Putting in the Time, Self Leadership, and Evolving in your career. A conversation with Amber Skrzypek, Technical Ambassador for Keune Haircosmetics



Chris Sulimay: Okay. So, are you ready for this?

John Palmieri: Ready!

Chris Sulimay: There it is. There’s the clap so it sounds like it’s time to start podcast, John.

John Palmieri: Right! Welcome.

Chris Sulimay: Fantastic. You’re going to want to stay closer to the mic on this one because I know this [Crosstalk], I like it. I mean we know you’re loud, but we want you to be as loud [00:00:30]
for everybody [Crosstalk] like to be. Hi everybody, welcome to the Shop Talk Podcast brought to you by 124Go. I’m your co-host Chris Sulimay and I’m here with my great friend, Mr-
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John Palmieri: John Palmieri.

Chris Sulimay: And we have an amazing guest with us today. Somebody that I kind of had to beg a little bit to sit down with us and pushed us off a couple of times, we will admit that. Yeah, definitely. But we’re here with Miss Amber Skrzypek and Amber is currently the technical [00:01:00] director for Keune hair cosmetics North America, which means she does a lot of things, but for the most part she’s the last stop for all technical questions for hair color as it relates to – and more, I believe – Keune hair cosmetics. And so, she is a wildly knowledgeable person in the area of hair color regardless of the brand that you use and in the salon she’s just really my go to person for questions on this.
[00:01:30] And so, while we get into this podcast, we’ll get into a lot of your experiences Amber, but hello and welcome and thank you for being here.

Amber Skrzypek: Hi! No, thank you for having me. Sorry, it hasn’t worked out before this [laughter], but there is no way you had to beg me. I am happy to be here with both of you.

Chris Sulimay: Well that is awesome. And so as we were warming up, we talked about the fact that we could take this in array of different directions, John.

John Palmieri: Correct.

Chris Sulimay: And so, how do you want to kind of [00:02:00]get started so we can focus in on something that’ll be great for the listeners to learn from?

John Palmieri: Well, let’s [incomprehensible] learn a little bit more about Amber because I think there’s a wealth of information there that can kind of put things in context a little bit. So amber, what’s your current role as we sit here and talk?

Amber Skrzypek: So, current role, I am a technical ambassador for Keune North America, it just recently changed, so it was technical director, now technical ambassador. And I’ve been in that role for about [00:02:30] two years now. It’s great, it allows me to work from home designing programs, working on education material that’s needed out in the field for Keune and I still get the opportunity to travel and go into salons, work at the academy. So it’s really the best of both worlds right now.

John Palmieri: Sounds great.

Chris Sulimay: Awesome. But you started, you obviously, a lot of times these hairdressers, especially if you’re young or new you hear about this title, when I met you a years ago, [00:03:00] you were very much in the trenches. So, talk a little bit about your hair career. How did you get into hairdressing? How did you kind of fall in love with, or know you were a colorist?

Amber Skrzypek: Yeah, you’re right Chris, it’s definitely taken a few different paths over the past couple of years and if somebody would had said five years ago, “you’d be sitting behind a computer doing most of your work now” I’d have been like, “you’re crazy.” But I started in the hair industry

Chris Sulimay: [Incomprehensible] crazy.

Amber Skrzypek: Yeah. Right. I started in the hair industry 14 years ago, just working behind the chair,
[00:03:30] fell in love with Keune and a couple of years later as when I started educating with Keune and honestly, at the time I had no desire to teach. I knew education was important to me but at the time didn’t really think about going out and doing it myself. It’s kind of pushed into the training and I fell in love with it. So, when I first got into educating with Keune I was traveling locally, but I was behind the chair still 40 [00:04:00] hours a week. And that’s where I was in Richmond at the time where I was voted top third colorist in the city, which was fantastic. I mean, I would like to take some credit, but I feel like it was more of the color line that I was using than anything, it made my color look good. So, fast forward to a couple of years later, I started at teaching a lot more with the company, still stayed behind the chair because I feel like both of those things are really important is to [00:04:30] not only stay current with your clients, stay current and you know what I mean, like formulas and techniques, but then to go out and deliver that and help other stylists be able to do those same things is always super important to me. So, yeah, it’s been a journey for sure, worn a couple of different hats over the past 14 years. Yeah, that’s pretty much the fast forward version of it.

