The Art of Deliberate Practice

Isn’t it true that we all want to be brilliant? An expert in our field, an exceptional lover, an inspiring parent; quite simply, the desire to excel gives us the motivation to realise our potential, gain new skills and be recognised by our peers.

Deliberate Practice is more than simply the act or rehearsing an activity or behaviour over and over again. Psychologist K. Anders Ericsson, has been a pioneer in researching Deliberate Practice and what it means. According to Ericsson;

Only a few exceptions, most notably height, are genetically prescribed. Instead, we argue that the differences between expert performers and normal adults reflect a life-long period of deliberate effort to improve performance in a specific domain.

Rather than a notable talent being derived from fortunate genetics, it is more likely that individual has consistently and deliberately worked to improve their performance with an unbridled passion.

And it’s true that practice most definitely doesn’t mean perfect. In the world of sport, it is estimated that roughly 10,000 hours (10 years) are necessary to become an expert in the field; however, you don’t rise to be the crème of the crop unless you have a degree of natural ability. Although in this instance we are talking about the brilliant amongst the elite, whereas most of us simply want to be the best in our class, in our workplace or among our friends.

In the aesthetic world of hair, it’s easy to assume the elite celebrity stylists possess a rare creative ability, likened to the talents of virtuosos that is impossible to be recreated by us mere mortals. The truth is, although the creative gene is most definitely present, the passion to become an expert in their field has driven the talent to go above and beyond anyone’s expectations.

Hairstylist: Harry Josh

Instagram: @harryjoshhair

Regular clients: Kristen Stewart, Karlie Kloss, Taylor Schilling

I was 17 when I first started using hair extensions but my fascination with hair started long before that. From the moment I realised my hair was different from my friends at school I was desperate to master it. Barely out of nursey, I was experimenting with products when I was learning how to tell time. The passion drives the practice and the practice and learning becomes quite deliberate.

So I guess I want to be brilliant too; with results like an athlete for more than ten years in the field. Once you surpass a certain amount of deliberate practice hours, much of your expertise is used to educate those with limited knowledge who want to know more. Becoming an expert is being a trusted source whose experience has pieced together a coherence in your art form.

Many people still have a limited understanding of hair extensions. Its history has many stories and many different interpretations; but as an expert in the field I can connect the dots in a way that only 10,000 deliberate practice hours can.