Younghee Kim has been making people who step into her salon look their best for years. She has now taken her knowledge and created the Essential Rinse product line to help keep our hair looking great at home. She spoke with us about her career, her new business as well as answered some of our hair care questions.
How did you decide to become a hair stylist?
I am number 5 of 5 girls in my family, and when my sisters were sitting around doing homework, I would always comb and braid their hair. I would also heat up a screw driver on the stove and use it to curl my sisters' hair. When we came to the US, my mom was disappointed in my decision to become a hair stylist - she wanted me to go to a top university - but my dream was to become a hair dresser.
What is a typical day like for you?
I am up at 6:45am, and while preparing my coffee and feeding my dog, I read my spiritual words and write in my diary. I then start looking at my salon work - emails, appointments - to plan the day for me and my team. I go for a 15 minute quick run to get energized before heading out to the salon with my dog Hendricks.
I always expect anything and everything to happen at the salon. I not only cut hair, I also manage my salon, and focus on the launch my own product, Essential Rinse, a purifying scalp and hair toner.
Believe it or not, I am always surprised that each day is different. I have to be ready to listen to clients to understand their needs as well as to what my staff needs to deliver high quality team performance.
What is Essential Rinse and how did you come up with it?
I noticed that many of my client's scalp were irritated, and that their hair seemed drab despite being clean. I soon realized the cause of this was that many shampoos and conditioners left residue on the hair and scalp after rinsing.
As facial toners removes anything lingering after washing, I actually poured facial toner on my head to see what would happen. It would make my scalp and hair feel squeaky clean, but it was too drying.
I wanted to develop a product that was 100% natural that gets hair and scalp residue-free, and was gentle enough for frequent use - even on color-treated hair.
Are there plans to expand your product line in the future?
There will be more products in the future, but my focus now is on my baby - Essential Rinse. My belief is that products could always be made better.
Is it true that you should switch shampoos from time to time to avoid build up?
Yes, it used to be that way. But with the availability of Essential Rinse, you can continue to use your favorite shampoo and conditioner, and you will continue to love your hair.
I do recommend to my clients to change their conditioner with the change of weather. For the winter, you should use a conditioner that is more hydrating to the hair and scalp. In the summer, you should use a light conditioner. Also, you should chose a shampoo based on your hair type and if it is for color-treated hair.
Can you really train your hair so you can wash it less?
Yes, yes, yes! Simply, it is all about how much residue you have on your hair and scalp. And, length matters tremendously. Shorter hair - quick rinse, longer hair - longer rinse. And, when you add Essential Rinse into your routine, you will discover that you need to wash your hair even less often.
How important is it to use a heat protection spray?
Yes it is important - especially if you blow dry your hair each time you shampoo. Nothing will be helpful if you flat iron your hair everyday.
What is one hair styling product that everyone should have?
Everyone should have a leave-in conditioner to prepare their hair for styling.
What is the biggest mistake women make in regards to taking care of their hair?
Forcing the hair to do what it doesn't want to do naturally. And, being afraid of change.
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