Award winning colourist Kristina Russell has just experienced a stellar year of international training with another about to happen thanks to Redken's 2011 International Mentorship Program and 2012 Redken NYC Exchange Team membership.
The 2010 Hair Expo Colour Technician of the Year and Hair Shots 2 The World client was one of 12 Redken artists selected from a worldwide pool to participate in the International Mentorship Program.
"The Redken International Mentorship program gave me the skills to be a leader," Kristina said. "It was the best education in how to be the very best educator, and I am using the new skills constantly.
"As an artist, we usually turn up to an event with our hairstyling kit and rely on the product company representatives to provide all support materials," she said.
"Now I can arrive with the kit of a true professional artist that is prepared for every situation."
The two phase program was held at Redken's US headquarters under the mentorship of Chris Barran (USA), Sherri Doss (USA) and Chris Moody (UK).
She said Phase 1 taught her the skills needed to produce shows for large audiences and how to communicate effectively with an international network.
"I felt it was like attending an Intensive at NIDA when we were led through the Primal Emotion and Improvisation exercises," she joked.
Phase 2 saw the mentees paired up to prepare their own show.
"I was paired with Canadian stylist Jorge Joao," she said. "We completed a workbook then pitched our ideas to the Directors."
She said this eventuated in a 30 minute show that was filmed for coaching purposes.
"My biggest take-away is the skill to use all technology available to me, eg. Flickr, Facebook, Skype, Imovie and Garageband, so I can stay connected and be inspired."
Kristina's dream run continues this year with her appointment to the Redken Exchange Team which puts the proverbial Mentee shoe on the other foot.
In the next logical step of Kristina's professional development, she will train in facilitating and coaching during four visits to the US.
"My training will combine self-discovery and participating as a facilitator to help mentees be the best they can be," she said.
"A highlight of the program will see me presenting segments of Redken's 'Colouring Out of Your Mind' course for advanced colourists, and then receive coaching and support as ongoing development," she said.
Despite Kristina's rigorous training requirements, she is still dedicating time to sharing her expertise with hairdressers around Australia.
Kristina is involved in two Redken education tours in 2012.
She will present Tribe 12 - Rock the Runway with colleagues Vincent Noble and Philip Barwick, starting in Adelaide on 26 February. On dates from April to July, Kristina will present full day workshops called Colour Rehab, small group training in corrective colour.
For enquiries and bookings, phone Redken Education on 1300 361 232.
Mauva collection by Kristina Russell. Photography: Michele Aboud