John Palmieri: What’s your favorite part of your job you got right now?

Amber Skrzypek: Oh, favorite part of the [00:05:00] job that I have right now would be- honestly- helping the Keune educators out in the field coming from that side of it before, seeing all the work that you have to put into it that is behind the scenes that for a two hour class takes maybe a week to prepare for being able to help them and give them a little bit more freedom with their family, with their clients and their personal lives is huge to me. So, yeah, helping them would be [00:05:30]
my favorite part of my job right now.

Chris Sulimay: This is really, it brings up when we first met, I was also working in that network and actually I don’t know if you know this, but the day we met, you received an award for the busiest or the most requested Keune educator in the network at that time. And so, I was just coming on board, you were receiving [00:06:00]that reward and to fast forward, I know that you went through a lot of, I’m going to call them “growing pains” between here and there. But one of the lessons that I’ve learned from watching your journey is that I know I could be sitting here as a stylist and listening to an educator in the front of the room or looking at the busiest stylist in the room if my goal is just to become the busiest person or to become the best balayage artist I can be or whatever it is. What you just said was the behind the scenes stuff and I know where you sit right now is only because of the behind the scenes shit that you had to do and all of the work that you had to put into getting to this point. You know, and three years ago, you definitely [00:07:00] were able to do this job, but you wouldn’t have been ready.

Amber Skrzypek: Exactly. Yeah.

Chris Sulimay: And so, this is an interesting conversation because whether you’re a hairdresser that thinks you want to be an educator one day or not, the reality is we’re spending a lot of time lately having our own processes for the salon, John is launching a ton of processes right now at the salon. We’re doing some things with 124Go and we’re in the grinding journey [00:07:30]part of it. But that’s the thing that gets you to here.

Amber Skrzypek: Yeah. It’s funny that you say that, I had no idea that was the first day that we met, Chris. That was kind of crazy, I didn’t realize that. But you’re right and I think one thing that I’ve always focused on in my journey is preparing for what’s next instead of preparing for where you are because you always are preparing for that next step, kind of like the rungs on a ladder if you will, like to be able to climb it [00:08:00]and be able to sustain being at the top of the ladder, you have to have all those spokes, you know, along the way. So, if you’re trying to fast forward, or really jump ahead it’s basically like you’re trying to jump to that top rung in the ladder and there’s nothing to hold you up while you’re there. So, you can only stay for so long. So, one thing that I’ve definitely try to pride myself on is staying present in what I’m doing, but at the same time learning for what’s next so that I can prepare for that [00:08:30] next step now. So yeah, Chris, you’re right, whether it’s a hairstylist, whether you’re preparing to be an educator, it’s all the background stuff that nobody really sees. It’s knowing that who knows what that next client is the next day or whatever. Like are you prepared for whatever sits in your chair or are you prepared for that class that you’re about to go in and teach? And if you’re a learning at the time, it makes things really difficult. But if you’re preparing for it ahead of time, it’s a little bit easier.

[00:09:00] John Palmieri: Yeah. I want to talk a little bit about that because as our company grows and your growth, one of the conversations I had with one of the members of our team who’s growing, and looking for that next level, you know, what’s next, what do I do next? And she was quite clear. She was like, “John, what do I do next? I don’t know!” And my response was “you have to train. What you do next is [00:09:30] train somebody to take your job. That is your current job, is to find somebody to take yours because until that happens, you’re not going anywhere.”

Amber Skrzypek: It’s so true.

John Palmieri: You’ve been kind of through that journey a little bit. Can you talk about that a smidge?

Amber Skrzypek: Yeah, it’s actually very raw or current as you will [laughter]. Last year for instance, I was doing a lot of work at the academy over the past couple of years and to free up my time for my role now, I [00:10:00] had to do what you just said John is train somebody to replace you [incomprehensible] or to replace the position that I had. So, last year I got the opportunity to work with Roy Peters, I work with him a couple of years in a row now, but [incomprehensible] at the academy and I had to find someone to basically replace, you know, like my role in that program. And as happy as it was, there was a part of it where it’s still sad to see something go where you’ve been from the ground [00:10:30] up on it. But the joy that it gives me to give that opportunity to somebody else is huge. So as much as it feels like you might be losing something, you’re giving so much to somebody else. So, now one of our other educators Kara, she’s going to take over the role as, you know what I mean, like Roy’s counterpart and they’re going to do an amazing job. And I think that’s our responsibility, not only as humans, but as professionals in our industry is to bring [00:11:00]other people up with you. And the only way to do it is to train them to do what you were just doing and give them the best success, you know, to do it, to hopefully pass it on to somebody else then too.

