We welcome this week to Iles Formula Hair Talk Kerstin Hajdu from Germany. Kerstin answered our questions on what hairdressing is for her today and she told us how passionate she is about hair.
IF : Tell us what you think is the biggest challenge in a hairdressing career today?
KH : I feel that the biggest everyday challenge on my journey of this career is that we constantly have to improve ourselves. As our business is so fast-paced with new products, looks, styles coming into fashion every week, my personal ambition and passion is to follow the latest trends and styles all the time. And this is exactly what I tell my students: never stop re-creating your styles. Try out new methods, new hair products, read the latest trends reports, never get stuck in your work routine.
Apart from jobs, always do free concept shoots (yes, according to me, we not only have to do lots of „unpaid“ shoots to evolve our skills, but often "invest" when we do not even know what will come out of it!), as this is the best way to practice new hair looks, get exposure and make your portfolio "richer", not only by new pictures BUT most importantly by the new experience you gained.
When I started out, I was 15 years old and still a baby. I worked long hours in the hair salon during the week, earning hardly enough money to pay for my rent and on weekends, I went from seminar to seminar and tried to plan photo shoots to be able to apply my knowledge. Why I didn't bail out? Because I always loved and still love today what I do. To face all the challenges in a hairdressing career, you have to be passionate about this life, every single day. My philosophy? Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.
IF : What’s the most enjoyable part of your current job?
KH : What makes me jump out of bed every single morning with a big smile on my face is that everyday in this incredible job is a new experience, a new adventure. It thrills me that I work with new clients every day and each client and their concepts are different. It’s all about meeting the clients’ expectations (yes, I am super ambitious). Plus I love working with creative people and enjoy working as a team in order to achieve the best possible results together.
IF : Why did you choose the path of hairdressing?
KH : When I was a child, my mom went every four weeks to the hairdresser salon and I loved to go with her. I liked the atmosphere, liked to watch the hairdressers and moreover enjoyed the feeling when somebody takes care of my hair. From this point on, I knew I wanted to become a hairstylist. Therefore, I started an apprenticeship at the age of 15. It’s incredible how time flew, as by now I have been working as a hairdresser for almost 17 years - and since 2006, I am my own boss. Besides hair, I do make-up of course too, as clients often want to book the whole package!
IF : If you had not made the decision to be a hairdresser what would you have been?
KH : Honestly? No idea, as pretty much half of my life I have dedicated to this passion. But, well, as I absolutely love food - maybe I would try to start a career as a food scout - traveling and tasting food all over the globe. Yep, that wouldn’t be bad though.
IF : What is your greatest strength?
KH : Tough question, because I find it hard, as supposedly everybody, to praise my strengths ;) Let’s put it that way - my clients book me for my hair skills, apparently I create „emotional strong hair looks“. What that is? Most importantly - it’s all about the details, working precisely. I focus on giving the hair a beautiful texture and flawless shape. Keep in mind - every model, actor, actress, celebrity - has different hair, as a hairstylist always has to feel and analyze what you are working with that particular day. Therefore, client’s trust me in my opinion on how to create the perfect look, the perfect style.
I give an example - a couple of weeks ago, I had a booking for a big beauty commercial. The night before the job, the clients phoned me, having a nervous breakdown, as they found out that the model (the same one they used the year before) didn’t have copper colored hair any longer, but light blond curls. The client was devastated and about to cancel the whole production day. THIS is where I come in and see my role in giving them options, creative ideas, how to make it work.
What did I do? Well, I organized within an hour a wig (long brown straight, nothing we wanted but as it was late at night, I didn't have another choice) and I spent the entire night on coloring, cutting, painting, glossing and curling the wig. Well, the next day I had the most grateful and happy client and model - as she didn’t have to change her hair at all.
IF : Your favorite hairdressing tools?
KH : I cannot live without: my Mason Pearson brush (everybody NEEDS to have that!); a chopstick (it may sounds a bit weird, but it’s absolutely the best way of parting the hair); plus, my highly beloved bobby pins - I hope wherever my bobby pins go they’re happy, that’s all that matters ;)
IF : Tell us about your relationship with Iles Formula. How you discovered us and which formula is your favorite?
KH : My relationship with Iles Formula? Love at first sight. In March 2016, I took part in the amazing master class with Wendy Iles herself. Needless to say how interesting, inspiring and impressive it was (I was hoping time would stand still that weekend!). Wendy provided us with the whole range of Iles Formula products. Each of them I first tried on myself and I was blown away by each of them. For work, I especially use the Finishing Serum as this is exactly the product I have been missing for years. Why? As I am rather careful with using too many hair products, this serum assures the hair texture remaining the same quality the entire day.
IF : New Hair trends; is there something happening with hair right now that is exciting you?
KH : Definitely curls. This new trend of wearing them edgy, textured, done but undone and looking so effortless at the same time. But as I said before, trends are rapidly changing. But I believe that healthy hair with a beautiful cut & color will always be fashionable and therefore exciting to me.
IF : What was your worst hair moment and why... privately or on set or in the salon?
KH : Lol - yes, I do remember very well my worst hair moment on set. It was years ago, when I had just started out as being self-employed (super proud and ready to conquer the world). I booked a very nice job in the US for a surf and beach magazine. Therefore, the client was all about natural and messy hair. I did create the look - well, I tried, but somehow it was still too beautiful and kind of unnatural. I freaked out, as this was the first time a client would be unhappy with what I had done (felt like a loser and was about to panic!).
But as life has been always very good to me and I have been blessed with so many amazing people around me, Eloisa, the model on that day, looked at me and said: why don’t you use sea salt spray? Well, as we all know in Germany : inventions like that arrive usually a little later then anywhere else (I had NEVER heard of SEA SALT SPRAY before). I could only try it out. And it worked and looked absolutely amazing. The next day I went to the shops, got myself another suitcase and bought 350$ of sea salt spray to bring back home. THAT mistake, I would NEVER, in my life, make again .
IF : If you could cut and colour anyone's hair, who would it be and why?
KH : Definitely Eva Longoria - her hair styles are absolutely stunning, always. I have a little crush on her I guess, so I am dying to meet her (don’t tell my husband!).
IF : Where do you pull hair inspiration from?
KH : Might sound weird, but I draw pretty all my inspiration from natural textures, landscapes above and below sea-level. There is nothing more beautiful than the underwater world, especially the shape of corals. Plus, I am of course a magazine addict. In each and every single place of my daily life, meaning where I spent time (kitchen, toilet, car, balcony, etc.) you will find magazines, magazines... and more magazines. Come in and find out ;)
IF : Your advice to young hairdressers starting out?
KH : Sitting here trying to answer that question makes me think about my years of starting out... Of all the struggles and moments I was doubting myself. When I felt so small and this world seemed so big. So, my most important advice is that one should always always always believe in oneself. Like if you fall down, stand up, straighten your crown, carry on. Everything in this life is possible, you only have to be willing to work hard for it. Impossible doesn't exist in my vocab.
Herewith are some chosen images of Kerstin's work and if you want to know more about this intriguing Kerstin, she has a very nice blog.