Slider KimKim Prior freelance hairstylist based in Brighton, started her career as an apprentice in a small boutique salon run by an owner with over 20 years of experience. Over the next couple of years she worked her way up to the successful freelance business she owns today.

She runs her own business in a small salon where she rents a chair, working at her own pace, with products she feels benefits her clients the most; giving the best possible service.

Kim Prior - Bamboo Salon I wanted to get to know the story behind the freelance hair stylist, so I asked Kim a few questions…

Q: What made you want to become a hairdresser?

A: I’ve always been interested in fashion and beauty, and have always been very creative, so when I left school I either wanted to study fashion or become a hairdresser. I chose fashion because a lot of girls chose to do hairdressing and I wanted to do something different! I decided fashion wasn’t for me and I found it hard to be myself, so I finished my diploma and went into hairdressing which was definitely more for me! Plus, I get to talk all day!

Q: What part of your job do you enjoy the most?

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A: Getting to know my clients. You get to know a lot about them – I sometimes feel like a therapist! We’d talk about things that they can’t talk to friends or family about… anything you tell your hairdresser, stays with your hairdresser! Also, making someone feel amazing, there’s nothing better than boosting someone’s confidence with my services!

Q: What is the busiest time of the year for you?

A: I get really busy around May/June before everyone is off on holiday. Also, Christmas is really busy, and in salons it’s always such a great atmosphere. Plus, I get lots of wine and chocolate as tips!

Q: Do you spend most of your time cutting, styling, or dyeing hair?

A: It’s such a mixture! I do have a lot of ombre / balayage clients… it’s a great way to give people a change but it’s low maintenance and a trend that will be sticking around for a while.

Q: What’s your favourite haircut to do?

A: I love doing one length bobs because they really show off a hairdressers technical skills. It’s so on trend right now, but so hard to master! Caroline Flack is a good example, her hair is spot on. I have been doing one particular client who has this haircut for 5 years, and she has so many different hair growth patterns I have to work around, she always gives me a challenge!

Q: Is there a particularly memorable cut you have done before?

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A: I had a client a few months ago who wanted all her hair cut off for charity! She had hair down to her waist and we cut it into a graduated bob; it looked amazing! We donated the hair to a charity called the Little Princess Trust, the hair must be at least 7″ long so it was a very dramatic change. It’s a wonderful charity, all donated hair gets made into wigs, which are then given to children who have lost their hair through cancer treatment. I’ve done that twice now and it’s always wonderful to be a part of it!

Q: Is there a hair type which is particularly difficult to cut and style?

A: Every hair type has challenges. It’s difficult to style really fine, limp hair into a big bouncy blow-dry, or really curly, coarse hair into a silky, polka straight style. I just advise my clients on what works best with their hair type. It’s always best to work with your hair rather than against it!

Q: Getting into colder seasons, is there a hair colour you like most at the moment?

A: I think the grey colour needs to be pushed aside now, it was a great trend, but it’s definitely had its day. I’m really liking the peachy and rose gold tones at the moment! A lot of my clients get bored of blonde hair and want a change, and this is a great way of doing that without changing it dramatically!

Q: What is the hardest dyeing challenge you’ve faced?

A: There have been so many, but if I didn’t enjoy the challenges I shouldn’t be a hairdresser. In general, the hardest challenge is always trying to convince clients to not compromise the condition of their hair. I have had to turn away so many clients because they want a service that I know I can’t achieve without a lot of damage! Luckily, bond builders such as Olaplex and Colourphlex mean most colour services are easier to achieve.

Q: Are there any celebrities whose hair you’re lusting over right now?

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A: Khloe Kardashian! She’s an example I always use for clients wanting to go from black to blonde. She has definitely done it the right way, it’s not something that can happen in one sitting – it’s a gradual process, and can be extremely damaging. Also, I’m so glad she’s gone for the ‘lob’ (long bob) which is also a big trend at the moment.

Q: Let’s talk about hairstyling – is there a particular style you enjoy doing?

A: I love anything big and glamorous. Every time I do a big bouncy blow-dry on a client they always leave the salon feeling a million dollars! I do a lot of styling with straighteners, curls, beach waves etc. It’s a great way to show clients how to achieve a certain look from home. It’s nice that they leave the salon with hair beautifully styled, but it’s nice to know they can go home and do it themselves and make the most out of their new haircut.

Q: Are there any products you use yourself which you can recommend? kitoko_banner

A: I use a range called Kitoko. It’s sulphate and paraben free, and not tested on animals which is important to me! I would recommend any sulphate and paraben free products to help preserve colour and not strip any of the natural oils from the hair or scalp. I would avoid anything you can buy in the supermarket. Although it’s cheaper, it’s packed with silicones which build up on your cuticle rather than penetrating it! If you’re spending a lot of money on a colour service at the hairdresser’s, it’s worth spending a little extra on products that will help look after it afterwards.

Q: I’ve always wondered if hairdressers take the same amount of care over their own hair as they do their clients’. What is your daily hair routine?

A: I’d never use products on clients that I wouldn’t use myself! I’m constantly trying new products. My hair is quite oily so I have to wash it about 4 times a week (I try to leave it longer if I can!) and use a deep conditioning treatment once a week. Using a treatment makes such a huge difference, and most importantly, it’s a good heat protector! However, when it comes to styling, I’m very lazy! I mostly leave my hair to dry naturally, but I make sure it looks presentable. I wouldn’t want my hair done by somebody who has bad hair!

Q: Any hair stylist words of wisdom before we finish?

A: Work with what you’ve got! You can’t change your hair type, so embrace it! Whether it’s fine, thick, curly, Asian, Afro… pretty much all of my clients look at pictures of celebrities and want what they’ve got but it’s not always possible! Listen to your hairdresser’s advice, they really do know what’s best! To find out more about Kim Prior, or book in for an appointment, take a look at her Facebook page!