AM: It’s important to keep learning.
AK: When you’re not learning, you’re dying. I also realise that about my staff – if they’re not learning and progressing half an inch a day at least, if not a mile, then they’re leaving. So that inspires me in everything, I would rather not know something and learn, than think I know something and keep trying to confirm it.
AM: So now, with HOB, you’ve got the salons, academies, awards… what’s next?
AK: When I go on stage now at shows, half the time it’s cutting, but for the other half I just want to talk to people, because it’s not just about the cut but about their mind-set. There is a lot lacking in the social upbringing of youngsters, let alone of hairdressers, that we as an industry can potentially still uphold and help with. My son is now working at HOB, he’s really developing because he was quite shy, it’s really bringing him out of his shell and giving him lots of new skills.
AM: It’s the same with my son. It’s great being able to bring them into the business and let them develop. I don’t teach mine a lot, the others do. It’s difficult to teach him because he doesn’t really want to listen, but he watches me a lot and soaks it all up.
AK: There’s a danger of that with your kids isn’t there. You start getting involved, saying ‘you’re doing it wrong’. My younger son, who is 14, has started barbering. He has his own clientele at school! I’ve tried to teach him some layering but getting him into the academy to learn is impossible. He thinks that he can just learn from the internet, from YouTube. I’ve just said – fine, get on with it. When you’re ready, come and ask me.