Innovators of Beauty: Frank Cairo

 

 

In the 1970’s, Frank Cairo was one of the most well known and sought after stylist in Canada. In 1975, he left the salon life and dedicated his career to education. Ask any Alberta Hairstylist of a certain age who their mentor was and you will hear the name Frank Cairo. Frank’s first career was as a successful and award winning stylist and platform artist. His second career was as an innovator in education.

Born on February 24, 1941 in Celico, Italy, Frank’s career started at a young age when he decided to apprentice as a barber. In 1955, he immigrated to Edmonton and by the age of 21 he owned and operated 11 salons across Alberta. By the early 70’s, Frank had achieved everything he wanted in his career but had always aspired for more. He wanted to give back to the industry in terms of education. He took a position with Marvel Beauty Schools where he presented his many innovative ideas to make beauty education better. The company was not ready to implement his ideas so in 1975, after a difference of opinion he decided to purchase his own schools where he could realize his vision.


The first thing he did was change the delivery of the content. Up until he took over the Alberta Marvel Beauty Schools, all beauty schools were delivering theoretical training first and then hands on practice in a school salon. There was no progression to the instruction. It was all in class then all hands on. Frank recognized that this was not in the best interest of the student. He introduced a system where classroom instruction focused on a particular topic and then was followed with practical application. Once mastered, the student could then move on to the next topic following the same process. This was the first progressive learning path in beauty education in North America.

While traveling throughout Europe in the 1970’s, Frank noticed the increasing popularity of spa treatments for European women. At that time, there were no beauty schools in North America offering Esthetics training. In 1978, Frank introduced esthetics education in his schools. He was the first in North America to provide Esthetics as a program offering.


Throughout his career, he had always believed that the future relied on the quality of students entering the industry. For Frank, education was the primary foundation for quality students. So, he invested in the best education possible. His schools were the first in Canada to use the Pivot Point education system. Pivot Point was created by Frank’s close friend Leo Passage. It utilized the principles of art and design to teach Hairstyling. The principles of the program were ground breaking and the resources like full color technical guides were the first of their kind. Pivot Point remains the leader in beauty education throughout the world. Today, Pivot Point’s Hairstyling and Esthetics concepts are taught in over 2000 schools in over 70 countries.

Frank believed that in addition to education, the physical experience was integral in creating quality students. For Frank, it was important to have the learning environment look and feel similar to a salon or spa, so he invested in the space and layout of the school. From a retail and colour area to styling chairs and pedicure stations, each school was transformed to look like a real life salon and spa.

Not only did Frank revolutionize how salon and spa education was delivered, he also changed the relationship between industry and educators. Throughout his career, he noticed a separation between salons/spas and schools. In 1995, Frank created a Partners in Training program. As part of the program, each campus partnered with local and surrounding salons/spas to create an ongoing relationship. Partners visit the school to do demonstrations and workshops for students and talk to them about professionalism and career opportunities. The school would provide salons and spas with work experience students to assist the Partners in finding suitable staff for their businesses. The close interaction between industry and the schools ensured that Frank was always aware of the latest industry trends and could therefore quickly incorporate them into the education. The Partners in Training initiative was a benefit to the schools, the students and the industry partners.

With over 60 years of experience in the industry as a hairstylist, platform artist, entrepreneur and educator, Frank Cairo is one of the most well known icons in the hairstyling industry in North America and across the world. Frank was inducted into Pivot Point’s Hall of Fame, awarded with the Contessa Life Time Achievement Award and was awarded with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal. Today at MC College, his accomplishments in the industry are celebrated at graduation in the form of an award called, The Frank Cairo Award. This award is given to graduates who best represent the qualities of commitment, integrity and respect. These qualities were the basis of Frank’s success in the industry.

Innovators of Beauty: Martha Matilda Harper (1857 – 1950)

You’ve probably heard of beauty entrepreneurs such as Elizabeth Arden, Vidal Sassoon and even Guy Tang. But, does the name Martha Matilda Harper sound familiar? She’s the greatest businesswoman you’ve never heard of.

From servant to innovator, Martha is best known for developing the concept of the salon, inventing the reclining shampoo chair and creating the first franchise system. These innovations would go on to play a huge role in transforming the hairstyling industry.

Born on September 19, 1857 in Oakville, Ontario, Martha started working at the age of 7. Eventually, she began working for a German holistic doctor who taught her about hair /scalp health and gave Martha his secret formula for hair growth. After immigrating to Rochester, New York to work as a servant, she began manufacturing her own hair growth shampoo in a backyard shed. With her entrepreneurial spirit and her life savings of $360, she opened a mini shampoo factory and the first ever salon, Harper Method Shop. Clients visiting a salon was a foreign idea in the 1800’s as most women did their own hair or hired beauticians and hairstylists to do their hair in their homes.

