We’re catching up with Chris Combs, Regional Educator and Academy Trainer for Keune, as well as January 2019 Premier Educator of the Month!
, Regional Educator and Academy Trainer for Keune, is October’s Featured Educator for 2020.
Chris, you were featured as Premier’s Educator of the Month for January 2019. Catch me up on what you’ve been up to since we last spoke. Anything new and exciting happening for you?So much has happened since then; I bought one of the houses I grew up in and have been in the process of renovating it. I proposed to my fiancé (she said yes!), and we adopted a dog we were fostering, Layla. And that doesn’t even include the pandemic!
How have you adapted to “the new normal” for stylists?It was really hard on me at first, because I can’t sit still and do nothing; by day two of quarantine, I had already built a fort in the woods and completed a 1,000-piece Batman puzzle. Fortunately, I have always been a homebody, so it got easier, and I got better at dealing with it.
I recognize it’s been really tough for everyone, and I’ve been doing my best to keep clients and give them a break for sticking with me. One thing that has worked well is that I’ll offer a free haircut if they can wait until the lockdown is over. That way I can still keep them as a client and keep them coming for other services, but help them out too. I’ve also been giving discounts on retail products for my clients that book their next appointment the same day.
Have you had to handle any quarantine hair emergencies?Not really, but I’ve definitely been coaching people a lot more over the phone, helping them to avoid hair emergencies. I don’t recommend anyone cut their own hair, but I have helped them find temporary fixes for root outgrowth, styling solutions, and other quarantine-related hair problems.
What are your most used Keune products in quarantine?Keune 2-Phase Spray is still my No. 1 go-to product. It’s a conditioning and detangling spray that has keratin and a low pH level, so it’s versatile and offers benefits to all hair types—I can’t get enough of it.
Quarantine has also given me time to try out some new things, and I’ve gotten really into the hair masks; you can leave them in all day when you’re stuck at home. My favorite is the Care Keratin Smooth Mask.
Have you been doing any teaching during shutdown?I’ve still been able to do a few classes! The virtual classroom has its benefits, but the experience of watching someone do something on a screen and actually being there in person is different, and I think it is sometimes a struggle for students.
During this time, it’s important to emphasize education because we’re still learning, and it gives us all a chance to get back to what we love doing.
2020 has also caused us to take a step back and analyze what we’re doing more closely. Are there any practices you’ve implemented because of COVID-19 that you anticipate continuing after the pandemic? Or things you’ve stopped doing?On a personal level, the pandemic has given me the time and appreciation to take better care of myself, which I plan to continue.
As a stylist, the pandemic has made me really look at the things I do and how to make adjustments that promote a cleaner, safer salon experience.
I’ve started using the Care Miracle Elixir Spatulas to get products out of a container instead of just using my fingers. Rather than using the palm of my hand to mix the different components, I use the Care Miracle Elixir Mixing Bowl. I sanitize both of these between uses to prevent any sort of cross-contamination.
Another thing I plan on continuing is giving myself more time between clients to sanitize everything properly. It gives me the time to refresh my station and myself to give more to the clients.
When COVID-19 restrictions ease, what is the first thing you’re going to do?I can’t wait to be able to go to a concert again!
Any advice to other educators and stylists for surviving quarantine?Get outside. Get away from the screen and enjoy the outdoors. Take the time to work on something you struggle with as a stylist—don’t be afraid to get out the mannequin! I always say they’re called mannequins because by practicing on them, you might just find out, Man, I Can!
Thank you, Chris, and remember to log in or register to shop Keune at Premier Beauty.