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Meet Chris Combs, January Educator of the Month

01.01.2019

Chris Combs, Regional Educator and Academy Trainer for Keune, recommends letting your personality shine and keeping things relaxed in the classroom. His unique approach is why we’ve selected him as Premier Beauty’s January Educator of the Month!

What’s your favorite product from Keune?

It is hard to choose just one, but honestly, I can’t live without Care Keratin Smooth 2-Phase Spray. It is a godsend for detangling. I have fine, curly, frizzy hair—what I like to call the trifecta of tangles—so I use it all the time and absolutely love it.

It’s also a product that I can be confident in recommending to clients, no matter what type of products they like, or what their styling needs are. It’s a great heat protectant, moisture balancer, and leaves hair looking polished. It’s the swiss army knife of hair products.

The Semi Ultimate Blonde Neutralizing Blonde Spray is another one of my favorites. It smells awesome and is a great pre-toner without being overpowering. It saves a ton of time instead of having to tone hair twice.

What's the newest, freshest approach you're bringing to education?

For me bringing a fresh approach to education happens naturally. I’m kind of a goofy guy, and I think that brings a different perspective to things and makes information easier to remember.

I also like to keep a laid-back approach with classes. Education doesn’t have to be rigid and uptight. Students get more out of it when they can relax a little and when you as the educator are more relaxed. If you create an atmosphere where students can have fun and be receptive, that’s when they’re really going to retain the information. It’s okay to unbutton that top button!

What are the common problems faced by stylists today?

The unrealistic expectations created by social media have become a huge problem for stylists today. Clients see a touched-up image online, and it sells them a fantasy; they see the end result and not the hours of work that went into it, or how much it cost, or what it takes to keep it up. In today’s age of instant gratification, it can be hard for people to see these styles realistically. Clients might come in expecting to pay $300 for $800 worth of work and be done in an hour and a half instead of the eight hours it might actually take. It’s something I run into almost daily.

It would be great if images were portrayed more realistically, and I have seen it improve a bit, but I think this will always be an issue. It’s up to stylists to be able to break down what’s going on in an image for clients so they can see it for what it is. Every time a stylist has someone in the chair, the stylist is an educator whether he or she realizes it or not. It’s up to the stylist to inform clients on what it takes to get from A to B, or what the upkeep is going to be like, or even the way an image might be enhanced to create a better look.

I’m doing a Keune class right now, called Color Dissection, on this very concept. Part of the course teaches you how to pick apart an image and translate what the client is seeing into the reality of it. This class is right on time with what’s going on.

Any advice for educators?

Don’t be afraid to be yourself and let your personality shine. When I first started in education, I taught some of my worst classes, because I thought if I followed everything to the letter and repeated it all like a robot, the class would be a success.

It’s natural to perceive straying off the path a little as wrong or bad, but it’s really okay to make it your own, so long as you’re hitting those key points. Once you relax and let your personality out, those are the classes that are the best and that make retaining information easy.

What are your educator goals?

I would really like to get into global education. Traveling around the country teaching has been so rewarding. I would love to eventually take that to the next level and teach in different countries.

What new skill would you like to learn?

Braids. I absolutely love the way braids look and the different looks you can achieve with them, but unfortunately, I was not born with an ability to braid. It’s the missing piece of the puzzle for my arsenal of styling skills.

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