; “bald and beautiful.” What are your thoughts?
We are accustomed to a society where people often hide a lot of their features behind their hair, especially women. Hair is traditionally seen as a safety net. This is changing and today we are shifting towards definition of beauty which continues to expand, making room for a culture of big-tent beauty. One in which everyone is welcome. Everyone is beautiful. Indeed, everyone’s idealized version can be seen in the pages of magazines or on the leading international runways. We live in a society where baldness is seen as an opportunity. Indeed, baldness is a means to highlight the facial assets of a person.
Tell us about your salon?
It pretty much spells out my own personality. I tried my best to keep loyal to the philosophy I adhered to in London. I do not agree with a factory approach. The place gives a lot of emphasis to the client. Every person that steps into the salon needs to feel good, pampered and special.
How have you survived COVID-19?
Ten weeks off! Never in my life did I have so much time in hand. It was a time when I finally sorted
out my wardrobe. I spent a lot of time on the phone with clients. I also spent time on the beach and an opportunity for an early swim in April. It was also an opportunity for me for some good online shopping.
What is your top hair look this summer?
During COVID-19 many have thrown caution to the wind, cut their hair short and dyed their hair teal blue, juicy watermelon (a combo of green and pink, or blue and pink like Ruby Rose), pink or orange à
la Dua Lipa and purple. At the moment Due Lipa’s two tone bob hair style is the talk of the street. Orange copper is also in demand as well a hair with baby lights, a bit of balayage and a touch of sea salt spray.
It’s safe to say that 2020 isn’t going as planned. With the COVID-19 outbreak, many of my projects had to be postponed for next year. I have some editorial in the pipeline and am currently very busy attending to the demands of clients post COVID-19 outbreak. I am also considering some training abroad.