Liz Tourdatis Testimonial
When I think of Claude Bigler, the phrase ‘outside the box’ comes to mind. Eight years ago, a former colleague of mine had taken opportunity to complete his hairstylist apprenticeship under the guidance of Claude at his Salon – Claude Bigler & Friends – located in Courtenay, B.C.. A few local hairstylists were renting chairs out of his space at this time, and Claude was eager to find another established hairstylist to join the salon. At that time, I was looking for a change. I was ready to ‘shake’ things up and leave the comfort of the salon I had been working in for over nine years. With a thirst to pursue the next step in my journey as a hairstylist, I knew the traditional route of opening my own salon and the headaches that come with it wasn’t for me.
Upon listening to what Claude could offer, it didn’t take much to convince me. Renting a chair would give me the ability to have complete autonomy running my own business, have a more flexible schedule, book my own clients and use the hair products and hair colour I like to work with. Sharing space alongside other amazing hairstylists and access to learning as well as the opportunity to work with a Vidal Sassoon trained hairstylist was too good to pass up. At that time with over forty years behind the chair Claude had perfected his techniques and shared a plethora of stories and experiences. Claude was willing to take time to teach me valuable techniques adding to my current skillset. This guy was seventy years old and was still cutting hair because he loved it and best of all he liked to share his knowledge. My curiosity was peaked. I had nothing to lose. I took a chance.
Whenever I wanted or needed, he opened up his door to me while working on clients, encouraging me to look and learn any part of any haircut I wanted to. Since then, my life and career has grown in ways I never thought possible.
Learning under Claude’s guidance has allowed me to develop my craft, expanding both my technique and creativity. Claude’s method is a combination of Vidal Sassoon techniques and his own personal approach that he has developed over time. This approach to cutting hair resonated with me. As a result I am more efficient in creating unique haircuts that last longer, grow out beautifully and work with the natural density and texture of hair. By continuing to learn from Claude, incorporating his techniques into every haircut, I am creating contemporary hairstyles that are wash and wear ready and unique to each client. Claude has taught me – and continues to teach me – how to approach each haircut from a place of creative possibility. He taught me that the hair has a shape it wants to become. Claude’s methods help me think outside the box.
Each technique I’ve learned from him, whether its texturizing through channel cutting, horizontal sectioning or hidden undercutting gives me the ability to create haircuts that stand out and have a voice of their own. The biggest gift Claude’s mentorship has given me is a continued belief in myself and an ongoing love of cutting hair.