We caught up with TONI & GUY Artistic Director Nicole Kae, 
She is a finalist in the category of Newcomer and a Fame Team finalist at this year's Australian Hair Fashion Awards being held in Sydney this weekend.
We chat exclusively to her about where it all began and the journey along the way

// How did you get your start in the industry?

I'm a little bit cliche' in that, since I was a little lass, I've always been interested in hair, fashion and crafty things. I've always loved to create.
During high school I was a Saturday girl in a local salon, testing the waters on what I thought I'd love to do. However After completing my HSC, I went to university and started a bachelor of health science with the intention of going down the P.E teacher or naturopathy route. I deferred after 6 months as hair was pulling me. I applied for an apprenticeship in the big smoke of Sydney, and here I am 16 years later, loving it more than I ever have. The diversity of my work makes me so happy, whether it be, in salon, education, session work or competition work.

// Do you have a signature look or style that you are known for?
I like to think I'm pretty well balanced, as I'm a firm believer in "one size does not fit all".What I love to work with, is long editorial hair and short textured ️shapes. Anything that's slightly left of center.

// What was one of your biggest career challenges and how did you overcome it?
About 5 years ago I began my journey into hair education. One of my biggest challenges was speaking on stage, I used to get ridiculously nervous, and I'll never forget the first stage demo I ever did and the hot rush through my body, that I've never felt before.
I overcame these nerves by practice, dedication and learning from other educators. Knowing your content back to front and upside down is key to ️feeling comfortable on stage, and the rest just takes care of itself and you can allow your personality to shine.
I now love public speaking and could probably talk your ear off If you let me and i get great pleasure from helping others get over any hurdles, through my education for Toni and guy, Label m and Wella.

//  Must have tool or products  for your kit?
Definitely Label m Texurizing volume spray, and my grooming brush!

//  Who are the role models who have inspired you?

Efi Davis has been one of my biggest inspirations for years now. Her long hair work is absolutely pristine, such a humble and beautiful person. Learning from her and watching her is magic.
Eugene Souleiman's work is in one word.
VIVIENNE Westwood, although she's a designer not a hairstylist, I find her so inspirational. I was lucky enough to be on the hair team for her show last year at London fashion week, and it was so refreshing to see her passion backstage, still after so many years of dominating the fashion industry. Her style, mindset and creative ability is mind blowing.
There are so many, now I'm thinking about it. Everyday people doing their thing what ever that may be. If they're good at it, it's inspiring.

// What's the next big trend you're starting to see sneak in?
A bit of quirk and Short dramatic fringes.
Over the last couple of seasons of fashion week, we've seen a lot a cute faux fringes, and it's starting to relate in a salon situation. Lots of perimeter strength in the shapes and internal ️texture. I think with girls these days, they aren't scared to cut their hair off and go for something a little more bold. Finally :-)

Instagram - Nicolekae_hairstylist
Website -




Digital Thump, Sydney