Copyright Infringement – Hair & Beauty Industry

Model: Anik, Photographer: Chris Roberts 1981, Hair: Ian Robson. London - Willie Christie's Studio

Photographer: Chris Roberts. Model Anik. Hair & Styling: Ian (me). Make-up: Arianne. 21:06:1981

Over the past forty years I have worked with many artists: actors, dancers, photographers, painters, sculptors, musicians, designers & writers; some of whom are very famous, most, if not all, are highly principled; the one thing that they all worry about is copyright infringement – especially the lesser known independent artists, because when people copy and use their work it normally cuts into their meagre earnings and they feel cheated.

These days it’s the music and film industries that are obsessed with the problem, because copyright infringement costs them millions of dollars; the fashion industry is not that far behind – although, it is on an entirely different scale.

This copyright issue started when I was looking through the list of websites created by Salon Guru and I thought, “Shit, so many of these hair salons are posting product and celebrity photographs that they obviously don’t own the copyright to, and without ascribing ANY credit.” Surely some of these salons are guilty of copyright infringement?

So I posted a comment on #HairHour

And I got some interesting responses – which I’m not going to embed here, but I will quote some!

I personally feel the problem is caused by a general ignorance of copyright law & the internet, a cavalier disregard for other people’s property & feelings and not knowing the difference between personal and commercial – for instance: a hairstylist may use their personal Facebook account for promoting their business, by posting images of clients, products and other people’s work!

Ruth Carter steers clear of the ‘commercialising a person’s image’ problem in her excellent blog post, When Can Someone Post Photos Of You Online? But Ruth makes a good point, “When it comes to the question, ‘Can I post pictures of other people online,’ the answer is always, ‘It depends!'”

And I agree with the thrust of Sara’s comment (August 16, 2013 at 10:32 pm), but not her use of language – Hairdressers do have a tendency to photograph their clients for public display on their websites and social media. For God’s sake, always ask the client first and without putting them under pressure to say yes.

A better idea is to create a Selfie Wall – See: Why Your Salon Needs a Selfie Wall by By Rachael Gibson for HJi. And then the client can share their new hairdo photos themselves – You’ve entered: salon marketing nirvana!

@styledbyollie made a good point on #HairHour: “Inspiration for your clients is fine, but posting images on Instagram just to gain Likes, makes it hard to showcase real work.” An opinion that illustrates the need for high quality and relevant content and a restraint on posting spammy shyte.

Of course, what a lot of hairdressers, beauticians, manicurists, etc. are doing is: using images of other peoples work to sell themselves; and that is against the law unless they have permission of use from the owner – permission almost always comes with terms of use.

@creativeheadmag warned on #HairHour: “Copyright law is pretty ruthless, ESPECIALLY on social media where the rules are still relatively new and hazy.” Agreed, but actually, I’d say, the rules are relatively clear, it’s just that people don’t care because everyone is doing it – And the main offender (sort of) are the social media platforms themselves, who encourage sharing, retweeting, reblogging, etc., the terms of which are included in their copyright agreements that nobody bothers to read!

If you are unsure about copyright ownership, instead of steeling the image or content, you can always ask for permission first – and they usually say Yes! Read Their Copyright.

What to do if someone infringes your copyright

Copyright Service UK – a great fact sheet.

Personally, what I do is ask the ‘offender’ to either remove the infringing work or attribute it correctly (I send them all the details of how to attribute it correctly) and I give them 14 days to do so. If they don’t, I keep cranking up the pressure. If they’re using my work for obvious commercial gain, then I would feel perfectly entitled to ask for some form of royalty.

My Copyright

© SlashHair’s work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, which means: quote me and steal my images, but give me credit by Linking Back. Do You understand? My images and written content are yours to use as long as you attribute / credit the work to Ian Robson at and link back to the original work. I do have a universal copyright notice which states, Copyright 1994 All Rights Reserved – unless otherwise stated.