At first, business at Harper Method Shop was slow until a music teacher moved into the same building. After noticing the number of mothers waiting to pick up their children, she invited them into her salon to get their hair done. Over the next 3 years, the Harper Method Shop became a popular place for women to visit. Her clientele included women’s rights leaders Susan Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton, President Woodrow Wilson, President Calvin Coolidge and first lady Grace.

As the salon got busier, Martha decided to expand her business concept. Her greatest career achievement was creating a franchise system which allowed salons to operate under the Harper name. During this time, she designed the first reclining shampoo chair. In 1891, she opened a chain of salons which were owned and operated by franchisees. Martha’s goal was to help women gain financial independence and career success. The franchisees were poor women and former servants who were trained by Martha on how to run a salon using the Harper Method of beauty treatments. The Harper Method placed an importance on hygiene, nutrition and exercise. She provided franchisees with national advertising support and made inspections to ensure each salon emphasized customer service and comfort, and was consistent in branding.

Throughout Martha’s career, she expanded her empire to include 500 Harper salons and a chain of schools throughout Canada, US, Europe and South America.
In 2003, she was inducted into the national Women’s Hall of Fame. Martha Matilda Harper was both an entrepreneur and a beauty expert.

The Innovators of Beauty is a blog series that highlights leaders in the beauty industry.

 

MC ELITE: YOUNTEN TSOMO

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Instagram: @YountenTsomo
Campus: Calgary
Program: Hairstyling

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Hair & makeup by Younten Tsomo. Photo credit: Olya Milentis, Jaf Jafri/J&M Image Studio

Favorite emoji: ✌️
Favorite food: Tibetan dim sum
Favorite item in your wardrobe: Coco Chanel no.5 perfume
Favorite stylist or barber you follow on social media? @guy_tang, @southtrailcrossingbarbershop
From a small village in India to Calgary, Alberta, this month’s MC Elite, Younten Tsomo, got her start in the beauty industry assisting with hair and makeup in Bollywood films. Santa Banta PVT, Rangeelay and Zubaan are a few of the movies she has done hair and makeup for. In addition to Bollywood movies, Younten had the opportunity to do hair and makeup for the contestants of Miss Tibet 2011.

“I love it here in Canada but I miss my family in India. What I love the most about Canada are the opportunities that the country has given me. I never thought about moving abroad but I got a sponsorship to move to Canada because of the Project Tibet Society. My family is originally from Tibet but fled to Arunachal Pradesh (Northern India). In January 2015, I moved to Canada as a refugee.”

Makeup#hairstyle#tibetanmodel#shoot#hifashion💅💄💋

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What motivated you to get started in the Beauty Industry?
“When I was in grade 3, I wanted to be a fashion designer but my parents did not approve of it. Back in India where I am from, if you wanted to be a fashion designer, you had to have a lot of money and be in the upper class. In Canada, it’s so different. So then I decided to look into hair and makeup because in India, it is more affordable to go to school for it than for fashion. I learned and worked under an East Indian makeup artist, Kaajee Rai, who introduced me to the world of Bollywood. I then went and learned hairstyling and makeup at Pivot Point India which is now called Blossom Kochhar College of Creative Arts & Design”

What do you like most about the industry?
“I get to travel! I grew up in a small village in India so being able to travel and see the world is amazing. The industry has given me so many opportunities. I’ve been lucky because in the past, I was able to travel to South Africa, Fiji and throughout India to do hair and makeup for Bollywood movies and music videos. I finally got the chance to go on a real African safari. It was so cool. Recently, I was sent to New York and New Jersey for the International Indian Film Academy Awards to do makeup and hair for Neha Dhupia. In a few months, I am going back to Delhi to help with hair and makeup for an MTV reality show, Roadies Rising.”

You went to Las Vegas with us in July for the North American Hairstyling Awards, how was that?
“It was so lovely. I felt so inspired by all the people that I met and all of the work that I saw. I’m actually working on my NAHA submission right now!”

Balayege @mccollegecalgary @mccollegegroup

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What do you like most about being a student at MC College?
“The staff here inspires me, especially Jessica! They inspire me to want to do more with my career. Because of them, I love volunteering. It’s such a good feeling being able to use what you know to bring a little bit of good in the world.”

