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We chatted to the amazing and talented Kristina Youssef from Kykhair and she reveals everything you need to know about bridal hair! From choosing your style, to pre-wedding hair care, all the way to what to expect on the big day. She’s definitely got you covered.
Anthony Today we spoke to Christina from KYK hair. She’s one of Melbourne’s premier hair stylists undoubtedly. I had the pleasure of speaking to her not only about hair styles for a wedding but also how she managed to become so successful as a hair stylist. She has a massive following on Instagram and has done many great things within the space of hair styling so enjoy this chat that I had with Christina.
Anthony So I’m going to introduce you Christina. And again thank you for giving us your time. I know how busy you are. You run a hair salon, you travel all over Australia and internationally educating and running master classes. You’re publishing two books, you do hair for some really high profile people, and you managed to make time for us. I’m really impressed.
Kristina Absolute pleasure.
Anthony So yeah, look really we have a lot of brides who come to us who are yet to start thinking about hair. So really, it’s about providing some information to them but also I know that you’ve got quite an amazing Instagram following and a lot of them are aspiring hairstylists. So really, firstly let’s inspire them and tell us how it all happened for you. How did you start and and how did you end up to becoming this celebrity hairstylist?
Kristina Okay, so it is quite a long story.
Anthony We’ve got as much time as you need Kristina!
Kristina Wonderful, so pretty much I never actually thought I’d end up as a hairstylist for a career to be honest. I’m actually a graduate of social work by trade, but I pretty much it started, I’d go back like nine and a half years ago now. I always just had a hobby as being the hair stylist and I saw you know, social work was pretty much not something that I wanted to do even though that’s why I graduated with from La Trobe University. It just literally started out at home at my parents house in the bathroom just doing hair for family and friends you know, charging not much at all. And just kind of my aim at the start was to just get known in the community. So for me it was just like a small goal. And I think one of the biggest reasons for my success or something that I can really kind of tell people if they kind of want to go down this avenue is to always set yourself goals. Goals are really important even if they’re just something really small. So for me it started off with just wanting to be known in the community. And then after that it was like, okay now I want to be known by other hairstyles around Melbourne. And when I achieved that, then I was like, okay now I want to be known around Australia and then every year I just set myself small goals or little targets just to keep me going. Obviously being self-employed is really hard because you don’t have a boss to tell you what to do, you don’t anyone to push you. So you’re pretty much your own motivator and biggest fan. Setting goals was yeah, I think the biggest thing for me for those that kind of want to start their own business. I’ll say just be realistic with your goals. Just something achievable and then just work your way up.
Anthony You’re so giving with your content. You’re always offering advice and tips and I think you really care for your audience and I think they they show the love back too, don’t they?
Kristina Definitely. I think being relatable is really important. And being just honest. So people want an account that they can follow and that they can relate to. And I find that a lot of my followers always say to me you know, Kristina we love that your story, you know, it’s just so real, you tell it how it is and you kind of just constantly… you’re like an open book you know, you’re not hiding your secrets you’re not keeping everything under your wings. And to be honest Anthony, really, there’s that much fish in the sea for everybody. I don’t feel like that there’s a need to try to kind of keep everything to yourself. Like it’s really important to help educate others because at the end of the day, you know when I started, I looked for inspiration in others and even today, you know, we still look for other other inspiration other artists around the world that can help to inspire us and make us want to be better. So I think it’s really important to always keep that at the back of your mind and obviously just keep it real because that’s when your followers will continue to follow your journey and your story because they want to see where you were and how you get to where you are.
Anthony Absolutely. And even for us having been around for 12 years you know, shooting wedding films. I think approaching it in way and just really looking out and caring for your audience and your customers this is the only way to do it really.
Kristina 100%. And I think that’s what’s going to differentiate you from the next hairstylist down the road or the next videographer down the road. At the end of the day you might be able to provide an amazing service but if you’re not a nice person or you don’t have that personality that comes with it and that could be relatable or approachable and giving. then at the end of the day the customer might kind of, not want to deal with you. I think that’s really important.
Anthony Definitely. Hence why we’re doing these podcasts because the information that we’re getting from suppliers like yourself, is really important and useful to a bride. And now you know, I think that’s a good segway to start talking about hairstyles for a bride and her bridesmaids and anyone else who needs their hair done for a wedding. So I really want to get in there and try and understand what the process is. For those who don’t know me personally, I don’t have any hair. I just thought I’d put that out there but I’m really looking out for everyone else who does. So you know, what’s the process? How does it all start when a bride comes to see you? I don’t imagine you’d expect for her to know exactly what she wants. How often are you finding other inspiration or you know, what sort of conversation do you have with them?