  • altlab Hotlink Checker – for discovering and how to stop people directly linking to your images on your website (called hotlinking or inline linking). When someone hotlinks an image, they just copy the image’s URL and include it on their website – they steal your image and your bandwidth. Some website statistics applications also provide information on who is linking to your images.
  • Copyright Service UK – What to do if someone infringes your copyright, a really good fact sheet.
  • The Ultimate Instagram Guide for Hair Salons – an interesting article by Lisa Furgison.
  • Copyscape Plagiarism Checker – a brilliant tool for finding the plagiarists who copy text. I have been copied loads of times, and even though they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it always pisses me off because without attribution it’s theft of my effort!
  • Creative Commons – helps you to share your knowledge and creativity with the world by creating a copyright license. I use: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, which is a bit of a mouthful!
  • Google Image Search – my favourite first go to tool for discovering image theft.
    Here’s How: obviously start by going to Google Images! Then click the camera icon (right-hand side of search bar) – search by image box pops up. You can either, paste image URL, upload an image or drag and drop an image. Click Search! The Google image search results are very extensive, but not 100%.
  • ImageRights International, Inc. – a copyright enforcement service for visual artists fighting image piracy and recovering losses on their customers’ behalf. No Win – No Fee recovery policy.
  • Regram – a free iPhone app for Instagram. “@regramapp is good for crediting the original, regram shows true appreciation.” Suggested by @salonevolution on #HairHour.
  • When Can Someone Post Photos Of You Online? – by Ruth Carter of Cater Law. Doesn’t cover commercial usage, but never the less an interesting and worthwhile article.
  • TinEye – is a reverse image search tool. In my humble opinion, not as good as Google, but worth an initial try. Suggested by @Alyssa_V12Hair on #HairHour.
  • Watermark Photos – you can add a custom watermark and edit your photographs online. @KandKompanyElli said, “Avoid photo theft by adding your salon’s name & logo on photos.” on #hairHour. Personally, I’m not keen on watermarks, but I can see they have their place.
  • Wikimedia Commons – How to detect copyright violations – an interesting wiki on copyright infringement that includes a number of helpful tips.

Hair Talk – British Barbering

Me cutting 77

Me 1982. Photographer Keith Stubbs.

I had my hair cut last Saturday; seven months since my last do! However, I found to my horror that my hairdresser and old friend Richard, has turned all kinda Lumbersexual!.

Actually, I’m really pleased to see the resurgence in barbering.

I wonder how my dear departed friend, Brian Streaters Streatfield, would’ve reacted to this trend, or maybe I should say, this fashionable look that was popular in the nineteenth century which has now turned into a Dutch sub-culture? BTW, if for some reason I was unable to cut Brian’s hair, in desperation he’d go to Stroud’s barber ‘Chopper Guy’ who’d cut it for £5 – Meaning: he charged sixty quid an hour to fuck up Brian’s hair!

And that hurts – Yes, there needed to be a rebirth of British Barbering after all the shit they’ve been shovelling.

So there they were, Richard and his hairdresser mate, standing there, looking like a cross between Ricki Hall and Will Young – It’s a look that I’m not too keen on – and we got talking about hairdressing ~ or maybe I should say: precisionist hairdressing versus barbering in 2015.

Richard’s mate did most of the talking – 21st century hairdressing techniques and equipment.

I have been in hairdressing since 1973 and my philosophy is very simple, true beauty comes from within. Perhaps that sounds clichéd, but it’s how I feel, you’ve just got to look around at the people you love. And even though I describe my style of hairdressing as flowing precisionist, I say, precision cutting isn’t unnatural or wooden, it never has been.

I come from the philosophy of haute couture: style, rigour and technical expertise. And that philosophy is at the heart of my flowing precisionist creations – and perhaps that sounds like bullshit, but, precisionist hairdressing isn’t all geometric bobs with asymmetric fringes!

The barbering revival has got to be great news for established barbers like Truefitt & Hill in London, and also for innovative barbershops like Schorem in Rotterdam, who pride themselves in being at the forefront of traditional haircuts and shaves – which is not a million miles away from where I’m coming from, if you get my drift!

Richard cut my hair brilliantly – as per usual ~ I wonder what we’ll talk about next time: ladies only salons? Sounds a bit retrogressive! Or maybe, why the hell are barbers obsessed with wall mounted stag heads?

How To Become A Session Hairstylist

Session Hairstylist: Ian (me). Photographer: Chris Roberts. Hard at work light-testing 01:10:1981.

Session Hairstylist: Ian (me). Photographer: Chris Roberts. Hard at work light-testing 01:10:1981. Polaroid. Before digital cameras we collected Polaroids like Yu-Gi-Oh cards.

Becoming a session hairstylist

My first photographic session ever, was as Robert Lobetta’s junior when I worked at Ricci Burns – Over 21 magazine (1973). Photographer Willie Christie.

