Talking to…Michael Dobie


Michael Dobie

INTRO: Michael Dobie, Country Manager Beauty Care Professional at Henkel South Africa, talks to us about the Schwarzkopf Professional brand and its sponsoring of the inaugural Salon International Hair Awards on 16 March 2020 in Johannesburg.


Why did you decide to align the Schwarzkopf Professional brand with the Salon International Hair Awards?


I happened to visit some salons in London right after an industry awards evening last year and found the conversation to be inspiring, as it was consumed by who won which awards. This created an amazing buzz throughout the industry. There was this overwhelming atmosphere of pride and passion within the hair industry following the awards.

Shortly thereafter, I met with Phil Woods from Salon International and he mentioned that they were planning an inaugural awards event right here in South Africa. It was then that I knew that this was our chance to bring that pride and passion to our home country.


Does Schwarzkopf Professional, as a global brand, have a culture of sponsoring hair awards?


At Schwarzkopf Professional we base everything we do on what we call our Customer Centric Business Model. Inspiration and support are two of the pillars and industry awards align perfectly with these pillars. Schwarzkopf Professional UK & Ireland sponsor their own respective Salon International Hair Awards.


Why do you think awards are important for the hair industry?


I believe that a lot of blood, sweat and tears go into our industry each day. Not enough is done to recognise the hard work that goes into making this industry as special as it is. Our industry needs to be celebrated and hair awards are the perfect way to heed the call.


What would you say is the DNA of the Schwarzkopf Professional brand?


Schwarzkopf Professional’s mantra is: ‘Together. A Passion For Hair’. We are always reinventing hair. This is our mission. Every day, everywhere. We do it together. With a true passion for hair.

With innovation deeply rooted in our DNA, we have continued to reinvent hair over the past 120 years. As such we hold over 7,600 patents – each one a true milestone in haircare. The company is now one of the top three professional hair care brands in the world, with a hairdresser community that stretches around the globe.

Creating professional partnerships is at the core of what we do, it’s our philosophy and our point of difference. We co-create with the hairdresser, for the hairdresser, to bring the latest products and relevant services to the market before anyone else, truly putting the customer at the heart of our business.


In terms of products and technologies, what have been the most exciting recent Schwarzkopf Professional developments?


Most recently it would be the launch of our Fibreclinix system. This new breakthrough haircare treatment transforms the hair fibre back to its perfect, healthy virgin properties. The salon exclusive customised service instantly improves hair quality, providing 10x stronger hair (vs untreated hair), complete sealing of hair porosity and up to 60 days of inner and outer hair restoration, when used with the corresponding BC Home Care Shampoo.


What can the industry look forward to from Schwarzkopf Professional in 2020?


Each year we launch the Essential Looks Collections. Inspiration is a big part of what hairdressers do every day. Essential Looks celebrates hairdressers’ passion for hair, for fashion and for the future, as well as encompasses it into The Magazine – the ultimate trend collection magazine. It provides hairdressers with everything they need to enhance their creativity, maximise their skills and achieve salon success.


Besides our all-inspiring Essential Looks Collections, we co-create with the hairdresser, in order for them to bring the latest products and relevant services to the market before anyone else, truly putting the customer at the heart of our business.


Schwarzkopf Professional launched its international Shaping Futures Initiative in 2010. To date, how many previously disadvantaged people in South Africa have benefited from this training initiative?


We have been running the Shaping Futures programme in South Africa since 2013 and have trained 300 students to date.


Do the Shaping Futures team help to ensure that their graduates are assimilated into the industry?


We assist graduates with placements in salons. The graduates are in high demand with most being placed before the completion of the programme.


Does Shaping Futures grow each year in South Africa in terms of scope and the number of participants?


We usually run two sessions per year, training 30 students in each session. Shaping Futures is fortunate that we have volunteers from either Belgium or Netherlands coming to South Africa for a week during each programme to assist the local team.


Can you reveal anything about the Shaping Futures 2020 programme?

The programme has traditionally only been run in Johannesburg. It might be time to take it on the road. We will have to see.


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