Kala Kilshaw is the female founder of EGO Professional, a haircare brand born from a desire to create a range of premium quality styling tools designed by hairdressers, for both professionals and consumers to use.
I recently got the chance to grill Kala on all things hair and beauty. Here's how it went down...
What inspired you to work in the beauty industry? And how did your career journey begin?
I was a poor kid that always had second hand clothes and shoes, was teased at school as I was so small, ugly, and badly dressed with a gigantic mop of nearly black frizzy hair. I wanted to be pretty and wear nice things, spend time with women and help them feel beautiful. So I decided to study hairdressing.
YTS scheme in Portsmouth was where I started - I admired my tutor who pushed and supported me so much that I loved it from day one. My son is now a hairdresser, so I think the passion is catching - I am so very proud.
What is your career highlight?
There are so many...launching EGO Professional into the market and being listed in Selfridges, Harrods, QVC and Sephora. Producing our first collection, a collaboration with the incredible Tim Hartley (former Creative Director of Sassoon) and having my son, Cane, assist.
Another big career highlight was receiving a letter from a client, expressing she will always be grateful to me because it has taken her 40 years to look in the mirror and feel beautiful...all because I fixed her hair!
What advice would you give to someone wanting to succeed in the industry?
Don't ever give up on what you believe in. Listen carefully to advice but have the confidence to know that the sky is the limit if your heart is in it. There are friends in business, so trust and jump.
Who is the ultimate beauty icon?
I'm an old fashioned girl and I’m totally inspired by Coco Channel. Her life, wise words and rules for fashion keep me on track as a woman in business.
If I could have only one beauty essential, it would have to be eyeliner, I love Eyeko!
I also love the Dermalogica Age Smart Super Rich Repair, ego Professional SMART EGO Touch Screen Dryer and Shellac UV Gel Soak Off Gel Polish in Nude Knickers - the shade goes with everything.
What is your top hair tip?
Treat your hair like the most precious fabric you own, you would never put a cashmere sweater in the washing machine and expect it to be beautiful. Respect it by taking great care of it.