Archie Danielyan: “Hair is an accessory that you don’t take off”
Archie, you recently moved to Cyprus and opened your new salon under the intriguing name “50 shades”. Is this somehow related to the movie with the same name?
Indeed, when I first watched it, I realised that this is the perfect name for a beauty salon. 50 shades – in my case like 50 shades of hair – sounds very symbolic. In the film, one person reveals another, no matter how – and so I try to reveal those who come to my salon through my profession. As a specialist in my field, I reveal in a person those aspects that he may not see in himself.
Can you tell me what the difference is between your clients here in Cyprus and in Russia?
It’s hard to say about the local Cypriot public because I’m still looking at it all, but, as for Moscow, most often, I meet those who are trying to climb the career ladder and work as much as possible on their outlook. Of course, they look very cool. It is often impossible to determine their age, and I like it.
Here in Cyprus, I noticed one important thing: people want to seem happier than they really are. While they are trying hard, it is just some kind of game in happiness. In Moscow, too, there is such a thing – but they play wealth there. When you go to expensive clubs, everybody is entirely in branded clothes, Louis Vuitton and Louboutin, most of which are actually fake, but that’s not the point. The bottom line is that, in Moscow, you can disappear in the crowd, but here in Cyprus, everyone knows each other, and it’s important to show everyone around you that you that are a successful person. All people play some kind of game, but I think we should stop doing it, especially if you live on a small island and want to be happy. Surround yourself with interesting people.
How did you decide to move from Moscow to Cyprus?
I always knew that I would live somewhere by the sea. I wanted to be by the sea; I wanted the sun. I am a very sun-dependent person. I don’t want my life to go into complete fuss – I always had a different point of view on it; different values. I always wanted some kind of measured, calm life. I am absolutely sure that here, in Cyprus, I can achieve the same success as in Moscow and find my place under the sun. I need the sea, the sun, dancing and happy smiles to surround me.
Are there not many smiling people in Moscow now?
Despite the fact that I moved to live in Cyprus, I really love Moscow. There are many good people there, but Moscow is a city of the lonely. People wear masks, behind which they are completely different. They protect themselves with their facial expressions. This must be understood – and get used to it. For all the time I was there, I can’t remember a single person who would annoy me.
How did you get into the world of beauty and style?
Many years ago, I dreamed of becoming a TV presenter. I thought: I’ll get a diploma, I’ll come, I will knock and they will say: “Here he is: a brilliant presenter whom we have been waiting for all this time”. But, in reality, I found out that there were plenty of people like me. I entered the leading TV school at the Ostankino television company and, at the same time, worked at night. I had to work from being the bartender to the club art director. I hosted events, weddings and parties, and, there, in Ostankino, I had a brilliant teacher. She used to broadcast programmes on TV and radio. She always wore different wigs and I constantly complimented her. Once she said: “You perfectly notice details in hairstyles and in style”. Then, I thought – what will I become if it does not work out with a brilliant television career? And, then, for the first time in my head, the thought of hairdressing flashed through my mind.
When I graduated from the TV school, I packed up and went to Vietnam for several months and took up with a club venue there – we had the most noisy and fiery parties. It was during that period of searching for myself that I periodically cut someone’s hair – first for free, then for just symbolic money. In the end, now I’m sitting in front of you.
As a person working in the beauty industry, what do you think about the women of our time?
I really liked the answer of Renata Litvinova to the question of Vladimir Pozner about how she relates to old age. She said: “Well, how I feel about old age … bad. Outside, we are getting older, but inside we have the same passions boiling”. I was very hooked by this phrase. She is so vital.
For many years of working with women, I absolutely understood that the shell is changing over the years, but the inner world is becoming richer – and the more interesting the woman becomes. Many of them do not know about this. And, in our time, it is so striking because young girls, following fashion trends, turn into real hipsters. They often appear carelessly and maximise their anti-sexuality. Perhaps this is due to some kind of uncertainty – and it is not very clear what is going on inside of them. Perhaps the uncertainty is so strong that they try to camouflage it with the help of eccentricity, but, at the same time, thereby emphasising their stupidity.
