Here at KeraStraight, we are fortunate enough to work with some truly talented stylists and fantastic figures in the industry. Each month we’ll be featuring one of our KeraStraight stars, to show our appreciation to them and highlight their talents to you.
From her Mother’s salon to touring Europe with some of the world’s leading hair brands, Kathryn is a hair industry force to be reckoned with. It is people like Kathryn who we not only respect but are also responsible for the education of so many fantastic experts out there. That’s why we reached out to her really get to grips with what it takes to be an educator, how she came to be in her current position, and how she came to find KeraStraight.
You’ve got such a wealth of experience in the industry, tell us a little about your journey
It all started being trained by my Mum. After 15 years of hairdressing working on the shop floor, I got to the point where I thought either I needed to change my career or have a baby. I went for the career, and to take on trainees in the salon my Mum and I undertook an internal and external assessors award and teaching course. I also studied advanced science of hairdressing, and together this gave me a really great scientific foundation of knowledge — I’m a bit of geek. With my NVQ and degree I thought, hang on a minute I’m not using all of these qualifications, I wanted to do some form of education. For me, that lightbulb moment when someone just ‘get’s it’ is something which I wanted to help people achieve on a daily basis.
Throughout my career, I’ve worked with some of the world’s leading hair brands such as Fudge, Shiseido and Joico, and Zotos. Doing a mix of educating other professionals, other educators, and show work meant that I was fortunate enough to travel all over Europe — which was fantastic. However, I got to a point where I wanted to be at home more, for my and my husband’s sake. On my return, I was approached by Salon Promotions, of which I am now Director of Education.
Wow, that sounds incredible! Now you’re the Director of Education at Salon Promotions, what does your day-to-day job usually consist of?
It really depends, it’s always varied! So we have lots of different current accounts and are always on the lookout for new ones. I’ve just moved into a new position now, where I am mostly looking after key accounts and managing the other educators working to help grow through education. So we do ½ day sessions of theory or practical on our ambassador/experience days. Located in Yorkshire and Lancashire we allow the stylist a great opportunity to really see how the product works both in theory and in a practical sense. We feel that professionals really need to experience the products, as it’s all about trying to assist and grow the professionals’ knowledge as well as sell the brand.
So how did you come across KeraStraight?
My boss approached me and, honestly, I really wasn’t keen at first — I thought it was just another Brazilian Blowdry. But when I did my research and saw it was completely formaldehyde free I had to meet the team. Jez is just fantastic and really showed me the potential of the treatment. It’s nothing like a Brazilian blow dry, the technology can mimic it but it doesn’t have the damaging aspects, so for me, it was an instant winner.
It’s really gone from strength to strength: people absolutely love it and want to get their hands on it. KeraStraight is a treatment that I know I will never have a problem with when I go into the salon. Despite it being very simple, there is such a difference between reading the instructions and receiving education. It’s the little things, like why a client should wear a cap, not just how to wear it, which can only come from my 30 years of experience in salons and the hair industry.
What makes a brand stand out to you?
For me, user friendliness is key. I look for brands which do what they say on the tin, and for salons, of course, it’s all about value for money. They want to build their business, so brands that want to help them achieve this always do well. Where KeraStraight is concerned, it’s so easy to use and so multifunctional because it can be used on all hair types. It doesn't demand a professional to down all tools or stop doing other work while they are applying it: you can always do a colour or cut in between development times, which really maximises the treatment’s value for money.
What KeraStraight secrets can you share?
To give a good KeraStraight it’s all about the preparation. It’s so important to make sure that the client is always 100% aware of what they’re actually having. A lot of people think KeraStraight will give you an iron finish, but that you have to create it with irons themselves. Explain to your client how it will benefit the hair in terms of strength and manageability rather than delivering an iron finish. The consultation is key: assessing whether their hair is porous or not will make all the difference. No matter how long you might have been styling someone's hair, this assessment phase is essential.
Also, aftercare is vitally important. Make sure your client takes away a shampoo and conditioner with them — you wouldn’t buy a TV without a guarantee and to me this is exactly the same. Including this and their first blow dry into the overall price will ensure that your work is being performed and will be maintained to the highest level.
What would you say the key benefits of KeraStraight are?
It’s the decreased blow dry time. If you’ve got a client that’s got naturally wavy and full hair they should have the KS full Ultimate service, it’s like putting the hair on a diet. The full treatment narrows the hair down and allows the stylist to have an easier work, preventing them from having to overheat it afterward to try and flatten it. It’s also easier for the client to maintain, and when your client is your advertisement it’s the perfect solution. People don’t come every week for a blow dry so you need their hair to look like it’s salon ready every day.
And finally, what’s your personal favourite KeraStraight product?
I love the Protein Mask because you can sell it for all seasons. I am a client that doesn’t need the full ultimate system, but when I go on holiday I do get frizzy hair. So this is why the mask is fantastic, because it lets me keep my volume and gives me the ability to restrain the humidity build up that comes with foreign climates. With the mask, my hair looks fabulous from the day I go to the day I get back. It seems to give me that added protection against the heat.
Thanks so much for chatting to us Kathryn! We have loved working with you over the years, and cannot wait for many more to come.
Think you know someone who'd make a great KeraStraight star? Email your nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, a little about yourself, and who you'd like to see featured!