Chris Sulimay: It’s a really hard thing to do [crosstalk]. Well there’s fear, but there’s also the sense of, and I’m going to use the term “ego”. I don’t mean that really, but there’s this like, “well, wait a minute that was mine. And that’s what I’ve…. Wait a minute, that’s the job I’ve [00:11:30] wanted to do. I’ve always wanted to do that.” And now it’s sort of like, there’s this feeling of “I’m being forced to give it away” at first. And then one day you realize in the experience that you couldn’t do the stuff you’re doing now if you stayed in that spot. And I’ll tell you this, again, I’m always trying to bring the brush back really wide as John would say. So, [00:12:00] whether you’re behind the chair, educator, salon manager, owner, this is a thing that I believe we always have to be doing to grow. And where I see people get miserable or stuck or in a rut is when they get to a spot, they grab their arms around it and they hang on to it like it’s dear life. And it’s like, “this is mine!” And here’s the reality. That’s just not how time [00:12:30]
works. You don’t get to hold onto stuff your whole life. Now you can, but then you miss out on all of these really cool other things. But there is a sense of letting go, I remember having these discussions when you were the business person and I would say to  you like “Amber trust me on this”, I’d sayy “schedule vacations! schedule vacations!” And you’d be like, “I can’t!”

[00:13:00] Amber Skrzypek: I remember that day like it was yesterday. I’m sitting at my kitchen table having a breakdown, I’m like, and Chris, I don’t even know [incomprehensible], but you’ve always been a big mentor to me whether I’ve said it or not, like you have. So, I’m sitting at my kitchen table practically in tears and I’m like, “Chris, like I feel like I need…” I think at the time I was like ready to walk away. I’m just going to go into like alcohol sales or something unrelated to hair all together [laughter]. I was ready to just ditch it all because I was so [00:13:30] worn out. But I remember saying to you like, “I don’t want to give up” on certain things. And I think at that moment like that’s when it hit me. I’m like, it’s not giving up. Like sometimes like what you think is giving up is actually setting you free. So, to be able to pass that on to somebody else, it’s actually freeing when you look at it the right way. Everything’s about perspective. So, you have the right perspective on it and know what you’re giving to another person might be what their dream has always [00:14:00] been to get to the academy level to get to that platform or to get to that like the master stylist behind the chair. Sometimes by you giving that away, like you’re giving that gift to somebody else that has been striving for it for years. And like you said, it allows you to reach a whole new level then.

John Palmieri: Yeah, it’s true. I want to ask you another question if could. One of the Nice things we’ve got to do before this talk is we got to see some of the things you working [00:14:30] on, which are great. And I think that one of the challenges for anybody who’s going to a role like yours, and especially when you’re creating content that’s educational and you’re sharing. Looked at what you had had there and I was like, “that stuff looks so great.” So good job. But how do you that inspiration up? Because there are people even behind the chair looking for that… It’s one thing when [00:15:00] a new technique is presented to you. But you’re actually looking for them maybe creating them and then you’ve got to build it and share it with somebody so they come out good in the end. Right?

Amber Skrzypek:Fingers crossed [laughter]

John Palmieri: How does that work?

Amber Skrzypek: It’s a lot of different avenues for sure and it was kind of intimidating at the very beginning I was like, “wait, what am I going to do again?” I’m craving something that like potentially a hundred [00:15:30] educators could go out and then potentially teach hundreds of more stylists. So, like-

Chris Sulimay: Nobody [Crosstalk] did it.

