I used to dread getting my hair cut, I equated it to having someone cut away at my soul especially because I have thinning hair, but all that changed when I met Excentric co-founder and one of the most talented hair stylists to grace Cape Town with his presence, Florin (Flo) Neacsu.
Flo, born in Sibiu, Romania, has had quite a journey before setting up shop here in Sea Point, Cape Town. At the age of 24, after his studies, Flo joined the cruise ships as a hair stylist to travel the world, see new places, meet new people, then went on to work in London before doing another period on the cruise ships. It’s safe to say that Flo has literally seen hair types and styles from around the world.
So, after years of enjoying his services, I decided to interview Flo as the next Cape Town Talent.
What inspired you to become a professional hair stylist?
At the age of 20 I was working and studying Economic Management in Romania and, while working reception and management and doing all the work in a salon because the owners were out of the country for 3 months at a time, that is when I realised I love the way they (stylists) mix the colours; how technical it is and how much science is behind that which everyone sees as a creative craft. It’s actually not as artistic as people think, it’s more scientific and precise, and that is what I started to like about it. It’s all about numbers and grams and chemical reactions.
My brother (Sorin Neacsu) was a hairdresser already, and he was loving it, but he was the creative so I never saw this technical part. That’s why I never thought I’d love this job, but once I realised that hair cutting is also technical and geometric, that is when I got really interested in becoming a hair stylist.
Can you remember the first cut and colour you did? How was it?
I was about 21, and one of the clients from the salon I was apprenticing with wanted an appointment, but everything was fully booked, so he came to me and said, “Come, cut my hair, you’ve been here for a year, you must have learned something.” And I just said no, I don’t want to cut yet. He insisted, saying, “Come on, just cut my hair and shut up, I won’t complain and I will pay.”
And I cut his hair while I was shaking with nerves, and he liked it! After that, he was coming only to me all the time, because it was convenient and I was paying particular attention. At the beginning you pay extra attention to detail.
And then, my first colour was highlights for my girlfriend at the time. I put some highlights in, but you couldn’t see them because I didn’t know where to position colour, so I thought I’d just do a cut with thinning scissors so you can see the colour underneath. I cut it from the top, but so short she ended up spiky…she hated me for months.
What 3 characteristics, in your opinion, does every hair stylist need?
- No matter how old or young, or how much experience you have, the most important is to learn and to WANT to learn. Every three months, everything is new and if you deliver to clients what you did one year ago, it shows that you don’t love your job anymore.
- To absolutely love your job. It’s the only way you can become a great stylist, because sometimes you need to work without eating the whole day or working 12 hours with no break, and if you love what you do you don’t even think about a break.
- To try to exceed expectations, your expectations and your client’s expectations. Even if it’s a regular client that wants the same style: try to do it better than last time!
If you could travel back in time, what one piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Enter every single hair competition, make yourself as known as possible.
There were competitions that I never entered, because I was too lazy, and I should’ve. You always win with a competition, you never lose, the experience that you gain there is incomparable.
Are you an animal lover, if yes, which one is your favourite and why?
Yes, I love cats, but my favourite would be a leopard. They’re strong and clean and shiny soft, with amazing hair to pet.
What are your top 3 favourite spots in Cape Town?
- Cape Point! It’s a piece of heaven on earth.
- Definitely the (Excentric) salon. It is my favourite spot, there’s so much happening every day and there’s a great vibe, you never get bored.
- Era on Loop Street, because it has the type of music and people that I like. It’s the place I love to go to disconnect after a very stressful week or month. I go charged with all the negative things, and leave them there.
If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?
Vidal Sassoon, because he revolutionised the hair industry, and I think because of him most of us today inspire for perfection…regarding hair. I would love to ask him;
“How did you come up with the idea of creating a completely different style for women than what they are used to?”
Women used to go to the hair salon, have the rollers on all the time, and wash it only in the summer. This guy (Sassoon) decided, “No, I have to do a cut, a style, where woman can wash their hair and when they leave, their hair looks good, or they can blow-dry at home.” What I appreciate about that is instead of thinking how can I make the clients come more often with small things to make money from them, he thought: how can I make the client stay away from me for long, but to speak to everyone else about it. It’s completely different from what the rest of the world was thinking.
Any big promotions or happenings for Excentric in the near future?
- We have this promotion, ‘Share-the-Secret’, which will continue to run until September 2016. If one of our clients share the secret with one of their friends, they and the friend will get a discount on our services.
- Next year we will be doing a photoshoot to show off our work to some of the big (hair) magazines, so we’ll be on the lookout for hair models.
- We also just added a luxurious shaving service for gents.
Your vote: beer or wine?
Red wine, unless it’s a very hot day.
Meet the Excentric Stylists
To help spread the good looks through Cape Town, Flo has a team of talented hair stylists running around the salon, not to mention the dedicated helpers tending to everything from washes, scalp messages, blow-drying and making great coffee!
Check out rates and book an appointment for your next hair style on Excentric’s website:
And follow the Excentric Facebook Page for upcoming deals and promotions: www.facebook.com/Excentricbyflo
Text: Andy Moller
Answers: Flo Neacsu
Photographs: Andy Moller