19 June 2021

Estetica Exclusive with Sexy Hair’s Karl-Heinz Pitsch: Meet the Experts in Cutting and Styling

Always sporting its signature red and as bold as ever, under the leadership of Karl-Heinz Pitsch, Sexy Hair just continues reinventing itself, now with new products, cutting-edge tools, and a renewed commitment to education.

ESTETICA asked Sexy Hair CEO Karl-Heinz Pitsch about the big changes taking place and the message being conveyed in the company’s new tag line, as well as product launches and education.

Why do you think Sexy Hair has had such tremendous growth to date?
I’m not sure about tremendous, but consistently growing double the industry average is a very satisfactory result. It certainly has to do with our constant investment in our brand, in product innovations and in education. We are a very recognizable and approachable brand that both stylists and end-consumers can identify with. Our product lines are end-result driven and clearly structured to provide solutions at affordable prices.”

How has becoming part of Henkel helped the company over recent years?
“Being part of Henkel has not really changed how we run Sexy Hair in terms of Sales, Marketing & Education. Instead, it has reaffirmed our commitment as a Professional Salon brand. Henkel bought Sexy Hair to strengthen their presence in the salon industry in North America and internationally. This renewed commitment led to our increased focus on shows and education

“The experts in cutting and styling.” What is behind this new tagline for Sexy Hair?
Sexy Hair’s founder, Michael O’Rourke, created a product company founded on an educational concept for his then 40+ salon chain that was later fine-tuned with our now Creative Director Rafe Hardy and dubbed “Structure in Motion”. This cutting system based on Tai-Chi movements allows the stylist enhanced creative freedom to achieve great haircuts in less time, so they can enjoy their time as a stylist longer. The new tagline refers to our roots as an education company, so stylists working with us know what to expect.

How will this change help hairdressers and the brand connect with the consumer?
The message goes well beyond professional education to the excellent performance of our innovative products, as well as setting and interpreting fashion trends. Our latest haircut collection, “Express Yourself,” shows fashion-forward hairstyles that can each be styled in 3 completely different ways: “Demure”, “Alter Ego” and “Let it Roar”. The beauty and versatility these haircuts convey freedom of creative expression to hairstylists and to the end consumer as well.

Tell us about Sexy Hair’s system to educate hairdressers and how it relates to these changes.
We offer a holistic system in education, starting in the abovementioned “Structure in Motion”, focused on enabling stylists to work smarter, not harder. The emphasis on product usage and cocktailing enhances creative options and boosts stylists’ incomes, thanks to retailing.

You mentioned that this program is like Vidal Sassoon for the masses… could you elaborate?
Over the years I accompanied many groups of stylists to education events worldwide. I was always amazed by the creative surge and motivation the stylists took away from these events, but, on the downside, only a few could afford such events because of the amount of time, travel and money it took. Our education at Sexy Hair provides a comprehensive curriculum at very affordable prices, on both a regional and local levels as well as in-salon classes. Our network of 140 Educators in North America and over 200 internationally offer great accessibility to every interested stylist.

How do you design your educational curriculum/platforms/shows to spread the word worldwide?
The base of our education are the 140 Educators in North America. We offer a well-structured career path for this group, starting with regional events, growing through haircut certification, platform artist, and ultimately becoming a master artist. Master artists travel the world, work on international platforms, and teach and develop the local education groups in our 54 countries of representation, including 33 national and regional shows in North America and in many more around the globe.”

What role does the digital revolution play in a curriculum that is also revisiting its roots?
We make all our Trend & “How-to” Style Videos available on our website and communicate daily with consumers and stylists on different social media platforms. We share most all our educational content with professionals in our “Tribe of Style” (TOS) online community, a place where stylists from around the world can gather to talk about all things stylist and salon related, including Sexy Hair’s newest products, collections, classes and events and even exchange tips & tricks. We host many Facebook Live events in the USA and worldwide, offering live posts whenever our Educators work backstage in cool places like at “NYC Fashion Week” or at the “Miss World” competition.

What key launches would you like to highlight?
So far in 2017 we have launched our Big Line, Silk Finish, for fighting frizz and fly-aways, and Long Sexy Hair, a line specifically for customers with extensions and long hair, which is growing market segment. We are the first company of size to offer a specific line for this customer group. Next is a line  of professional tools, each with a very distinct and unique technical feature that makes them superior. We also launched the “Sexy Hair’s Express Yourself Challenge”, offering stylists 10 chances to win a trip to the Alternative Hair Show in London.

In 2016 Sexy Hair celebrated its first $1 Million donated to charities. How do you engage hairdressers to join you in this important journey?
We believe that “Caring Is Sexy”. The Sexy Hair family holds walk-a-thons, cut-a-thons, warehouse sales of discontinued items, and always donates part of the proceeds of our limited BCA edition products to support different charitable causes, mainly Look Good Feel Better. LGFB helps people deal with the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. Besides donating money, many of our educators got involved volunteering their time in the many local LGFB events, together with the American Cancer Society. For anyone interested: LGFB is always looking for beauty professionals such as hairstylists, aestheticians, makeup artists, and nail technicians to work as volunteers. Find out more here!

Changing with the times
Considered a beauty industry guru, Karl-Heinz Pitsch continues in the bold tradition of Sexy Hair Concepts in more than 60 countries and over 60,000 salons in the U.S. alone. Having revamped their tagline, the company is now ready to reassert their position as leaders in education and partnering with salon professionals. For more information, please visit www.sexyhair.com

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