2 mins


Tracey Devine-Smith, Owner, French & Ivy Hair Salon, UK, and Global Ambassador for Affinage reveals the passion and perseverance that has gone into making her journey a resounding success, in an exclusive interview with Priyanka Parshurami.

Tracey Devine-Smith is a sought-after educator, captivating audiences globally with her shows and seminars. While jet-setting for Affinage, she effortlessly juggles roles as the owner of French & Ivy Hair Salon, guest artist at London’s prestigious Zoology Salon, and as the Global Creative Director for the Glamour Hair Salon Group in the UAE, where she tends to her elite clientele.

An excerpt from an interview with this high octane artist and educator.

What inspired you to join the hair design industry?

It is the people I work with and meet on various occasions. I believe, no matter how old you get, every day you learn something from everyone. This constant learning from others, their stories and their unique perspectives triggers fresh ideas and innovations in my mind and makes me think differently and take up new approaches.

Tell us about your journey. What inspired you and how did you progress?

My journey began at 15 when I entered the hairdressing world as a Saturday Girl. A major moment of realisation occurred during my visit to Salon International. There, I was captivated by the ‘Wall of Fame.’ Witnessing that display ignited a spark in me and all I wanted was to see my picture up there. With unwavering determination, I continued to work tirelessly towards creating my first collection in 2004. I believe winning Scottish Hairdresser of the Year from 2006 to 2009, British Men’s Hairdresser of the Year, and becoming a Fellowship Hairdresser of the Year in 2014 solidified my position in the industry.

Later, I undertook several international ventures, worked in Abu Dhabi for a year and continued my session work abroad for six years. After several years, I decided to return to the UK and established a salon in Derbyshire with my daughter.

How did ‘French and Ivy’ originate?

The name ‘French and Ivy’ encapsulates two of my greatest loves — French Bulldogs and my granddaughter, Ivy. It’s a simple yet profound reflection of what I really hold dear. For me, the emotional connection to my work is important. And, love towards your work is something that cannot be taught.

How did the association with Affinage shape your career?

My journey with Affinage as a global ambassador commenced through a simple conversation. Initially, I was unfamiliar with the brand, they sent samples, and upon using their colours, I was mesmerised. I felt like I found my perfect partners. I joined them nearly 14 years ago. My role as the global ambassador involves global education and photo shoots for packaging and posters. I truly have a deep familial bond with the brand.

How do you manage the roles of a director, global brand ambassador and guest artist along with various aspects of life?

Balancing these responsibilities is a juggling act. I emphasise a lot on maintaining a healthy worklife balance. I firmly believe in working to live, not living to work. For me, it’s all about excelling in both work and personal life, ensuring that I give my best in each moment. Despite the challenges, my motivation as an artist comes from my love for hair — my lifelong passion. It’s a calling I can’t imagine ever giving up on.

This article appears in the Dec 23 - Jan 23 Issue of Professional Beauty/ Hairdressers Journal India

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This article appears in the Dec 23 - Jan 23 Issue of Professional Beauty/ Hairdressers Journal India