Name: Kelsey Catto
Job Title: Stylist
How did you get to where you are today?
When I was at school we got the opportunity to choose a college course to try out for one afternoon a week for three months, as a kind of work experience, and I chose hairdressing. I really enjoyed it and so when I was around 13 or 14 I started working in a salon on a Saturday. I would help by cleaning and sweeping up, making teas and coffees and washing hair. I used to make the tea and coffee for the stylists while they were training and one day my boss at the time asked if I would like to take part. I said – ‘yes of course!’ – and progressed from there learning and building my skills on the job. At first, I mainly focussed on washing and blow-drying hair and then began learning about applying colour and eventually cutting. It’s amazing to think I have around eight years of hairdressing experience now.
What does your job entail and what is your favourite part?
My job is working in the salon cutting and colouring hair and chatting with our clients. I tend to do quite a lot of hairstyling and hair-ups for weddings too. I like doing a mix of everything – cutting, colour, hair-ups – and enjoy having a variety of clients on any given day. I love getting to know everyone’s stories and the gossip from the customers.
What is your own hair type and how do you make sure it looks great?
I’d say I’m the adventurous one in the salon who is always changing my hair and willing to be the Guinee Pig and try new colours. Every salon has someone with crazy coloured or wild styled hair and that’s definitely me at Rebecca Carr Hair Salon! I sometimes wonder if clients are scared when they come in and realise the one with purple locks is doing their hair that day, but I always listen to clients closely and don’t project my own personal tastes on them! Having said that, lots of people come into the salon and ask for colours like mine. I tell them it’s high maintenance as the colour can fade quite quickly, but a lot of fun. My hair is naturally very straight and flat so I like to make it the opposite of that and give it lots of volume. I’ve got a great secret tip for curling my hair which is to take it into a high ponytail, section it into four and use a styling wand to curl each section. When you take it down it looks like you’ve spend ages on a full head of curls.
What product can’t you live without?
I like Label M texturizing volume spray and volume mouse.
Can you tell us about a favourite colour/style/transformation you have seen?
I love smoky grey and lilac hair colours and so I enjoy seeing people take the plunge and opt for those. It’s also fun to see people go from light to dark or the other way around. Recently my gran came in and that was a big transformation. She hasn’t been well and lost a lot of her hair because of therapy and so we shaved it all off and styled her with a wig. She is on the mend now and looks amazing with her new hair-do!
Who is your hair icon?
There is a hairdresser on Instagram called Guy Tang. He does a lot of Chinese and Japanese hair and tends to work with bold and metallic colours. I’d love to meet him so I could ask for his tips and tricks on how he achieves the colours. He is bringing out his own range of products which I can’t wait to get my hands on.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Mostly from Instagram and YouTube. I get a hard time from my boyfriend for always scrolling through pictures of hair! But I also get inspiration from the people I work with and seeing the transformations they achieve in salon.
How would your family and friends describe you?
Probably bubbly and talkative – I could speak to my own shadow if I needed to! I’m definitely socially outgoing and love being around people.
What do you do in your spare time?
Generally, go out to meet friends and family and make the most of my time off. I like to take holidays and travel. My grandparents have recently moved back from Tenerife, but they lived there for several years, so it was always a favourite holiday destination and we would often go to stay with them two or three times a year.
What is the most important lesson you have learned?
To always listen closely to your clients as the customer is always right. I like to explore their ideas and chat to them to discover what they are looking for with the aid of pictures. I also think it’s important to be a good pair of ears as a hairdresser. It’s quite personal getting your hair done and often customers like to tell you about what’s going on in their lives and maybe even about any issues they are facing. It’s important to be able to listen to them in confidence.
Describe working at Rebecca Carr Hair Salon in one sentence?
Working in the salon is like working with, and styling hair for, long-time friends.