Amber Skrzypek: Well exactly. The [Crosstalk] behind the scenes of it all is yeah it’s not about me at all because it’s really about, does it represent the company well and does the person standing in the front of the room teaching it feel confident in the information that they’re teaching. So, a lot of these [00:16:00] programs starting out,  it starts with me… Most of my work is investigative work or you know what I mean gathering information is where most of my time is spent. And I do have a lot of stuff on social media where I just dig. You know what I mean like what are people doing? Like both on the client side of it and on the hairstylist side of it, what is getting reposted from a client’s perspective, what colors or techniques are they falling in love with it, that their hair stylists [00:16:30] are doing and then like what are hair stylists posting as what they think are current and relevant. So, a lot of it’s just looking at articles, looking at, you know, images on social media. The other side of it has been reaching out to the educators personally and asking them what they feel is missing in the field. You know, what are we not talking about? What’s not really current out [00:17:00]there as far as in classes that they would like to see. So, it’s a lot of sitting down, having conversations with educators, having conversations. I still have tons of friends in the hair industry that are working behind the chair. So, it’s reaching out to them too. Like where would you like to see more of your strengths that it focused on, and then I sit down and just start compiling a bunch of information and putting it together the best way I know how, [00:17:30]
sending it back out to like educators and saying, “what does this look like? Is this something that you feel confident?” And that’s where those images that you guys were looking at came from is something different. Like hairdressers are… I mean its association, we deal with pictures and images all day long. So, how can I take this realistic image and put the technique right over top of it so it makes it come alive versus looking at just an outline of a head [00:18:00] form and not an actual person underneath.

John Palmieri: So, I’m listening to you going to that process, which is amazing. And I like how you used “compiled” cause in my head that’s exactly what I was thinking. Amber is the official compiler of all that has to do with hair color education. Talk a little bit if you can, because you’ve been in the industry 14 years, is that what you said?


Amber Skrzypek:Yeah, almost 14 years.

John Palmieri: Congratulations by the way.

Amber Skrzypek: Thank you.

[00:18:30] John Palmieri: When you’re looking at education and you’ve seen the changes over the last 14 years, is there anything that really kind of sticks out to you that, you know, it’s like, “wow, that’s a big change over the last 14 years.”


Amber Skrzypek: Yeah. In a lot of different aspects. Obviously trends and stuff like that, like are constantly changing, color applications have been changing. I think the biggest shift that I’ve seen just in the industry so far has probably been the shift from a salon to independent, you know what I mean [00:19:00] and that one I feel like I still one that it’s hard to navigate because it’s still so fresh. But I think that I’ve seen that as a huge change. And also the fact that there’s so much education online that I feel like there’s been a shift in like actually showing up and being present in a class, which is hard. And I don’t know how I feel about that. I am definitely one that I had to have my hands in it. I have to do it as I’m hearing about it, I can sit [00:19:30] and listen, but how many times do I have to listen to get it versus like actually doing it and listening at the same time. So, where I think online education is great I think actually being present creates the experience. And I think sometimes the experience is what helps you learn it is you’re there with other salon professionals, you’re there doing it, living it in the moment where when you get back behind the chair, all of those emotions come running back to you. So it’s all those
[00:20:00] sensory things that they say help you retain stuff. It’s the smells, it’s the touch, it’s the seeing. So, I think it’s great for the busy hairstylists. I think it’s great for the stylist that has, you know, kids and families and can’t get away that they have an avenue online also. But I would definitely encourage, you know, hairstylists still get out there and invest in hands on learning too.


Chris Sulimay: Definitely. We’re [00:20:30] obviously seeing, dealing with navigating the same shifts starting an independent education company ourselves and you know, knowing that there’s the balance of- there are times we’re going to do it like this. So, we’re obviously sitting across the screen right now and we’re having a discussion, but there’s also times where we’re going to have to be able to put our hand on the shoulder of the owner or the stylist  and sit inside of their space and eat at their favorite pizza place, that’s what they always bring for lunch. And have an educational thing [00:21:00] “we’re going to give you the best pizza in our town.” But did you see I’m already fat [laughter].

John Palmieri: Riverside Pizza, thank you very much.

Chris Sulimay: But we wholeheartedly agree, we were with a group in Tampa this past weekend and just shared some salon owners stuff and there’s no way to describe when you know you touch somebody when you’re in the same room and then you have that personal  [00:21:30] moment together. And so we think it’s evolving too and aren’t sure where it’ll end up. But it’s super fun creating video content and all that stuff. I’d like to shift the conversation to hair color if that’s okay, unless you have something else to say.