Kristina Okay, so the first point of contact is usually by email, by phone call or by text. She obviously wants to inquire about her wedding. She would have already set a wedding date. Some surprising ways haven’t set a wedding date, but they just want to try to get in early. So yes, I definitely advise set your wedding date first and you know, it would be nice if you actually booked the venue in and then we can kind of go from there. So once we check availability and make sure that the wedding date is free, we’ll then, first thing, you know, right off the bat, is organise a trial. Not all brides actually book in a trial. Some of them just look at our portfolio and they’re like “Okay. Yes you’ve done that hairstyle before. We love the look. We are just going to secure the wedding day and actually not book a trial with her at all.” So some do that. Yes. And they just kind of leave their trust in me as a stylist. But then you get you know, others of course that don’t know. They don’t know what they want, they don’t know what hairstyle is going to suit them. They don’t know if they want to go up or down. Or they just don’t know if they’re going to like my work…or is the work going to last? Like seeing an image on Instagram is one thing but actually having it done on them might be completely different. So, a lot of girls want to do a trial. So we make an appointment, they come into the salon. A hair trial usually goes for approximately anywhere between half an hour to 60 minutes. It depends on the style. And then we kind of go through what her wedding dress is going to look like, what you know, what the makeup is going to be like and obviously assess and consult with the situation. So does she have short hair, does she have long hair? Is it thick? You get an idea and grasp essentially what she likes. Some girls like to keep the style similar to their everyday look. So she might always wear her hair out. For example, she wants a hairstyle with her hair out that might not be so textured. Or her hair might not be so polished but a little bit more softer and textured. Whereas you have other girls that are like the other side, to the extreme. So they always have their hair out and they want to kind of like feel like a princess. They want to go really high and really polished and really pretty and with tiaras. So the conversation is always the first thing that we will do. We will kind of like, communicate with the bride and see what she’s feeling. 90% of the time they kind of know what they want. They know what they want to go down or whether they want to go up. If they don’t, then we kind of help them and guide them through that journey of discussing what the options may be.
Anthony Sure. And how much does you know tools like Instagram help in getting inspiration for a hairstyle? Is that something you do?
Kristina Huge! Definitely definitely. Because I mean, at the end of the day on our social media we do have over like, I don’t even know … I’ve lost track maybe 2000 or 3000 photos just on our account of clients that we have done over the last 9 years. 90% of the time they actually bring us the photos from our page that we’ve already done and they say “okay we like this or we may want the fringe differently” or “we like that look like this” or “can we have our hair out but I just want the front to be a little bit more structured” do you know what I mean? So they can easily tweak certain pieces of the image but they definitely come with some inspiration. And there are other times where they might find an image from a different account and then they’ll bring that and be like “is this possible to be done with my hair?” Instances where you know, it doesn’t obviously match they might need the help of things like, for example, hair extensions. So hair extensions I usually highly recommend for all our brides that have hair out. So if you are a bride, looking at you know, having for example one of the most trendy styles in you know, 2018 and 2019, is the vintage wave. Vintage waves comes in several different categories. It comes as a soft wave and it comes as it really defined wave. So you can have either option but with hair extensions, a curl in an extension can hold for up to three days, whereas without an extension the hair will actually hold for a few hours and most likely drop. So by nailing the extensions throughout the hair, it creates the illusion that the hair will hold itself in. So even if the natural hair starts to drop, the extensions that are layed throughout the hair actually hold the hairstyle all together. For example, we’ll get a client with like long hair and she wants a vintage wave and she will say “I don’t need extensions because my hair is already long.” I turn around and say to her that it’s not about the length necessarily… It’s about the hair style holding itself for over 12 hours. Brides get ready you know, 5am in the morning, 6am in the morning and you need the hair to last until the end of the reception. It’s a very long day. And with Melbournes crazy weather, you want to make sure that, wind, hail, sunshine, whatever it might be. You want the hairstyle to hold. So, I definitely highly recommend extensions. If you’re a bride and you’re thinking of having your hair down. Definitely.
Anthony Mm mm. And what other considerations are there? So there’s you know, ensuring that the hairstyle is going to remain in its good state for the hours you need. I guess you know we’ve spoken about the influence that a dress and makeup can have on a hairstyle. Maybe talk a little bit more about that. What what are your thoughts generally on on matching all three?
Kristina Alright so, usually if, for example a dress is like a high neck, then we would usually recommend that bride have a hairstyle with her hair up. So yes the dress does play a role with kind of what hairstyle will suit. But then the girls that have for example, sweetheart or off the shoulder dresses can go either way. They can go with like a soft romantic hair up, they can go with like a vintage wave hair down. They can go with a half up half down. The options are obviously a lot wider. Because you’ve got, I guess, no restriction. But with high necks obviously, try to keep the hair as high up as possible. Or even like ponytail. Ponytails are beautiful as well. Not many brides get ponytails, but I think in 2018 and 2019 you have seen a shift and change with the trend and we have seen more of these modern brides getting ponytails. So it is definitely a hairstyle to be considering. And then with regards to the makeup, I feel like makeup definitely will determine what kind of hairstyle she’ll go for. So if she likes soft natural makeup, she is definitely going to go for like a more natural kind of hairstyle. So like the tossled, effortless waves or like a really natural kind of ponytail. But if she likes heavy and dramatic makeup then she’s going to go for more of a drastic hairstyle.
