We chose to feature PLATINUM.KEY Educator, Heather Taylor, this December for her conversational and relatable approach to teaching.
is a PLATINUM.KEY Educator with KEVIN.MURPHY and our Featured Educator for December. How’d you get your start in education?
I’ve been in the hair industry for about 13 years, educating with KEVIN.MURPHY for around four. The salon I worked at started carrying the KEVIN.MURPHY brand and I just fell in love with it. At the suggestion of our Account Executive, I submitted an application to become an educator, and here I am! What’s your favorite product from KEVIN.MURPHY?
If I had to choose just one, it would be . It’s extremely reparative and great with any hair type. It leaves hair super nourished and weightless at the same time.
A close second is BEDROOM.HAIR
. It is perfect for achieving those effortless-looking curls without a heavy feeling. It leaves hair with a soft, natural shine without any stickiness. What's the newest, freshest approach you're bringing to education?
I try to make my classes more of a conversation; I ask a lot of questions to keep stylists engaged and just try to be as relatable and realistic as possible. I work full-time behind the chair, too, so I’m able to share real-world examples with them and my experience working with these products every single day.What are the common problems faced by stylists today?
I see a lot of burnout in stylists right now. As an industry, we really struggle with having a good work-life balance. We’re expected to stay late, come in early, work on our days off, and take any client that walks through the door, but that’s not a healthy way to live.
I think we need to acknowledge this “culture” and talk about it as an industry. I always teach my students that they need to practice self-care and prioritize a good work-life balance—take a lunch break everyday; don’t feel guilty about running to the bathroom. We have to take care of ourselves to be our best. What do you want stylists to know about education?
I want stylists to know that there is no such thing as “bad” education. We’ve all been in classes that we didn’t really connect with, or felt like weren’t up to par, but you can always take something away from a class. What are your educator goals?
As a PLATINUM.KEY Educator, I want to move up to the DIAMOND.KEY level and ultimately up to the brand’s top-tier educators, the STYLE.MASTER Team. The STYLE.MASTER Team works together to brainstorm and launch the newest looks, as well as teach the brand’s educators. What new skill would you like to learn?
I would really like to learn how to make macrame. I love the earthy look it lends to decor. I have a ton of plants, so I’m hoping to make myself some hanging plant holders!
As a stylist, I want to learn the art of hand-tied extensions. Who’s your biggest mentor?
KEVIN.MURPHY has an excellent culture for mentorship and I have been working with the same mentors since I started as an educator—Marissa Schmitt and Stephanie Bloom. They are always there to answer any questions I have, or let me shadow their classes. They have been so helpful on my journey as an educator.
I also have to credit Tesha, the stylist I assisted right after beauty school. She taught me how to build rapport and loyalty with clients, how to work hard, do retail, and so much more.Where do you find your inspiration?
I think most of us find our inspiration on social media these days and I am no exception. I love to follow hair influencers like Ashlee Norman
and The Blondest
for placement techniques.
My coworkers and peers are also a major source of inspiration for me. We all have a different experience and it’s important to learn from each other. What is the most rewarding part about educating?
For me the most rewarding part of being an educator is knowing that I’ve made an impact for someone. I love the feedback I get after a class, when students let me know they enjoyed the class, or that something I said really clicked for them. What is your favorite cutting or coloring technique?
I enjoy anything that lets me be really artistic. I love the free-flowing types of coloring and cutting techniques most, so I love to do traditional balayage with hand-painted color and open-air processing, or using a razor to cut hair, especially now that shags and curtain bangs are coming back into style. What is a word of advice that you have for new stylists?
New stylists need to remember to work hard and not give up when they feel frustrated. The hair industry can be really competitive and intimidating. Social media can make it seem like success comes overnight, but that’s not the reality of it. It takes many years to build a clientele after beauty school—you really have to build that foundation. If you love what you do, stick with it and it will be worth it. Any advice for seasoned stylists?
You have to stay up on the latest trends and techniques. As an established stylist, it’s really easy to become complacent; you have a full book and don’t need to hustle—it’s very comfortable. But growth doesn’t happen here, so you have to keep pushing your boundaries and education. Don’t become complacent. How do you like to spend your days off?
I am a homebody, so I love to just be at home with my dog, Lady, snuggled up on the couch and feeling cozy.
Favorite pick-me-up in the middle of a busy salon day?
Coffee and trail mix. I always keep trail mix at my station so I can grab a handful and avoid that hangry feeling. Log in
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