John Palmieri: I’m going to follow-up while we’re still there. Here’s my follow up. My follow up is you we talked a little bit about independent education. Working for a major manufacturer right now, you know, when you see the shift for [00:22:00] a lot of people away from manufacturer education to independent education, you know, what are your thoughts around that? How does it affect what you create and what you prepare for people? Because that is a shift for… Cause now we’re making choices and here’s the weird choice for some people,  I can get free education through my manufacturer, through points or whatever systems I have or I can pay with real cash and independent.

[00:22:30] Chris Sulimay: And they’re still doing it.

John Palmieri: And they’re still doing it and they’re still doing it.


Amber Skrzypek: I know. Isn’t it so weird? [laughter]  It’s kind of, I don’t want to say mind boggling but it’s definitely one of those things where I’m continuing to study it because I don’t really know the why, what’s the draw to it. I think what I’ve gathered so far is a lot of independent education because of what they’ve made real [00:23:00] on social media. They get a more realistic, you know what I mean,  I think they think they’re going to get a more realistic outcome from it. I don’t really know the why right now because you’re right, you’re going to pay for it in one avenue or it could be free on another and you’re choosing to pay for it.


Chris Sulimay: I’m going to answer a little bit for you.

Amber Skrzypek: Yeah.

John Palmieri: We have our own suspicions, right?

[00:23:30 ]Amber Skrzypek:  I would love because like this is… I mean being behind the scenes as much as I am like it is kind of crawling back up to the surface a little bit and going, “what’s going on out here?”


Chris Sulimay: Well, and here’s the deal. You know, for those of you who haven’t met Amber or won’t get the opportunity to meet Amber in person, you know, Amber you are an exceptional educator. And what makes me know that is, A you are super busy that only happens because you’re in demand, [00:24:00]
but B we’ve worked together on stuff and so I know you and you’ve gotten much better even though you were great back then. So, even this discussion right now, I’m inspired by listening to you because I’m really listening to a different person than I would have been talking to a couple of years ago. I mean a different person. And that’s evolution. And if you’re a young stylist, look forward to that. You’re not going to be the same person you were. The trends that you’re doing now are going to change and [00:24:30]
that’s a beautiful thing. And your level of sophistication is what is intriguing me right now. And the reason why I say that is because that I believe because we’re so exposed, regardless of independent education, non-independent education, one of the things that we don’t have a choice but to do if you want to grow nowadays, especially because you’re so visible, is you have to become way more sophisticated than you were. So like, if you were from a [00:25:00] small town in the middle, you know you’re listening to this middle of the country, that’s fine, we’re from where we’re from, but you don’t have to keep the same language that you did in high school or in your early twenties, you can start to edit  your language and you can start to reach out and look around and find other avenues to bring yourself above because of a consumer right now can find you, they cannot know you. And if I’m a consumer, [00:25:30]I’m looking for the most sophisticated hair stylist that I can find to meet my needs. And if [inaudible] friend of friend referrals and I see a beautiful Instagram presentation when I come into the salon that personal brand better meet that level of sophistication. And that’s what I see in you. And so I can see you being confused about this topic. And the reason why is because when you go and you give such a great experience, the truth is, [00:26:00][Inaudible]. So, I think that’s what happens and this is a real, real, real broad statement. I don’t need-


John Palmieri: It’s a big paintbrush here [laughter].

Chris Sulimay: Yeah, I’m not pointing fingers, but sometimes manufacturer educators, you’ll have three or four of them in a row at the salon and then you’ll go, “you know what, we’re just going to have to find our own” because they’re not hitting the mark. [00:26:30] And so it’s, yeah, it’s a fun thing to watch. It’s evolving. Can we switch it to hair color now and talk about hair color?

John Palmieri: Hair color? Really?

Chris Sulimay: Hair color. Yeah! [laughter]

Amber Skrzypek: Of all things?

John Palmieri: Of all things.


Chris Sulimay: So, I want to talk just a little bit about, so you’ve seen changes and you know, you just showed us this beautiful program that you’re creating. I guess we can’t say it out loud. So, I’ll let you be the decider of that, what it is. But-


[00:27:00] Amber Skrzypek: What [incomprehensible] program?