Anthony And in terms of now some more practical things. A wedding day can be really busy. Lots of stuff going on. Videographers and photographers turning up, you know, wanting their bridesmaids to be ready. How do you go about scheduling hair for a wedding?
Kristina So with the KYK hair team, there’s actually two of us that come out for the job. So we actually only need to be there for half the time. So instead of taking so much time from the bridal party and staying there for 5-6 hours. With us doing 2 people at a time, we’re pretty much there for half the time. It’s really good for the bridal party because then I guess they get to take all their selfies and have fun together which works out to be really good. So say for example with about a party of 6, we will be there for 3 hours and then we will be out of their hair.
Anthony Pardon the pun! So, okay. So you essentially just need half an hour per person? And then work backwards from whatever time us videographers would like to be ready?
Kristina Exactly and that’s one of the questions that we ask when they come to fill out the form. Pretty much, what time do you need to ready by? And then we just simply work backwards. And we just you know, we notify them when they come. We let them know that we do two people at a time. And some girls that don’t want to be waking up too early in the morning actually love that as well. Because it means that if they don’t need to be ready by 11:30 then they get a bit of a sleep in. Obviously the make-up takes longer but with hair, yeah. It also means that the hair gets the last longer.
Anthony Absolutely. And do you work, I mean can you work you know, with the make-up artist there or how do you negotiate that?
Kristina Yeah, so we will be working sometimes, essentially at the same time. Yes. So usually if there’s only one make-up artist and there’s two of us, then we would just rotate. Whoever, she is not doing, we would be doing. And then sometimes we even do swapsies. So if she’s finished with a face she needs the girl in our chair, we would just like hand her over. So we usually know a lot of the make-up artists. You know, the other artists in the industry. But generally everyone is extra super friendly. Everyone is just happy to just kind of coordinate on the day. So it works out really smoothly actually.
Anthony Yeah. And that’s great. I mean, it’s really good to have two of you there. It just means that it does get done more efficiently and yeah. Like you say, the girls can you know, enjoy some champagne and relax before we turn up and that’s really good. Is there anything a bride should do with her hair before the actual wedding? In terms of maybe shampooing it or you do you recommend and conditioning it a couple of days before… or not doing so. Is there any any tips there?
Kristina What I usually tell my brides that come to us is that I usually prefer the hair to be pre- washed and blow dried the day before. And the reason for this is so that it’s not freshly done the morning of. I usually find, well obviously it depends on specific hair type of the bride herself. But it reflects in the hair type. And if the hair is too fresh the morning of the wedding it can sometimes cause frizz or the actual hair shaft to open up and so the hair is more likely to get boofy faster. With a little bit of natural oil in the hair, it always holds better and lasts longer. So that’s why I always get them to actually have the hair washed the day before. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in the morning or night. But any time the day before just so that they could get at least one night’s sleep and one night sleep is just enough oil in the hair for it to style really nicely the morning of the wedding.
Anthony Good advice. Yes. You have more, go on!
Kristina And I was just going to say with regard to being pre blow waved, it just helps to keep the hair shaft nice and tame so that when we come to style it’s less likely to be fluffy.
Anthony Okay. Fantastic. I’m glad I asked the question. Kristina I have pretty much asked all my questions. Do you think there’s anything else that our audience would like to know about hairstyling before the wedding or do you feel with covered at all?
Kristina I just think that they should know that regardless whether their hair is long or short they shouldn’t stress because these days anything is possible. So if you haven’t grown your hair before your wedding, don’t be frantic about it. You’ve got alternatives. You can always go buy hair extensions. We always have hair paddings, hair donuts, to create fillers as allusions to make hair bigger. So there’s always options as well. So don’t stress. Back in the day things like that were never an option. So everyone used to try to grow their hair out for as long as possible and not cut it for years. But yeah, I just want to say don’t stress about that. There are alternatives.
Anthony What about if you’re like me and you can’t grow any hair? What do you recommend?
Kristina We’ll get you a wig!
Anthony That’s the only option Damn it.
Kristina We can get you a human hair wig. And style it!
Anthony I’ll give that one a miss! Kristina thank you so much. It’s always such a pleasure to talk to somebody who’s as passionate as you are and I know just how hardworking you are. It’s always really impressive having worked with you on a number of events now, including one of the most memorable ones for me apart from your Master Class which was ace but Beauty Gives Back. It was such a good thing for you to do.
Kristina Thank you so much. It was an absolutely great event. Meant so much to me and it was amazing having you guys on board. We really appreciate it.
Anthony Yeah for sure for sure. And you know honestly from all of us at Video Boutique we wish you some long lasting success and continued growth. I think you are gonna dominate the world there’s no doubt.
Kristina Thank you so much Anthony. Absolute pleasure talking to you.
Anthony So there you have it. A good chat with Kristina and some really great tips for both aspiring hairstylists and also brides. What you should be doing with your hair just before a wedding. I hope you found that useful. And look out for more podcasts coming to you soon.