// Kristina Russell’s unique approach to colouring hair won her the title of Hair Expo Colour Technician of the Year 2010, she is also a Global Ambassador for Evo Fabuloso Pro.
Combining hair painting and precise foiling Kristina is able to create a 3rd dimension by colouring in shadows and textures, in addition to her use of spray painting graffiti technique puts her in a league of her own. With such artistic flair, it's no wonder it appears each new approach is like working with a "blank canvass".
Kristina divides her time educating and tending to the tones of her clientele from Edwards and Co, a warehouse studio housing Sydney’s most innovative freelance hairdressers.
BTL talks all things hair with Kristina.
How did you get your start in the industry?
My apprenticeship began at the local shopping centre, with a clientele of blue rinse sets. Good practice for today's trending pastel hair. After a few years here I yearned for stronger technical training and a creative career, which led me to Australia’s first colour specialist salon ‘Blondes Brunettes and Redheads’. My advise is to surround yourself with a strong team that are willing to exchange ideas and share skills. I attended every course available from many brands and have continued to do core training throughout my career. I have worked in some of Sydney’s top salons prior to joining Edwards & Co a warehouse studio housing Sydney’s most innovative freelance hairdressers. I divide my time between colouring clients in Sydney and New York, along with my role as an International Ambassador for Evo Fabuloso Pro. I have always loved to draw and paint, with clashing colours and patterns. My love of visual arts led me to study Textile Design and Printing 10 years ago, and since then I have injected colour mixing and theory from a different perspective to the hairdressing norm. My current obsession is exploring the links between music and colour theory, and how to deliver this in an easy to understand approach for hairdressers of all levels.
Do you have a signature look or style that you are known for?
My hair colour work has been described as an artist that approaches hair as a black canvas, and layers many techniques within it to create dimension, this approach has come from long relationships with artists in alternative fields such as graffiti, dance, fashion and tattoo. My obsession or passion is colour.
What was one of your biggest career challenges and how did you overcome it?
My career has spanned over 2 decades and has been filled with great joy and success, plus at times challenges that were hard to overcome. My biggest challenge is fear and the ability to let go, therefore I need to do at least one thing per day that scares me. I do not let fear get in the way of making decisions or asking others for help, nor can fear hold me back from making difficult decisions. Setbacks are inevitable in all aspects of life, but it is how we recover from them that counts in the end. I have built a network of people around me that share my vision yet challenge my beliefs, and accept me for me. The opinions of negative people is something to observe but not hold on to. Ultimately 2016 is the most exciting year to date for me, but also is my greatest career challenge to date. I have left one of the world's largest haircare companies as a Global Educator after a 13 year relationship. This is the year I have taken an artistic risk and begun my own brand of education for hairdressers of al levels. I believe in representing the unique colours and fashion created within Australia and sharing these as colourful inspiration across the globe. I have aligned with 2 home grown companies that encourage my artistic ability and authenticity Haircare Australia and Evo hair.
What’s your tag line for today?
Dr Suess “Today you are you, that is truer than true. there is no one alive that is your’e than you!”
Must have tool or products for your kit?
Evo is ethically and visually the hair brand that I choose to align with. I love that the products are modern, Australian and not tested on animals. Fab pro custom colour conditioners allow my inner artist to experiment with blending temporary hair colour in salon, and for clients to take my favourite clips are the pink YS park clips, and basically anything pink.
Who are the role models who have inspired you?
Growing up in the eighties I was heavily influenced by Boy George, Cyndi Lauper, David Bowie and the Pet Shop Boys. Basically any artist that pioneered an authentic self or underground subculture. Because girls just want to have fun!
I have been blessed to work alongside and have assisted many of our industry greats that have freely shared their methods and inspiration. Within every class that I teach I am thankful for the exchange of ideas every student shares, and this is the inspiration that keeps me fuelled as an educator.
Kristina is available for 2017 in-salon sessions across Australia and New Zealand, plus she will be soon releasing dates for Sydney Masterclasses.