A Space to be Herself
Specializing in lived-in color, hairstylist Kara Field works in her home studio in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Being self-employed has allowed her to find balance between work and family and explore the freedom to be her “weird little self,” and define her own model of service with dreams of a more holistic practice.
Where are you from originally?
Saskatchewan born and raised. I did live in Calgary for a couple of years, right after I finished hair school, but I found myself being called back home. I guess you could say that I got homesick, but I’m happy to be here.
How long have you been doing hair?
I’ve been in the industry for 12 years. For the past 7 I’ve been active with my continuing education, learning more theory and techniques. In the past 3 years I’ve found that I really love hair painting. When the technique first came out there were no classes, and I wondered, ‘How do I do this?’ So I just jumped into it and started playing around with different tools and paintbrushes. Then there was all of this online education that kicked off, like Pretty Little Ombre (Salt Hair), who’s been such an inspiration to me. Her classes were so amazing because I could learn from home. I just watched and then practice, practice, practice.
How did you get into hairdressing? Was there a reason you were attracted to color?
I’ve always been really interested in hair. In high school I always had funky hair, and I won best hair in grade 12, which was kind of funny. I wasn’t really ready to move away after that, so I went to hair school and ended up being good at it. My dream was to be a writer, but once I went down this path, my passion really shone through.
The salon where I began my apprenticeship in Calgary actually wouldn’t let me color hair for the first 8 or 10 months, so I was strictly doing cuts. When you’re creative and really interested in something, not being able to do it is tricky, and I would just color my friends’ and family’s hair. When I moved back to Moosejaw I was working at a really great salon where they let me do it all and really trusted me. My confidence and knowledge wasn’t really there yet, so it was a bit of fake-it-till-you-make-it, and when I threw myself into education the confidence really came out. You never stop learning and that’s what I love about this industry.
Tell us about your private space and what inspired you to create it.
I have two children; my son is 8 and my daughter is 2. When my son was young, I was a single parent and working so hard to build my clientele to support him. I was working long hours just to make the money, and to grow, and I never said no. Looking back, I missed out on a lot, so when my daughter was born, my husband and I began looking for a home that I could work out of to have a better balance between my work and my children. Our dream house was actually the first and only house we looked at because of the 600 square-foot studio built onto the back. It’s so perfect and I’ve never been happier.
Are there unique aspects to your services?
My niche is really hair painting, so people come to me for more-lived in color. I keep my studio cleansed daily with palo santo and sage to clear lingering energy because I see a lot of people on a daily basis. I’ve also been learning tarot to integrate oracle readings into services with clients who might be interested. I’m also really interested in lunar haircutting and I can see myself offering haircuts based on the moon phases. In my private studio, I feel completely free to be my weird little self. People keep coming back, so I must be doing something right.
What is your favorite Hairstory product, and why?
That’s an almost impossible question because I love every product for its unique qualities. Lately, for myself, I’ve been loving New Wash (Rich) because I needed that little extra kick of moisture, but it’s not heavy at all. As far as styling goes, I use Undressed on all my clients; I can’t live without it. There’s really nothing else like it. It’s saved me from having to wash my hair many times. I’ve thought, ‘Maybe I should just wash it,’ and then I spray a little Undressed and it’s great.
What's your favorite part of being a hairdresser?
The connection that you make with people is pretty amazing; being connected through my hands, which are so powerful and carry a healing energy. I love being able to create beauty on the outside so inner beauty just illuminates. When clients love the way they look, they feel fabulous, and I just love having even a small part in creating that feeling.
Anything else you like to add?
I’m excited for the new products you’re working on. I feel like you guys are giving hairstylists exactly what we need, but it’s still nicely minimal. I’ve carried a lot of lines before, and there’s always so much to keep up on, but I use all of your products, so I’m really excited to be a part of this movement. I’m so passionate about Hairstory; you’re such an inspiration to me!
To see Kara's work, follow her at@karapaintshair.
Photos by Krystal Moore.