My first photographic session as a hairstylist (flying solo) was for Woman and Home magazine (1974) – No photo credits, just a fee of ten quid (about a hundred pounds today 2015). Actually, I was still a junior and about two months away from becoming a hairstylist!

…What happened was: Oliver, the manager of Ricci Burns, King’s Road, went around the salon, stylist to stylist, starting from Robert, asking if they wanted to do a photo-session after work that night – it was a Friday! Everyone was saying no because they were going out!

When Ollie finally asked me, out of utter desperation (because he obviously didn’t want to do it either), I said yes, and I was totally over the fucking moon. I was deliriously happy and unusually nervous, even though I’d assisted on countless photo-sessions. Ollie said, “Don’t tell them you’re a junior!” Robert said, “I’ll kill you if you lose it.” (I’d borrowed his session bag!)

About a week after the Woman and Home session, Ollie came over to me and said, “I’d like you to do a fashion show for Coco (a Chelsea boutique) tomorrow and by-the-way, Penny Ryder phoned to say that Woman and Home loved your work.”

So, is that how to become a session hairstylist? Join a noted London salon and train with the world’s best hairstylists?

No, there’s more to it than that, you’ve got to really want to be a session hairstylist, because there’s quite a lot of shit.

Get your name out there

In this age of connectivity, I think most of us know the power of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram coupled with owning a Website and having an email mailing-list. However, the one brilliant thing about hairdressers is our wonderful ability to do face-to-face.

When I first went freelance I decided to hawk my portfolio around to the magazines and the photographers that I’d worked with while at Ricci’s. And I thought that I may as well start with Brides magazine – Vogue House!

The assistant editor came out of her office and I stood to attention. She shook my outstretched hand and abruptly tore my portfolio from the other, and walked straight back into her chaotic office, opening the portfolio as she went – Out fell: a brown A4 envelope containing a number of contact sheets, half a dozen loose colour transparencies in their plastic and glass frames, three business cards and a scrappy piece of paper with a few scribbled notes for my eyes only! I frantically picked up the embarrassing spillage. In the meantime, the assistant editor had unceremoniously dumped my portfolio on her desk and flipped through its twelve pages faster than she could say, “Not Interested” and returned to the door while zipping-up the portfolio saying, “We’ll contact you – Goodbye.” I put the paraphernalia into the brown envelope, retrieved my portfolio, handed her a card and found myself on the other side of the door. The whole thing, which I laughingly call an interview, took about thirty seconds – and that’s being generous!

I was completely nonplussed and felt pretty dejected, my thick skin wore very thin that day.

Ages later the assistant editor phoned and asked me to do a last minute, “no credits, no fee,” photo session with the American fashion photographer Arthur Elgort with whom I’d worked before – awesome.

Never underestimate the super-human ability of a frantically busy, seasoned professional – I was so naive because I’d been mollycoddled by a salon, Ricci Burns.

Maybe life would have been a lot simpler if I’d joined a specialist agency for freelance session hairstylists – And maybe not?

The horrid truth – Move To London!

The fashion industry is London centric and I think it will be (for lots of reasons) for the next fifty years. A legacy of post war Britain, the Swinging Sixties and the art, film and music industries.

Obviously there are opportunities for session hairstylists in the major cities and provinces, but the focus is in London! #LondonFashionWeek?

Photographer: Chris Roberts. Hair & make-up Ian (me). Richard's studio 06:02:1982. Test Session.

Photographer: Chris Roberts. Model Cassie. Hair & make-up Ian (me). Richard’s studio 06:02:1982. Test Session Polaroid.

Build a portfolio by doing Test Sessions

If you’re a n00bie/wannabe session hairstylist: a test session is where a photographer, model, make-up artist and hairdresser (occasionally also: stylist and fashion designer) come together to create a photograph. A photograph that can be included in their portfolios.

Participating in a test session is the best way to start your journey to becoming a session hairstylist. Session work is all about teamwork – When a group of talented creatives with big personalities come together, something extraordinary usually happens; and when the buzz is right the results can be mind-blowingly sensational. But I hope you can also imagine what it’s like when things are not so awesome? Yeah, that’s what test sessions are partly for: understanding creative teamwork!

Test sessions are also magnificent for building connections and relationships; for instance, most of the young photographers you test with will be assistant fashion photographers: ‏Chris Roberts (who I did about three years of photographic sessions with) was assistant to Willie Christie and Patrick Lichfield – And you’d be surprised how far their networks spread.

