Vive la difference: Nick Clark's KeraStraight story

Paris: the city of love and ultra-chic style. It still stands as one of the most influential cities in the world, a true trendsetter in the eyes of the rest of the world. Which is why we are super excited to announce that thanks to Nicholas Clark, it is now home to our first French full concept salon. We had the chance to catch up with Nick on his transition to the continent and how he has built much success with KeraStraight in his own salon.

Starting young

Nick’s first step into the salon, at least in the professional capacity, was at the tender age of 14. His Saturday slot at a local Berkshire salon was offering more money than his poorly paid paper run and soon became more of a joy than a chore. It was here that his passion for hairdressing began.

“I never expected to love it so much, but I did from the very first day. I just love how artistic and creative hairdressing is, how by cutting or colouring someone’s hair not only can you physically transform someone, but you can also emotionally/psychologically change the way someone feels about oneself for the better.”

From humble beginnings Nick went on to develop his skills and become highly successful in the industry, spending much of his career in Toni & Guy London. Unfortunately, hit by the recession, Nick was made redundant in 2011, but it was by no means the end of his career — in fact, it marked a whole new chapter.

Going continental

Nick made the move to Paris to pursue his ambition to learn French. However, after experiencing the salon environment in Paris, he soon noticed an outstanding demand for strong English speaking hairdressers. He seized the opportunity and soon opened his own salon.

“Now, I have a great variety of international clientele. I speak English as well as French, which completely removes any language barrier that many in Paris struggle with. For me, having strong communication with your clients is a such an important key to establish.”

Looking to expand his services, Nick explored the world of keratin treatments. Nick had some mixed experiences with keratin treatments with another treatment company in London, so was on the hunt for a new brand which eradicated issues he’d had with the product in the UK. KeraStraight, at the time, was completely new to France and he saw the advantage that it could give him against other competitor salons, and form a unique identity in the French market. After one use he saw the difference (Vive la difference, as they say in France) and fell in love with the brand, “ The difference was instantly clear. Thanks to the vapour capture technology there is no nasty smoke when blow drying and ironing. This meant an improved experience for me as well as my client. The fact that it’s formaldehyde free, lasts up to 4 months and you can wash your hair the same day, makes it a big winner and a clear choice for everyone.”

Nick Clarke Paris 

Nick’s top KeraStraight salon tips

1 · Get Certified

“I personally think that every KeraStraight Hairdresser should be certified, because not only do they learn the in’s and out’s of the product, making it easier to recommend and advice to clients, it also ensures the best use and results in the salon. It assures your client your receiving the best and long lasting treatment that he/she has ever had — One thing that clients definitely love, are certified, specialists!”

2 · Explain the Treatment Fully

“Clearly explain the differences between a chemical straightener to the KeraStraight Ultimate treatment in your consultation, so the client fully understands what you are offering. Repeat some facts from the exam on the technology to clients such as the Popcorn Effect as this increases clients interests.”

3 · Promote In and Out of the Salon

“As well as being on all my social media, I have been promoting KeraStraight in the salon as a before or after service for colour. Make it clear in your salon that it’s a unisex treatment for men as women, as I find that the Intense Boost is a popular choice with men too.”

4 · Hone in on Homecare

“Make sure that your client always buys the KeraStraight shampoo, conditioner and styling range at the end of the appointment, to avoid any disappointments. As the only brand which also has, it’s own range of shampoo, conditioner and styling products they are a must-buy for anyone that’s had a KS Ultimate treatment. They didn’t exist when I first started using the brand so it was a bit of a nightmare finding products that were sodium chloride free as well as sulphate free. Now that they exist, it is so much easier and straightforward for clients to look after their treatment.”

5 · Make the Commitment

“When booking in a KeraStraight Ultimate, I personally recommend always taking a deposit in advance to book the appointment. That way it separates the clients that book it on a whim and change their minds afterwards from the those who are fully interested in having the treatment. That way you are assured of not wasting pre-booked time and you can completely eradicate no-shows.”

6 · Fully Buy into the Brand

“For me, the importance is offering the best that there is to my clients. My personal opinion is that KeraStraight is the best there is on the market in terms of keratin treatments, and I am personally very difficult to please. The results are clear for the hairdresser as well as the client. The fact that KeraStraight was an official sponsor of London Fashion Week, also gives their brand a very modern, luxury appeal. Being the first ever KeraStraight Salon in France, I personally would love to help the brand create a French KeraStraight art team for Paris Fashion Week, as I believe that it would be a great hit here.”

To find out more about Nick’s salon visit his website, or for more inspirational stories and top tips why not explore our blog?