Who or what motivates you?
“My husband motivates me. He pushes me everyday to be the best that I can be. When I get home after school, he always asks me ‘what kind of hair did you do today? Did you post it on social media? If you didn’t, you have to!!’. He also helps me look for ways on how I can expand my career. He’s always telling me ‘you should take the microblading and eyelash extension course!”.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Always be open to learning and be good to everyone.”

With kalki at IIFA award 2017 @chuki_tibet_anotsang.

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XXX DEEPIKA PADUKONE

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MC Elite: Matt Madill

 

matt 2Instagram: @5threalm5

Program: Hairstyling
Campus: Saskatoon
From the kitchen to behind the chair, our MC Elite for August is Hairstyling Student, Matt Madill!

Favorite emoji: ✌️😂

Favorite hangout spot: “The Woods Ale House in Saskatoon and Leopold’s Tavern in Regina.”

Favorite food: “An East Indian dish called dal makhani.”
Favorite item in your wardrobe: “Bow toes. The real ones…where you the tie them yourself.”
Favorite stylist or barber that you follow on social media: “Matt Beck. I actually got to meet him a few weeks ago in Vegas! He is super humble.”

Why did you start a career in Hairstyling?
“Hairstyling and barbering has always been something in the back of my mind…my mom was a Stylist and I grew up in the salon…Some of my first memories from my childhood are being my mom’s guinea pig. Many times she practiced perms on me, I cried a few times and disliked the rotten egg smell…I grew up folding towels and hanging around answering phones. When I became a bit older and could help, I would sweep hair and wash people’s hair without spraying them down…Being from Regina and growing up in a salon, I saw lots of the same things for years but when I ventured into social media, I saw how many more things people were doing like rainbow hair, pastel colours, bright-and-vibrant to soft-and-faded.”

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What did you do before starting your career in Hairstyling?
“I was a cook for my entire life. With Hairstyling, you get to work with other people and be your own boss at the same time. At the end of the day, it’s your chair, it’s the effort you put into it. In the restaurant industry, you couldn’t really do that unless you were a restaurant owner or investor… in a few days I’m going to be 33 and I wanted a career where I could connect with people.”

What do you like most about the industry?
“I love the people. I love talking to them and seeing them smile after you give them a haircut”

Who or what motivates you?
“My fellow classmates. Everyone is talented. There are going to be some millionaires here because they are that good!”

So far, what are your career highlights?
“I got the opportunity through MC College to work with Paul Mitchell. I was in Vegas a few weeks ago during the NAHA’s for education. I am so fortunate and grateful for the opportunity MC gave me”
“We had Paul Mitchell in the school back in January. Matt took it upon himself to go downstairs and ask if he could watch and observe. They ended up asking him to assist them for the 3 days (Sat, Sun & Mon). He did all 3 days. The Saskatoon rep offered him a job on the spot” says MC College Saskatoon Director, Vanessa Slater.

 

What are your plans when you graduate? What’s your long term goal?
“I would love to be an educator. I also want to travel to the Middle East and take my trade with me. What I love about hair is that there is no language barrier…well I mean there is but you can work your way around with pictures and demonstrating”

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“If you’re in a bad mood, don’t take that out on people. Put your best foot forward.”

 

Every month, Campus Directors and Instructors nominate a student they feel should be recognized as an MC Elite. Students are chosen based on their use of social media to promote themselves and by tagging #mccollege and #mclife in their social media posts.

DIY Studio: My Dad Did My Hair Recap

It’s a job usually left for moms but sometimes a girl’s got to turn to her dad for some hair love. Last week, all 6 MC College campuses held a DIY Studio event ‘my dad did my hair’. With back-to-school around the corner, this was the perfect time for dads to practice what they already know and to learn new skills. From a simple pony tail to fishtail braids and the Princess Leia bun, we showed Dads how to step up their daughters’ hair game to the next level! Did you catch us on CTV, CBC and Castanet? Watch our live features here:

 

 

Couldn’t make it to our event? We’ve rounded up the top social media posts from the event!

RECAP: 2017 MCxNAHA

VEGAS 2017

From taking selfies with Sam Villa at the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) to watching the light show on Fremont Street, a trip to Las Vegas was the perfect way to launch a career in Hairstyling!

From July 8 to 11, over 80 MC College Students and staff made their way to Las Vegas for the 12th annual MCxNAHA show and 28th annual NAHA’s (one of the biggest events of the hairstyling industry). Every student that enrolled in the June Hairstyling program went on this trip for FREE.