On the other hand, you might test with someone like ‏Charlie Kemp, he wasn’t an assistant, his wife Maril was a top model with Laraine Ashton. Charlie and I did a lot of testing together throughout the 1980s, he specialised in portfolio work, and he knew everyone – we spent too much time in the pub – he taught me a lot.

Hitting Paydirt

When you’re standing behind a model in a tiny cupboard with a massive mirror and an arc lamp burning the back of your neck and the ridiculous advertorial that the newspaper is laughably calling a fashion feature actually represents an artistic boundary that you said you wouldn’t cross in a billion years, but you’ve got ten jobs exactly the same lined up for next week.

You’ll know when you’ve hit paydirt when Vogue fashion editor Alexandra Shulman gives you a ring!

And BTW, it’s a very, very small world.

Session Hairdressing Q&A On #HairHour

I’ve got to say that I was looking forward to this weeks #HairHour – a Q&A with @SydHayesHair on session hairdressing. However, I was sort of gravely disappointed because Syd Hayes didn’t follow the normal Twitter chat convention of using the bloody #HashTag! In the end I had to poke around for Syd’s insightful and razor-sharp answers.

Twitter chats are usually far too frenetic to miss out the hashtags: use a tool like ‏ or ‏, they make it much easier to follow and participate, and they automatically include the hashtag at the end, so you won’t forget.

When you use the hashtag everyone can enjoy your wonderful tweet and at the same time you are helping to promote #HairHour – Spread The Love.

(BTW, that wasn’t a criticism aimed at Syd, just a general comment for anyone on #HairHour!)

Anyway, I thought I would gather the questions here and write My answers! If you want to read Syd Hayes’ answer, just click on the Tweet!

Q1: With the amount of stylists interested in branching into session work, what are your must haves to make it?

Talent is number one, fortitude and commitment follow close behind. And even though You are solely responsible for the hair, the ability to work within a creative team, and a bloody thick skin – you are going to get criticism; session hairdressing isn’t all fun. Yeah, it is!

Q2: What is it about session work that inspired you to pursue it as a career?

I’d been on very many sessions with Robert Lobetta as his ‏Junior at Ricci Burns – getting out of the salon was vital for my sanity. I must also mention Leon Hammé, whom I found extremely inspirational. Session hairdressing seemed a natural progression.

Q3: Being a salon director how do you how do you manage balancing your session and salon work?

One doesn’t need to be a salon director, session hairdressing is all about time management. Get yourself organised, being late is never an option!

Q4: Do you find the skills learnt in the salon are easily transferable to the session world?

Of course! It’s just that session hairdressing tends to be high speed, precision hair dressing – One never cuts a models hair during a session (maybe the odd fringe).

Q5: What qualities do you need to possess to survive and thrive in such a busy industry?

I totally agree with Syd Hayes, "Positivity and dedication! Be open to change in your work, adapt and adjust. Sometimes trying new things in a different way can work."

Also, the ability to watch, listen and understand. It’s not just a matter of keeping ones finger on the pulse of fashion, it’s more a matter of surfing the wave of fashion!

Q6: Where do you see hair trends going this upcoming season?

My styles predictions for 2015 posted on 18 January 2015 say: Finely highlighted with natural glossy highlights and lowlights mainly Blonde. Short bobs with a slightly 1980s to 1990s coupe sauvage-esque, dishevelled look that have a geometric precision that is out of place in today’s world. I was very happy with this prediction as it suits my style of hairdressing: a flowing precisionist hair-cutting technique! Precision cut short fringes.

Me Being Presented To Princess Margaret

Me being presented to Princess Margaret at the silk commission fashion show Edinburgh just before Princess Diana's wedding in 1981

Yes John that’s Me being presented to Princess Margaret at The Silk Commission fashion show in Edinburgh; it was just before Princess Diana’s wedding in 1981 (May I think) – David and Elizabeth Emanuel were showing 3 silk taffeta wedding dresses! You may be able to detect that my eyes are vampire-like, my make-up is by Richard Sharah.

Actually it wasn’t a fashion show that I particularly enjoyed, it was more like an extravagant, over ostentatious wedding where the bride’s mother was a cross between Hyacinth Bucket (Patricia Routledge in Keeping Up Appearances) and Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders in Ab Fab) – but maybe that’s because I got pissed halfway through?

The fashion show itself was a charity event organised, I think, by The Silk Commission (a now defunct organisation promoting silk in fashion) and held at the stunning Hopetoun House, South Queensferry, Edinburgh. Princess Margaret was in attendance, and it was she, I assume, who’d sent the lovies into a tizzy.

