“It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time,” insists Blanche Macdonald Pro Hair graduate turned stylist and Kevin Murphy Gold Key Colour Educator Kalli Wyssen. “Have fun and create!”
Kalli speaks from experience. Today her typical week is split between cutting and colouring for clients at Vancouver’s Stone Fox Hair and travelling around British Columbia on behalf of iconic brand Kevin Murphy as the Gold Key Colour Educator, helping salons and stylists keep up with the latest Kevin Murphy hair products, colour trends, techniques through her hands-on training sessions.
“Each salon I go to gets a customized education class,” she explains. “I want to make sure that I can provide the best information and deliver a class where everyone will learn something. My favourite thing about teaching is seeing people’s faces light up when something that has been giving them trouble finally makes sense. That’s always a pure delight!”
Kalli understands that great hair stylists are made, not born. Her own journey to hair excellence started long before she stepped into the classroom at Blanche Macdonald.
“When I was a kid I never actually went to salons to get my hair done. There were always kitchen and bathroom hair adventures. When I was in sixth grade, my mom and I coloured the bottom two inches of my hair blue. The original dip dye! From there I continued playing with blue until I went full deep on my whole head.
There is no better feeling than giving someone new hair and seeing their face light up with confidence and excitement. I love making people feel good!
“I actually went to the Blanche Macdonald student hair salon when I was in high school. That’s where my interest in the art of hairstyling really started. I would ask the student doing my hair so many questions and I would watch everyone working. That’s when I started going on hair dates with my best friend. We would be excited about what we were going to get done and loved how good we felt after.”
With a passion for hair already in her pocket, first-hand experience of the school salon, and searching for the best hair program that would allow her to be creative and start working within a year, it was a simple decision to sign up for the Blanche Macdonald Pro Hair program, the best hair program in Vancouver.
“Day one at Blanche Macdonald was like Christmas and getting a bunch of presents I didn’t know how to use yet, but was so excited to find out!”
Kalli learned essential stylist skills during her year in the program, while enjoying every minute of the experience.
“We had to practice our washes, head massages and blowouts, so for most of my time at Blanche I barely had to wash my own hair. I loved the connections I made with my classmates and even the students in the other groups. I’m still friends with many of those people to this day.”
Remember when Kalli said that it doesn’t need to be the perfect first time? That’s another lesson learned from her time at Hair School.
I loved the connections I made with my classmates and even the students in the other groups. I’m still friends with many of those people to this day.
“The first real person I had in my chair was one of my high school friends. It was for my first practical exam for a wash and style. I was so nervous that I ended up spraying her with water, but after that I gave her an amazing blow-dry and curl!”
Ready to start her professional career, Kalli got proactive and traveled around Vancouver dropping off résumés by hand at salons across the city.
“I was looking for an inclusive space in a cool location, ongoing education, a good social media presence, and some great places nearby for coffee!”
Stone Fox Hair ticks all the boxes. It’s also where Kalli and Kevin Murphy began their professional relationship.
“Stone Fox is both professional and chill. The salon is so pretty! And I absolutely love my coworkers. I spend plenty of time there I’m so grateful to have such a supportive team of stylists to work with. On our website it explains that our goal is to help ignite the spark that lives within everyone through self-expression and a sense of togetherness. We strive to create a space and energy that every person who steps into the salon feels seen, heard and welcomed.
I love that I get to mix being creative and connecting with people.
“I fully give credit to my boss Sabrina Allen for starting me on this new adventure. She saw my love for colour and colour theory and sent an email to the team at Kevin Murphy. I had to audition and then do an interview with some of their top Colour Educators in North America. Since then I’ve traveled to Austin, Texas and Los Angeles for training which was experiences I’ll never forget. Everyone was so cool and excited to be training together again after being apart during the pandemic. It’s been an absolute whirlwind of new experiences and so many new connections around the world!”
From the student to the teacher, the most important lesson Kalli has learned is to be herself.
“The personal connection you make with clients and other stylists comes from a place of truth and authenticity. The more true to myself I’ve become over the years, rather than who I thought a hairdresser should be, the more I’ve developed the most wonderful connections.
“I love that I get to mix being creative and connecting with people. There is no better feeling than giving someone new hair and seeing their face light up with confidence and excitement. I love making people feel good!”