Laetitia Guenaou: A French Trendestter in Cairo
We meet the L'Oreal Professionnel Ambassador and international trendsetter at a very special master class hosted by Mohamed Al Sagheer.
One does not get the chance to meet an international trendsetter every day. Even less likely than that is meeting an international trendsetter that is also beauty professional and receive a makeover from her. The CairoScene girls were among the lucky recipients of an exclusive hair and beauty appointment by renowned L'Oreal Professionnel Ambassador Laetitia Guenaou, courtesy of Mohamed Al Sagheer Salons at Le Lido Clubhouse, this week. After letting her have her way with our hair and make up, we had the chance to sit down with the glamour guru and find out about her extraordinary life, the art of hairstyling and what she thinks of beauty in Egypt.
Having been a hairdresser since the age of 16, Guenaou abandoned the salons at the age of 27 to venture into a more creative environment. She started working with productions in cinema and at fashion weeks, including notable design houses such as Yves Saint Laurent, Dior and Paco Rabanne. Since 1993, she has traveled to more than 70 countries as a L'Oreal Professionnel Ambassador, inspired by a variety cultures and trends along the way. This time, the journey brought her to Cairo for the very first time where her friend Mohamed Al Sagheer invited her to impact his hairdressers with her genius in a special master class.
After a long-lasting friendship with Sagheer, Guenaou finally got the chance to accept his invitation to come to Cairo. Both had heard of each other before their first meeting at a Haute Coiffeur Show in Paris several years ago. "I knew him as the 'Alexander The Great' of the business," Guenaou says of getting to know the Egyptian prodigy.
After an impressive live display, creating artworks made of hair on four models, Guenaou advised over 25 Al Sagheer hairdressers and their clients on different looks at the brilliant City View branch of Al Sagheer Salons. Despite the huge queue of clients waiting for her advice on what colour and style to go for, Guenaou takes her time with each woman. When she found someone unsatisfied with her final look, she grabs a brush and starts applying the new colour herself. Quite visibly, Guenaou did not just come to Cairo to finish a job but to venture into creativity, creating art on a variety of heads and teaching Egypt's future talents how to express themselves through the artistry of hair styling.
The main difference between Egypt and Europe for her Guenaou is the role hairstyles have in society. "In Paris, women are not afraid of getting a pixie cut," she tell us, as an example. "Women are not concerned about looking feminine as their priority. In Egypt, long hair is a sign of femininity and many styles are out of bounds due to societal restrictions." On top of that, Guenaou tells us that hairdressers in Egypt seem to be working more towards doing a job than fulfilling their passion. "Egyptian hairdressers are concerned about a haircut, not a look," she says. To Guenaou, a look is only complete if it fits the personality and the face, as she takes into account eye colour, features and skin tone when advising each lady she works with, as she explained in detail through the master class.
The main advice she has for Egyptian hairdressers and make up artists is to consider the art more often than the job. "Work, take a break, observe what you have created, and adjust if you must. Often I feel like people in the industry work like robots!" she says. The eccentric artist, however, seems to combat the stress of the industry by venturing outside the salon for her inspiration. "Even in Winter you get a mix of colors from nature,"she says, pointing to the lush greenery outside Le Lido Clubhouse. Additionally, she exposes herself to a lot of art outside of her profession to let her creative juices flow. Most things, however, come to her at night when she is relaxing in her home in Paris.
This inspiration is visible in the stunning displays of hair and make up styles she created at this very special day at Al Sagheer Salons and the impeccable wisdom she imparted on eager Sagheer hairstylists who couldn't wait to meet the global trendsetter. Stay tuned to Mohamed Al Sagheer's Facebook page for all the makeovers.
Photography by Jonathan Zikry.