Born and raised in Bakersfield, CA, Krystal Pohl- Kerkezian followed her dream in the industry working for the most elite salons in California. She finally planted her roots in Northern California nearly 12 years ago and continued her journey of working for some of the most sought after salons in the east bay area.
Through her hard work, connection with clients and great relationships, she was awarded “Best Colorist” in Walnut Creek. It was always her passion of opening up her own salon, and finally in 2017 her biggest dream came true with Salon Hanover, which was named after her late Grandmother, Ada Maxine Hanover. Since opening her doors, she has developed a top class team that has been recognized as “Best Salon of Walnut Creek.”- by far one of the biggest accomplishments to date.
IF: Tell us what you think is the biggest challenge in hairdressing today?
As an owner of a new salon, the most challenging part of my position is to make sure that my team creates an atmosphere that is thriving with positive and fun energy, to ensure we provide a great customer experience. It is hard to accept that sometimes our customers are not always satisfied. Feedback can be tough at times, but it is also an opportunity for improvement so we can all learn together and meet the expectations of our customers.
IF: What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?
The best part of my job is seeing our customers smiling faces when they look in the mirror and are excited about their new look. It brings me great satisfaction that I could make them feel taken care of, special and beautiful. I also get great fulfillment when I see my team working together, learning from one another and inspiring each other. The best part of my day is when a customer comes up to me and compliments members of my team.
IF: Why did you choose the path of hairdressing and was it easy to fall into this work?
I was naturally interested at a very young age. The first sign that I can remember was when I was five years old. It might sound odd, but I was always obessing over grooming and shaping my father’s mustache, and my father thought I did a great job. It was at that point that I was my family’s go-to stylist. In high school I was presented with an opportunity to enroll in cosmetology school and took it! I was very young, and knew that it would be a risk, but knew that it was my calling, so I took it and have never looked back.
IF: If you had not made the decision to be a hairdresser what would you have been?
I was always interested in the hottest trends and still am, I would have to say that I probably would have been a clothing designer. But since I have had the opportunity to design my salon, I also have a great love for interior design.
IF: What is your greatest strength?
I think my greatest strength that I have is that I have integrity for others. Even though it can be hard, I feel the need to tell the truth, even if it is ugly and be honest to others so it does not hurt you in the long run.
IF: Your favorite hairdressing tools?
I really enjoy using my hands on my client’s hair. I love the feeling in between my fingers when I am trying to achieve the perfect cut for shaping and once the style is complete running my hands through my client’s hair with my favorite products to finalize the look.
IF: Tell us about your relationship with Iles Formula. How you discovered us and which formula is your favorite?
Ali from Iles Formula left a beautiful box for me one afternoon on my work station. I fell in love with everything the brand had to offer- from the packaging, to the scent and most importatntly the results it has on my clients! It’s hard to pick JUST one favorite because I love the entire line, but if I had to pick one it would be The Mask.
IF: What was the most challenging job you ever had?
I think the most challenging job I have ever had was being an owner of a salon. Although it was my dream, it requires a lot of work and attention to detail. I did not know what I was getting myself into, and never understood what it would take to be a business owner and now I do and have great appreciation for everyone I have ever worked for.
IF: What was your worst hair moment and why…. privately or on set/stage or in the salon?
I started at a new salon and was uninformed how hot the infrared lights get. When I returned to check my client’s foils, a chunk of hair fell out on to my hand. I was mortified. Thankfully my client was not as emotional as I thought she would be. I would have been a basket case. Nevertheless, I took great care of her, and of course did not charge her. Nor did I charge her for her visits back to the salon to fix it. It required some work to get her in a better place, but we eventually got there with a lot of patience.
IF: If you could style anyone’s hair, who would it be and why?
It was my dream to style Goldie Hawn’s hair. I have been mesmerized by her since I was a little girl. I have great respect for her because she is a beautiful, smart, funny woman. Plus, she has great thick hair and a timeless style that does not compare to anyone else. She will forever be a legend to me.
IF: Where do you pull hair inspiration from?
I’ve been blessed to have been surrounded with hair designers who inspire me every day. I always make a point to go to seminars and learn techniques that I can apply to my clients and teach my team. I also appreciate styles from the 1930-1940’s + 1960-1970’s.
IF: Your advice to young hairdressers starting out?
The best advice I can give is to surround yourself with people that encourage you, motivate you and inspire you. Everything that you do needs to be done with the greatest integrity and take feedback and advise seriously. You will make mistakes along the way, but always keep on learning so you can do things better next time.