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Iles Formula Hair Talk with Kara Hazirjian of Pini Swissa Salon


Kara Hazirjian

Kara Hazirjian aspires to be a global hair stylist, renowned for her expertise in balayage highlighting, as well as artistry of editorial hairstyling.

Her love of color started at the Redken Exchange in NYC, which propelled her to channel her newfound passions and become certified in Redken hair color in 2009. Since then, her interest in the field has broadened, and her grasp on understanding how to maneuver the complexities of haircare has intensified. Her love of balayage began in Boston while working for a French Salon, Camille Albane in 2013. Soon after, she trained in Paris at Centre de Formation Dessange to further her education in French balayage techniques.

Passionate about styling hair, the regarded hairstylist has worked for publications and companies such as Elle, G.H. Bass, Reebok, Trina Turk, Giorgio Armani, Veronica Beard, Boston Magazine, Harvard University, and Amazon. Having culled expertise from her experiences in magazines, runways, and media tours, Kara is the go-to person for helping capture a moment and making it look effortless.

We share a warm welcome to Kara to our Iles Formula family.

To learn more about Kara, visit her website. You can also follow her on Instagram @balayagebykara.

1. Tell us what you think is the biggest challenge in hairdressing today other than Covid-19?

Finding you niche within this industry. I decided early on that I wanted to be a specialist with hair, but it took me over 8 years to discover that balayage and editorial hairstyling were my passions.

2. What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?

Restoring hair and providing clients with ongoing education on how to maintain its health.

Iles Formula Hair Talk with Kara Hazirjian of Pini Swissa Salon | Screenshot 2022 01 04 at 14.39.11 e1641304004133

Hair by Kara Hazirjian

3. Why did you choose the path of hairdressing, and was it easy to fall into this work?

I knew I was a creative thinker with a keen eye for design, and I love to work with my hands. But there were many days early on where I didn’t know if this was the right career. Building a clientele was one of the biggest challenges in such a saturated market. It wasn’t until I began to cultivate a skill set around my niches that the clientele I always envisioned came to me with ease.

4. If you had not made the decision to be a hairdresser, what would you have been?

Interior designer, psychologist, fashion stylist, poet, sculpture. Anything that draws an emotional response.


5. What is your greatest strength

Communication and listening. Both have been imperative in building strong relationships with people.

6. Your favorite hairdressing tools?

Pocket size Mason Pearson bristle/nylon hairbrush. Perfect size to fit into a purse instantly gives shine and massages scalp when brushing hair.

7. Tell us about your relationship with ILES FORMULA. How did you discover us and which formula is your favorite?

My coworker introduced me to Iles Formula. I love its simple, high-quality ingredients – you can feel the products instantly nourish the hair. The exclusivity of the line also ensures every product is well thought out. Favorites are the Hair Mask for its restoring properties. I also love the Serum because it protects hair color from fading.

8. What was the most challenging job you ever had?

A job where I wasn’t told until the day of I would be doing very structured, intricate updos for a wedding. Accessories that had to be placed with extreme precision. Luckily I have such great friends who were able to help me last minute to achieve those beautiful styles.

9. What was your worst hair moment and why….privately or on set/stage or in the salon?

Finding my first gray hair on myself. I thought that meant I would be gray all over in no time, which wasn’t the case. From coloring my hair since being in my teens to 20’s I decided to stop and appreciate my natural hair color. This has extended to my philosophy of valuing clients’ natural hair and enhancing it with coloring or cutting.

10. If you could style anyone’s hair, who would it be and why?

Take me out of my comfort zone with any era-based updos if I could go back in time. Classic styles of the time.

Iles Formula Hair Talk with Kara Hazirjian of Pini Swissa Salon | Screenshot 2022 01 04 at 14.38.20 e1641303958563Hair by Kara Hazirjian

11. Where do you pull all hair inspiration from?

Runway, Pinterest, Instagram.

12. Who is your icon?

Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Princess Diana.

13. Your advice to young hairdressers starting out?

Say yes to every opportunity when new in the industry. This will help you find where your passion lies. Also, keep an open mind, you might be pleasantly surprised on what you end up gravitating towards.

Iles Formula Hair Talk with Kara Hazirjian of Pini Swissa Salon | Screenshot 2022 01 04 at 14.38.02 e1641303899294

14. How has Covid-19 changed your vision of the hair industry today?

It helped teach me it is ok to take time for myself, to slow down. With the world on pause, I realized that in the 16 years of working I have never taken an extended amount of time off. Through it all, I was also grateful to learn how patient my clients are in waiting for me. Burnout is very common in our industry, especially because we work non-traditional hours and most holidays. When we reconnect with ourselves we can show up that much more rested and rejuvenated, and ready to share that same quality or attention with our clients.

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