Jochen is the most famous hairdresser in Flanders and the hype of the moment. In his Clientology case he is only too happy to receive familiar faces on which he tries out the latest hair trends. And with success, because he pops up everywhere in the media. Meet Jochen, the man who can do anything with her.
Jochen Vanhoudt is the brain behind the successful hair studio Clientology. A brilliant name for an equally brilliant idea. Clientology is not just a hair salon. No it is a total concept where zen, tranquility and organic are the key words. The approach of Jochen from Limburg has done him no harm, because well-known Flemish people are urging to be able to sit in his barber’s chair and his telephone is red-hot with the media on the other side of the line. His hairdressing advice can be found in numerous magazines, he appears in popular TV programs such as The Klapsalon and his Instagram is full of the well-known Belgian and Dutch faces that undergo great hair transformations time and time again. But who is the person behind the hairdresser who introduces the world to all these special hair trends?
“At the age of twenty-three, I moved from Limburg to Antwerp because I was offered a job at the well-known barber shop De Cliént, which was then known as a BV hairdresser. At owner Glenn I learned all the tricks of the trade. What other hairdressers consider important, he didn’t think it was. He saw it completely differently. I have incorporated that approach and experience in my own barber shop, Clientology, I just changed the concept; The Cliént is rock and roll, loud and hip while Clientology is zen and relaxed. Clientology has become a huge success, so I can be proud of that. But I find it strange to get the title from a BV hairdresser, because of course I don’t only do BVs.
What is the secret of your success?
Hard work and constant work. If a regular customer wants to come to me but my schedule is completely full, I even open on Sundays. So sometimes you have to be able to fold yourself in two. Also because we are constantly bringing new things. You have to make sure that you as a hairdresser create trends yourself, make statements and show that to the rest of the world. We always ensure that we do things that are being discussed and we work with that. “
What do you find most inspiring about the profession?
‘The creativity. I really need a kick to be able to create and test new things. When I see new international trends appear on the social media accounts of famous hairdressers, I immediately start experimenting. For example, when I see that they are very busy with certain colors, I try to launch that first in Belgium. That is why my hair is now smoke gray; I tried to find the perfect color for the granny gray trend. “
Do you think that hairdressers are stigmatized with the statement that they are all gay?
“It is really a cliché, but it is true. I have twenty staff members, almost all of whom are gay. I once had only one straight. But I don’t mind that cliché at all. The funny thing is that it really became completely clear to me that I fell for men when I started my apprenticeship in a hairdressing school when I was sixteen and started working in hairdressing salons. There were quite a few boys at that school, and by going out and partying with them, I felt it was right. My parents have known it for much longer. I think they found it quite difficult at first, because they would not have grandchildren. But they never showed that. I have been lucky with that. “
You are busy with so many things at the same time, how do you find time for yourself?
Read the answer to this question and the rest of the interview in the second edition of The Gay Issue magazine that is now available everywhere in the store!