Chris Sulimay: All right. So, you can say the name.


Amber Skrzypek: Color Dissection.

Chris Sulimay: Okay, fantastic. So, that’s one that you’re real excited about right now. What are some of the things and trends that you’re seeing in color or what problem are you solving with Color Dissection?


Amber Skrzypek: Yeah. So, Color Dissection is all about how a hairstylist turns a inspiration image into actuality on their client. But we all know that [00:27:30] hair type is different, skin tone is different, all of those things have to be specific to the person in your chair. But how can you create from this inspiration image? So, color dissection is about taking the image, breaking it down, seeing where the hair color lives on the head form itself. So, does it live on the surface, the interior, the nape and then how does that impact the end result? So, this class is really for the stylist that might [00:28:00] be getting overwhelmed behind the chair when they look at an image and not knowing exactly how to take that and create what it is that their guest is asking for.

So, whether you’re known for balayage behind the chair or your foil applications, do you know, like techniques outside of that for the client that might not want, you know what I mean, the balayage per se or just the foil techniques. So, this really marries a bunch of different behind the chair [00:28:30] techniques together to create that end result and then be able to actually talk to your client about how to personalize it for them. Because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. I mean, the technique is great and formulas are great, but if it doesn’t look right on the person that you’re putting it on, does it really matter.


John Palmieri: Right, Amber correct me if I’m mistaken, but I think you’re asking me to think [laughter].

Amber Skrzypek: Maybe.

[00:29:00] Chris Sulimay: As opposed  to just doing the same thing that you do on everybody.

John Palmieri: Over and over and over, day after day and getting really bored. [Inaudible] those are my choices. Right?


Amber Skrzypek: Right. I mean it’s definitely that personal connection that we were talking about earlier is when you can sit down and have the conversation with the guest in your chair and personalize it to them and not just, I mean, definitely, you have to put your professional opinion in it and all of that stuff as well. But at the end of the day, [00:29:30] like we’re there for them.


John Palmieri: How powerful is that it? I mean, it’s almost like your custom fitting a color just for them.

Amber Skrzypek: Yeah. And that’s amazing.

John Palmieri: Yeah, that’s pretty cool. I mean if I’m a customer and I’m like,” this is awesome. This is mine. You created this for me.” I get to walk out and say, “look what I got.”


Amber Skrzypek: Yeah. I mean it’s like buying a car. I mean sure you can go and buy any car out on the lot, they’re all great, but when you can sit down and actually customize that car with the color leather that you want on the inside [00:30:00] “Do I want the sunroof? Do I want the GPS?” like that way when you actually get in that car, you’re like, “man, this fits me just perfectly” versus trying to fit into something else that was already like predetermined for you.

John Palmieri: That’s awesome. You know, we’ve talked about a bunch of different things. I think one of the other things I want to touch base on is, you know, I think the impetus for this pod… I know the impetus for this podcast, one of the reasons we started this podcast is the  industry is changing so much. It’s changing so fast and [00:30:30] we want to be able to share that because, you know, we just feel that that’s where true growth comes, as we can. What do you see changing? What  inspires you moving forward in our industry that you say, “I can’t wait for that” or “I think this is coming and I’m excited for it.”

Amber Skrzypek: Yeah, in hair color or just in the industry itself? Or-


John Palmieri: Or both?


Amber Skrzypek: Or both?  Honestly maybe it’s just because of like some like [00:31:00]
really current conversations, but I feel like, both behind the chair and with manufacturers, I feel like people are sneaking out, people that have similar values as themselves, whether it’s in a brand or whether it’s in a hairstylist  is I think people- because there’s so much disconnection with technology- are looking for that connection again, and when you make that connection with the person, like, just like any relationship, like you have to have similar beliefs, similar core values. [00:31:30] And I feel like that’s coming back in the industry. And I mean, and I’ve only been in 14 years, so I don’t know like how much it was like this before, but I knew that my time in the industry, that’s really when it started to, I feel like start to disconnect, you know, with social media and stuff like that. And, I’m excited that clients are seeking out stylists that have similar views and manufacturers that have similar views as to what they are. Because I know that I’ve seen [00:32:00] a huge shift the past couple of years with working with Keune and talking to salon owners or stylists that don’t currently use it. And that’s their number one draw is that we’re still family owned, that we had, you know, like core values that we believe in and that we support whether you’re an independent or your salon, it doesn’t matter. We support anyone in their journey. So I’m really excited about that. I’m super excited about hair color trends as well. [00:32:30]
Like, I love the very natural looking hair that we’re seeing and I love the fact that people are finally respecting that it’s not easy to get that hair. So I think with social media, again, it can be a blessing and a curse at the same time, but I know a lot of stylists out there are starting to voice their opinions on like, “Hey, this color can’t be achieved in one step.” So I think  guests are starting to see that now. And they’re like, “oh man, maybe my [00:33:00] stylist wasn’t lying to me when she said I couldn’t go from black to blonde in one day. “