There was more pressure however; the fashion show was held a few weeks before the royal wedding (which took place on Wed 29 July 1981), and David and Elizabeth Emanuel were there gently teasing us with three silk taffeta wedding dresses – more excitement and speculation among the pseudo-glitterati – ivory silk, pure taffeta, antique lace, thousands of pearls and sequins and a shed load of train, didn’t really pull onto the platform!

The hair for the fashion show went well, it was typical 1980s big hair, glamorous, avant-garde and slightly Gothic chignons. The make-up artist was the intriguing and funny Richard Sharah; weirdly, I cut his hair in the afternoon before the show, and he did My vampire like make-up!

The main event was in the evening. Vangelis’s Chariots of Fire blasted out, I stood at the entrance to the runway, checking the models before they walked out – almost everyone else tried to peek through a minuscule hole in the curtain! One canny eyed observer claimed to spot Princess Margaret refilling her glass from a gin bottle hidden in her bag!

After the fashion show all of the combatants were presented to the wonderful Princess Margaret – hence the photograph – then we retreated to a Summer Ball in the main house (the fashion show was in a wing). Plenty of booze and grub.


Reginald “Reggie” Bosanquet (9 August 1932 – 27 May 1984) anchor of News at Ten for ITN from 1967 to 1979. Image courtesy UPPA (Universal Pictorial Press Agency).

It was the end of the evening and the taxi was late, I’d been standing outside on the drive and I’d decided to go back in. Walking up the stone steps that form a grand and impressive main entrance to Hopetoun House, I looked up and saw Reggie standing towards the top. He rocked backwards and forwards almost imperceptibly, and he fixed his eyes on me.

The man was a well-known television personality and alcoholic; for years he’d been lampooned in the media with nicknames like: Reginald Beaujolais, Reginald Boozalot and Boozy Bosie. But I’d always liked his rakish look. At the time (1981) Reggie was ‏Rector of the University of Glasgow which is why, I assume, he was there.

As I ascended the stone stairs Reggie, with his eyes firmly fixed on mine, fell forward. I rushed up and managed to grab him by the front of his dinner jacket, and sort of pull him to the side, which stopped us both falling down to a gay looking death! I just left him laying on the step and went back in.

When I came out a little later, Reggie was gone, and so was I. And when I got in the taxi I said to the driver, “Reginald Bosanquet, News at Ten, don’t know where, don’t know when!”

“Yea drunken sassenach!” I’ve always assumed he was talking about Princess Margaret!!!  xXx

What Happened To Fashion Photographer Rod Delroy?

Photographer Rod Delroy | Model: Kate Dowson | Hair: Ian Robson | Way In - Harrods 7 August 1981

Photographer: Rod Delroy. Model: Kate Dowson. Hair: Ian Robson.
Fashion: Way In at Harrods. Friday 7 August 1981.
A Scanned Polaroid Photograph from my collection.

I only worked with the wonderful fashion photographer Rod Delroy about a dozen times. First time was in 1976 for The Evening Standard – funnily enough the last time was in 1981 also for an editorial in The Evening Standard.

A memorable session with Rod was a promotional shoot for Way In – Way In was an in-store fashion boutique/department at Harrods.

I suppose, if I remember correctly, the session was our attempt to pay homage to, and add some sophistication and change to the ever dwindling New Romantics fashion scene, which by August 1981 was getting past its best – Spandau Ballet meets Edgar Degas!

I’ve a strong feeling that Delightful Delroy has pegged out – if you know what has happened to the fashion photographer Rod Delroy, Please Let Me Know

Party Extravaganza – 1974 Style

Photographer David Anthony | Make-up Barbara Daly | Hair Ian Robson Ricci Burns | 19 magazine, November 1974 - Christmas issue

Photographer: David Anthony. Make-up: Barbara Daly. Hair: Ian (me) at Ricci Burns. 19 magazine, November 1974 – Christmas issue.
Scarves: Essences. Jewellery: Adrian Mann, London.

1974 was a funny old year.

I tied on more scarves as turbans than I would have liked in this odd session for 19 magazine. I did the front cover, a double page spread, four other full page pictures and I got loads of credits (mentions), but I hardly did any effing hair! Still, it was good to work with the iconic Barbara Daly.

I posted this image as a nod to the wonderful Miss Peelpants‘ nostalgic Seventies posts.