Meet Kat: Bii Hair Salon’s newest team member
A career in the beauty industry was not something a young Kat ever entertained. The most she thought about hair was that her own was “thick and unmanageable,” and she had no way of dealing with it.
Then, when older, she toured a beauty school and was impressed and inspired by the culture. She’d entertained pursuing a career in the field of mental health, but one psychology course let her know this was not for her.
“Failing that class was a blessing in disguise,” Kat recalled. “I enrolled in beauty school right away and immediately got swept in. After that, my love for doing hair grew through a series of encounters with young girls who had similar to what I suffered through while growing up. Finding that I could make them feel confident and beautiful the way that I wish someone had done for me was one of the main reasons my infatuation with the industry has become what it is now.”
Having completed cosmetology school, Kat already owns enough education hours to be licensed. Yet she relishes the idea of going beyond the basics via the Bii Hair Salon 16-week intern program. She feels doing so will allow her to refresh the skills learned in school and expand the basic knowledge she received.
“While in school I focused only on cutting and styling for nearly three years, and reacquainting myself with color theory and the most current trends has been incredibly eye-opening. It's also been very exciting, considering the fact that I am being offered the opportunity to learn from such gifted educators in the industry.”
Exploration into the realm of color will never detract from from the fact Kat is one skilled haircutter.
“The focus on cutting and styling is precision. I love clean lines and creating movement throughout the shape through various forms of texturizing and round-brush styling. I love tying it all into the one thing I was good at in school: Math. The geometry that goes into creating a great haircut is always an exciting part of what I do.”
According to Kat, “the single most important part about creating a style for a guest is the communication.”
Kat doesn’t limit her communication to a pre-service consultation. She continues the exchange throughout the service to ensure she’s doing everything possible to
“reveal their best hair.” That includes what they use to style their hair once home, and how they use it. Goal is to maintain the salon results beyond the salon.
Though Kat may not realize it, she uses her old penchant for psychology every day. She instinctively reads her guests.
“A very significant part of being a hair artist is being a chameleon. The ability to become the ideal hair artist for your guests will not always require the same tools,” she said. “Some guests want a quiet, relaxing experience. Some like the beauty shop feel of constant chatter and latest celebrity gossip. Some need an open ear to let them vent about their day. And some want to talk strictly hair. My job during your appointment is to give that to you and get to know your wants and needs.”
The world around her influences Kat, from the pages of magazines to colors found in nature. But her personal history drives her most deeply.
“Mainly, what influences my work is my experiences as a teenager and all the cool styles and colors I wanted to achieve at the time but didn't have the means to recreate. I'm inspired by the ability to provide that for young girls. An important person who brought that out in me was Stephanie Hernández, an educator I worked alongside for the past few years. We grew to be close friends and I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been able to pick her brain and watch her work with the various shapes around her to create an incredible work of art.”
An equal opportunity cutter, of course. Yet Kat considers herself a “woman’s woman.”
“As much as I love doing men's’ cuts and a beautifully blended fade, I have a great desire to empower women. To find and bring out their best features. Features that may not always be physical. I love young girls. I love making them feel strong and beautiful. I love picking apart a woman's brain and pushing them to be their best selves. And I'm big on hugging. My dream is to be apart of raising the next generation of fearless, kind and brilliant generation of boys and girls.”
Life in beauty culture has altered Kat’s life strategies.
“I normally like to have a plan in mind for myself, and know where I'm going at all times. But this industry is different. It's changing constantly and always forcing me out of my comfort zones. So I can't say that I know where I want to be in 10 or 15 years. The only thing I am sure of is that I want to be able to share all the knowledge I've acquired in that time, and be able to educate the next generation of artists.”