Makeup Artist for Madonna
Franco is an International hairstylist based between Mumbai and London, and represented by Ugly Duckling projects in Singapore/Asia and Faze Management in Mumbai/India. Let’s dive a little deeper into the beats of his dynamic career.

Q. How and where did you learn hair styling?

A. I started hairdressing in 1990 when I was 15. In Australia, at 15 you get sent from high school to do work experience. I wanted to be an Interior designer but chose to go to a hair salon for my work experience. They offered me an apprenticeship and the rest, of course, is history. 30years later, I am still hairdressing.

Q. What drew you, and held you, to a career in hairstyling?

A. I found hairdressing to be similar to sculpting. I was chosen to go to an art-based high school so I guess hairdressing was a continuation of my art. I also won many awards as an apprentice and in my early years of hairdressing. Top stage 2 hairdressing apprentice, Top stage 3 hairdressing apprentice, Student of the year, Western Australian 3rd place in Men’s cutting, Finalist in the Australian Loreal Colour Trophy for Women’s and Finalist in the U.K Loreal Colour Trophy for Men’s to name a few.

Q. What was your first job as a hairstylist?

A. I started my apprenticeship in hairdressing at age 15 and a place called Rifici Bros in Forrestfield a suburb that was 3 minutes away from my ho me in Perth. 1st I learned Men’s barbering and later Women’s

Q. Tell us about any challenge when you started your career?

A. I hated my apprenticeship, not that I hated hairdressing but more that I hate being tied down in a job. Luckily, I had some great mentors in my job that encouraged me to finish and qualify. I did study interior design at night but I never left hairdressing in the end.

Q. How did you start working with celebrities?

A. I had been working in London, the U.K. for 16 years mainly on hair and beauty campaigns a little bit of celebrity work but not a lot. My 1st agent in India found me in London and encouraged me to come to India. I had been working a lot in Asia at the time, China and Singapore. Mainly on hair campaigns so I thought I’d give India a go and experience a different scenery. I came for the first time for 2 ½ months in August 2015 and was working with a lot of celebrities. The money was good so I moved to India in March 2016.

Q. Which celebrities have you personally worked with?

A.  Madonna was the first, way back when I was an assistant on a movie she directed called “Filth and Wisdom” In India most of the Bollywood women and a few of the men. Too many to name all of them there are so many.

Q. What is the difference between styling hair for television ads and movies versus everyday wear?

A. When styling hair for film or television the hair has to look perfect at every moment. Of course, in reality when people move this is not the case. So, for styling for everyday wear, I use a lot less product. For film and television, I use more products for hold and of course, am always a few meters away from them in case any hair decides to stray.

Q. How frequently do celebrities use hair extensions?

It all depends on whom I’m working with. I’d say about 50% of the time. Mainly its to add length especially in India all the clients want them to have long hair (eye-roll). Like no one would relate if they have their natural long hair. There is also this myth that Indian hair is twice as thick as every other nationality which is not true at all. As you can probably tell I’m not a fan of hair extensions. I like natural-looking hair if I have a choice. In movies, I can relate if we are trying to mold into a character.

Q. What is the biggest challenge when styling celebrities’ hair?

A. Mainly when I’m doing advertising and the client wants a look that either doesn’t suit the celebrity or the celebrity doesn’t like personally.

Q. What are the trendiest styles in today?

A. Today’s trends are so mixed these days with people understanding what suits them personally. I think hairstyles that look more natural and effortless are the more sort after looks

Q. How can someone emulate a celebrity style?

A. Hire the people who work with that celebrity hahaha.

No seriously, I think the best way to emulate a style is to take what you like from that person and blend that with your own personal look that suits you. Not everyone suits the same things. We don’t all have the same look and features. You also need to have the confidence to pull some off the things celebrity’s wear. Remember there is a whole team behind a celebrity and a lot of discussions go behind some of the looks you see.

Q. What is your #1 hair care tip?

A. Look after your hair. Treat it with spa treatments regularly. Nothing is worse than dry, damaged hair.

Q. Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start as a hairstylist?

A. Get good training and assist as many people as you can. Everyone does things differently and you’ll learn more from different people. Don’t rush into things make sure you’re fully trained before you go off on your own. Always respect other artists. Remember bad reputations last a long time.

 Anuskha Sharma, Disha Patni, Aishwarya Rai Bachan, Shobita