At the naha's 2017 #MCCollege

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At the MCxNAHA show, groups broke out into 3 sessions:
1). Hair Improv
Presenters: Yolly ten Koppel (Artistic Director, Pivot Point International) and Laddie James (Owner and Master Stylist, The Hairstyle Inn)

Breakfast with a bit of inspiration #mccollegekelowna #mccollege #mclife #mcxnaha

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2). Creating a NAHA entry
Presenters: Cheryl Harrison (VP Operations, MC College) & Jeff Louis (National Artistic Director, Artego)
From lighting and photoshop to choosing a model, the process behind a NAHA entry can be intimidating, especially for a Student! Using the 2017 NAHA entries and previous MC College graduates’ entries, students got an inside look at what to look for when creating an entry.

 

3). Building your personal brand on social media
Presenters: Nikki McCrimmon (Admissions Leader, MC College) and Chinda Sin (Marketing Coordinator, MC College)
Whether it’s finding love on Tinder/Grinder or using Pivot Point’s LAB, everyone’s on social media so there’s no excuse to not use it to build a brand. Before students went out and became the next social media rock star, we gave them the top 5 tips to creating and building a brand on social media.

 

Enroute to #naha2017!!!!

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From poker tables to the slot machines, all eyes were on the MC Squad as we made our way to Mandalay Bay for the NAHA’s. At the show, students got the chance to watch hair and fashion presentations by the biggest names in the industry, network with celebrity hairstylists such as Charlie Price and Vivienne Mackinder, and watch industry innovator, Sam Villa receive an NAHA Lifetime Achievement Award.

“In Vegas we had amazing opportunities that I will never forget…while watching all the NAHA finalists walk down the red carpet, I met and spoke to some amazing people…When we sat down to watch the award show I got to sit beside a couple who has known Sam Villa for many years and that alone was awesome!!!” says MC College Edmonton Hairstyling Student, Amber-Rae Ens (@got_Rootz)


Missed our live feed from our social media? Search up #MCxNAHA on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to get caught up!

 

MC Pop Up Salon presents: Shear Envy ✂️

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Located in the heart of the Ice District in Edmonton, the MC Pop Up Salon was up and running for business last month! From February 23 to 27, MC College Hairstyling Students: Kelly Shirtliff (@kdshirtliff), Desire Poulin (@hairbydesirep), Nicolette Pirrott (@sharksloveteeth) and Taya Tkachuk (@taya.hair) worked as a squad to manage and operate their own salon, Shear Envy. “We got the opportunity to run our own salon. We built the prices and brought in our own clients. Just getting a feel of what a salon would be like was the best part!” says Desire.
Check out their Instagram and @mccollegegroup for some of the lit hair transformations they did!

Under the guidance of our Education Director, Anna Gemellaro, the students had over 36 customers and did 102 services – from candy colored hair to cuts and balayage. We even had return customers from our past Pop Up Salon! “They had great people skills and were independent yet willing to learn…They were never afraid to try a new technique…They kept me young at heart. BRAVO!” says Anna.

 

Before beginning Shear Envy, the group presented a business plan and collaborated with MC College’s marketing department to create a logo and promotional materials. The students were provided with a POS, appointment booking system, and a full blown color and retail bar to enhance their experience as a salon owner.


We asked them: what was your favorite part about the experience?
Desire: “The team atmosphere. We all pulled together and really stepped on board. I learned how to customize every client and personalize their experience. ”
Taya: “It was a great experience outside of school! It helped me understand what goes on behind the scenes of a salon”.
Kelly: “I loved the atmosphere, clientele and our team. This was such a great opportunity to learn the business aspect of a salon”
Nicolette: “The infinite amounts of coffee and of course being able to make the rules!!…It’s all about your team and working as one”.


A pop up store is a temporary shop that could be in business one week and then gone the next. As part of the MC Pop Up Salon initiative, a team of students get the chance to own a salon for one week. They learn on-the-job skills in marketing, finance and operations, as well as develop their technical and communication skills.


Follow us on social media to be the first to hear about the next Pop Up Salon!
For info about our Pop Up Salon, visit: Pop Up Salon 

💁 Student of the Month: Taya Tkachuk

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From balayage to “granny hair”, this lady is slaying it on Instagram! Born and raised in a small town, you may have seen her at last week’s MC Pop Up Salon  as a feature Entrepreneur/Stylist. 💇

Our Student of the Month is Hairstylist-to-be, Taya Tkachuk 👏 👏 from the Edmonton campus. “Taya is a lovely student inside and out. She is always willing to lend a helping hand and has an eagerness to learn” says Edmonton Director, Analia Rubie.

1). Why did you choose Hairstyling as a career?
“It’s always been a passion of mine. Back home in Lac La Biche, there weren’t many opportunities for me to explore hair. I was always the one my friends and family went to for hair and makeup…and it just became my thing.”