As for little older ladies, they have accumulated this special internal energy over the years, and they are so beautiful, interesting and feminine – but, for some reason, they are afraid to emphasise their beauty and to seem a little younger. There is a line, a very thin line between “mow down to a 25-year-old” or “to be at certain age, but just looking cool”. And, there are, accordingly, two categories of women: those who hide their age and try to look 25 and those who, on the contrary, with their whole appearance, signal that they are not 25 and, at the same time, emphasise this with style.
Tell me about your experience with Renata Litvinova.
Firstly, I want to thank your magazine for inviting me to work with Renata during her stay in Cyprus. During our joint work, I watched her; watched how she speaks and how she behaves. She has an incredibly strong female energy. It can be felt, but it is difficult to describe in words. Renata is so feminine, light and incredibly intelligent. Her style is completely individual. There were things on her that I might not really like, but on Renata, they looked so harmonious because she, herself, feels very comfortable in this style and emphasises her individuality precisely because she is like that. And, for all that, she is really very sexy – and I believe that this is the result of her special inner world.
What type of women are you more interested in from a professional point-of-view?
I am very impressed by wise women with life experience. In my opinion, they are more beautiful, interesting and sexier. A mature, mellow mind is much more attractive to me to listen to and perceive. They have different values; unlike young people, they saw and experienced a little more. They had losses and their perception of life is completely different. I learn a lot from them and I’m interested in working with them.
What do you think of modern men?
Women became very strong and Russian women especially; not only in Cyprus, but also in other countries. Men, in this background, become weaker and women developed an immunity to trusting them because of what many, in the end, were left with. The strength of a woman prevents her from living a normal life. You have ceased to trust men and this is your mistake.
Which woman should be next to a man?
Behind a successful man, there is always a woman who accepts, understands and loves him. If a man is not successful, but there is an unrealised potential in him, you can immediately say that there is probably no such woman next to him.
What would you recommend to women who have forgotten about their personality and are not entirely self-confident?
I believe that you need to stop paying attention to what others say, do not give a damn about public opinion and be able to feel your inner world. Listen to yourself because tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, it may not be in your life and if you live it in such a way that you do not feel happy, then everything else is useless. If you listen to your inner world, you can understand that society pushes us into a framework. There are trends. They are relevant and must be used, but if all people use the same trends, all women will be the same. This is happening now. Many lose their individuality, become similar to each other and many copy each other, not only in the style of clothes and hairstyles, but even in behaviour.
What can be done for those who are not sure about their image?
If you do not know what is better for you, give yourself into the hands of professionals. It is very important to find your specialist; a person who will hear you and understand your words from the inside out; your condition in every particular moment.
What is trendy now?
Naturalness and expressiveness. In general, it is now very fashionable to leave one’s native roots; gray hair style. Start from the native colour, with smooth transitions so that the client does not need to visit the master frequently!
DETAILS! Details are very important in everything, particularly in colouring. I am attentive to them! To do this, I work with techniques, such as shatush, balayage and the new AirTouch technique, which creates the effect of burnt hair.
Practicality in colour has a great importance nowadays, but you should not forget about the cares and recommendations of the master! As for haircuts, I don’t really like sharp and chopped fringe covering the face. The haircut should emphasise the beauty of the face; the expressiveness of the cheekbones and contour, and not focus on the flaws, if any. After all, not everyone is born beautiful, but everyone can become one of them!
How important is hairstyle in a woman’s overall image?
Hair means a lot in the image of a person. In the general style of a woman, hair is the main touch. You can choose an inexpensive, modest dress, but give yourself a chic hairstyle, wear beautiful shoes and you will look one hundred percent gorgeous because hair is an accessory that you can’t take off. An accessory should always look expensive, so you need to constantly work on your hair.
What do you see your mission as?
My mission is to make people more beautiful.