Chris Sulimay: It’s funny because we let…  Just last night, just yesterday, one of our stylists here who is really a very good balayage artist and a very good baby lights and you know she just runs the gamut. We’ve been talking with her about how to present that in a way, and we came up with this idea of packages and you know, and the fact  [00:33:30] we’re talking a lot about sessions and then things happening [crosstalk] you know where I got it from? A tattoo artist.


Amber Skrzypek: Oh yeah. Cause you go in session [crosstalk].


Chris Sulimay: And so, sessions and sittings is another  way we’re saying it. And because that’s just real. So I want to know what are some of the most common mistakes that you see people making in this approach? Whether it be in that consultation and over promising and  [00:34:00]
under delivering or  just some things that you see that you’re like, “you know, you really shouldn’t do that to hair.”

Amber Skrzypek: Well  you’ve said the most important, like C-word I think and that’s the consultation and being truthful and being honest with the person sitting in your chair, like you said, not over promising something that you know that you can’t deliver at the time. And I think for most stylists that I know personally for myself, it was a confidence thing and it was being confident [00:34:30] enough to be able to tell that person that, that it wasn’t going to happen in one day.

Chris Sulimay: What does that sound like for you?


Amber Skrzypek: Confidence?


Chris Sulimay: No, the conversation, like play that out a little bit.

Amber Skrzypek: Yeah. First and foremost, it’s talking to the guests and seeing what their expectations are of your visit with them. Finding out what exactly they are trying to achieve, as an end result as a whole, maybe not that day, but as a whole. And then once you figure out where you’re [00:35:00]
going, because you have to know where you’re going before  you know where to start is then having the conversation of like, “what your hair will allow me to do today, what can I actually achieve and still give you the best outcome, and be able to confidently walk out the door today and know the next session as you will is going to get even better.” So there’s a huge trust and confidence in that conversation and it’s building the trust [00:35:30] where they’re okay with having multiple sessions, because if that doesn’t happen in the beginning, it’s going to be really to try and gain that trust back, once you weren’t able to deliver that outcome. Once you move out of the consultation, I mean, as a hairstylist, it’s just knowing your boundaries of hair. I mean, probably the biggest thing that I see is stylists trying to push the hair to a place where it’s not ready to go or where it shouldn’t go yet. (00:36:00] And a lot of that is probably because I’ve over promised what I can deliver today. So it’s being truthful with yourself as a hairstylist and knowing, is the hair capable of achieving that end result? Is it strong enough? Is it- heck is it even the right texture? Is it the right, you know, like, density to even look like the image for the end result, because we know a lot of hair the finer it is the lighter it is the thin… You know what I mean? Like yeah. Plumps here, but it can also start to lose [36:30] strength and you know, there’s so many different things that happen during like certain color journeys. But for me, if you’re blonde but it doesn’t look good and it’s not healthy, what’s the point of being blonde? That’s just my opinion. There’s a lot of other people out there that [crosstalk]

Chris Sulimay: [inaudible] Spend a lot of time in Tampa, Florida [laughter].

Amber Skrzypek: [crosstalk] I mean I can make you blonde and if half of it falls [00:37:00] out, I mean I could put it into like a to go bag for you. But I mean, what’s the point of having blonde hair or you know, having whatever it is your end result, if it doesn’t look good. So for me healthy hair is always the number one priority. And then it’s the [incomprehensible] consultation side of it. We’ve got, you know, like application side of it, but then it’s also knowing like your product and what you’re working with. What’s my best product choice for the whole session or for the application. [00:37:30]
Am I going to lightener with 40 right off the bat? Is that necessary, you know, to work through this transition. Am I  toning, you know, with the right formula to get the end result that, you know, I’m looking for. So it’s knowing your product and knowing what you’re working with. I think that’s super important too, to set you up for success on that journey.