2). What do you like most about Hairstyling so far?
“Making people feel good about themselves. Once you’ve achieved this, it’s the best feeling ever and it makes you feel like you can do anything.”

3). How was the Pop Up Salon?
“It was a great experience outside of school! It helped me understand what goes on behind the scenes of a salon….I learned different techniques in blow drying…and running/managing a salon”.

4). What has surprised you the most about beauty school?
“Unit 3. I wasn’t expecting to learn about anatomy. I hate that people stereotype hair school as dumb but that’s not true. You need to know your stuff…even anatomy. All the studying and hair that you do puts a lot of stress on your body. You put so many hours into doing one clients’ hair to make them happy and studying on top of that! Its not just applying color or cutting hair…it’s much more”.

5). What do you love about MC College?
“I love the teachers and the people…it’s so welcoming here and I wasn’t expecting that when I started school! Every day is a fun day at school even if you’re in class or not.”

6). What has been the most challenging thing you’ve learned at MC College? Why?
“Clients can be a bit overwhelming…you learn how to work with people of all personalities and know when to end a conversation politely…and saying no to clients can be hard too. Especially when it comes to hair color”

7). What are your plans for the future after graduating?
“I want to stay in Edmonton for the opportunities when I graduate. But in the future, I would love to move to Toronto or Montreal, and start doing hair competitions. I want to see how far I can get with my career”

8). What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a Hairstylist?
“Make sure it’s a passion of yours and not just a job…You need passion and drive cause you can’t just do a half assed job in this. You gotta be all in.
9). What is the best advice you’ve received about the industry, beauty school or career?
“You can’t please everyone…do the best you can and work with your own knowledge.”

Follow her! 
Instagram: @Taya.Hair
Snapchat: tayatkachuk
Twitter: @tootie_19

Student of the Month: Afreen Merchant 💅

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From full time single Mom to student, this woman is a super hero! 👑 Our Student of the Month goes out to Esthetician-to-be, ➡️ Afreen Merchant ⬅️ from the Calgary campus. “She has an incredible attitude about her studies, the school and life… and spreads her own special brand of optimism” says Calgary Director, Todd Maki.

Why did you choose Esthetics as a career?
“Both my Mom and Grandma were Beauticians. Unfortunately, God felt that he was missing two Angels and they are now with him, so this allows me to feel connected to them in some way. Beauty has always been something I have found an interest in, and when I was at my lowest and didn’t know what to do with my life, Esthetics was there for me.”

What do you like most about Esthetics so far?
“I love the way people smile after they get their treatment done. It is the highlight of my day knowing that I can make a difference in someone’s life no matter how big or little.”

What do you love about MC College?
“I love my instructors!…My learning experience has been easier because they have been so understanding….Everyone is supportive here. They are always there for you and help you when you make a mistake. It feels like another family to me, we are always together”

 

We understand, the struggle is real…so what has been the most challenging thing you’ve learned at MC College? Why?
“I am a full time Mom. My son will always come first so it was very difficult taking care of him, balancing school, and studying for tests and quizzes. There are days where I wake up at 7am to get my son ready so that I can drop him off to day care before going to school, and staying up till 3 or 4 in the morning studying and finishing assignments after I have put him to bed.”

What is the best advice you’ve received about the industry, beauty school or career?
“Beauty will never go out of style”

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Unit 3 photo shoot: Mother Nature

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become an Esthetician?
“It isn’t just a job, or just a hobby. It’s a full time commitment. The instructors are really helpful and they ensure that you will succeed. The most important thing to remember is that it’s okay to ask questions.”

What are your must have Bernard Cassiere or OPI products?
“Honey oxygenating line…I have sensitive skin and my face never reacts badly to it” 

 

SHOW HER SOME LOVE! 😘
Instagram: @afreen_rayyan
👻: afreenm
Twitter: @merchant_afreen

 

Things only Hairstyling Students would understand:

1). Your wardrobe consists of the following colors: black, black and MORE black. 

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2). Leaving school with your hands looking like this:

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3). You start Hair school with long hair but graduate with short hair

4). Black Sharpies are your best friend

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5). Blow drying muscles (it’s a real thing!):

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6). Getting mad at people who say “dye” instead of “color”

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7). Getting into arguments with friends/clients who use box color (just don’t do it!)

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8). When your model cancels on you the day of your practical exam

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9).Naming your mannequin and taking endless selfies with it

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10). When you’re learning about perms and smell like it for the ENTIRE day

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11). Wet styling for so long, your finger tips prune up…

12). Forgetting to take a before picture of your work

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13). Carrying your mannequin in your purse and scaring everyone on the bus/train..

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