John Palmieri: Thank you, awesome.


Amber Skrzypek: Yeah.

John Palmieri: What other questions you got?


Chris Sulimay: Well I don’t have lots more questions. This has been a [00:38:00] really great discussion I feel like, I feel like we covered a lot of, a lot of good stuff and we’ve got to know Amber a little bit, talked about the industry, a little bit of hair color. What’s on your mind?


John Palmieri: I’m afraid if I started asking Amber more questions, we’re going to have to order lunch, because we’re going to be here for a while [laughter]. Well that’s fine for me, but if you’re in the other side of the stream I feel that [crosstalk]

Amber Skrzypek:  I mean, anyone that knows me, knows that I’m not short of words  so- [laughter]


John Palmieri: Neither are we so-

Chris Sulimay: So, you know, typically how [00:38:30] we start to wrap these up and I think this is a good place to do that is Amber, do you have any closing just as far as anything you feel like we left on the table on this conversation?


Amber Skrzypek: I mean, other than wanting to thank you guys for like, having me on here and-


Chris Sulimay: Or maybe some words of inspiration for a newer hairdresser that maybe is listening to this and going, “Holy Shit, I want to be the” – you know, what is it? Creative ambassador?-


Amber Skrzypek: Technical ambassador yeah [crosstalk]

John Palmieri: I don’t know what the job is exactly, but I liked the title. I want it, can I have it?

[00:39:00] Chris Sulimay: Yeah. Right, Exactly. Exactly.

Amber Skrzypek:  Yeah. And some days I’ll say, you know, “be careful what you wish for”. No, I mean, I love my job and you know what like, again, thank you guys for having me on, but some words of inspiration for sure. Like I grew up in a really small town, where I knew that I wanted to do hair, but I knew that I wouldn’t have the platform that I wanted to do hair on in my small town. So I made the choice to [00:39:30] leave and align myself with a salon that believed in me and believed in my values and eventually found this brand that I feel the same way about. And, all I want to say is, just no matter where you come from, no matter, you know, like where you’ve been, you are the one that creates your own destiny. So if it’s something that you want, continue to work hard for it, continue to prepare for that next step. You know, before you get there so that you’re always ready. Because when the opportunity
[00:40:00] presents itself, you might only have that one chance to grasp it. So be ready for it, it’s a heck of a journey. And I think that’s what life really is. You know, there’s no destination guaranteed, but it’s a journey and it should be a fun one. So if you’re not enjoying where you are, figure out where you can go next so that you can, enjoy it. So-


[00:40:30] John Palmieri: Thanks, Amber.


Chris Sulimay: That’s awesome.


John Palmieri: That’s great. Just want to let everybody know that  if you love this podcast, I know you do because you’re here again, then  I have a favor for you.


Chris Sulimay: What’s the favor?

John Palmieri: I need you to write Wicked Break Review!


Chris Sulimay: A wicked Break Review!


John Palmieri: And for those of you who don’t know-

Chris Sulimay: How many stars?


John Palmieri: In French wicked means five.


Chris Sulimay: Five, five star rating.

John Palmieri: It’s pronounced differently. It’s wickied. But it’s five star- [laughter]


Amber Skrzypek: You learn something new every day.

Chris Sulimay: You can also find us on Instagram at 124.go [00:41:00] as well as on YouTube. We’re starting to sprinkle a little bit of content we’re getting more and more at 124 Go Salon Education on YouTube. As we also would like to ask for you to leave comments if you, you know, rate this review five stars and a comment would be awesome. And if you would, and you listened to the podcast, please screenshot it and share it in your Instagram. Tag us 124.go [00:41:30] and we will share it in our stories as well. So, Amber, it’s been an absolute pleasure to have you. Thanks so much for this great conversation. And listeners, thanks so much for tuning in again. Peace out everybody. Bye!


John Palmieri: Thanks Amber.

Amber Skrzypek: Bye!