By Lucy M. Pritchett

It takes more than scissors and a shampoo cape to make a hairstylist.

Kim Scannapieco, part owner of LeBliss Salon & Spa in St. Matthews, has been in the salon industry for 34 years. She originally worked in managerial and HR positions but 17 years ago decided to go to hair school and earn her place standing behind the salon chair.

In addition to tending to her own clients, she also serves as trainer for apprentices and new employees.

“I provide on-the-job training for the new person, who stands by me side by side for six months or so. I help them with their people skills, their image, how to introduce themselves to the clients, and how to build trust between themselves and their clients.

“We are a commission-run salon, and we have guidelines from how to greet the client to shampooing procedures to the color consultation. We talk with the clients about what we’re going to do to get the look they might be going for and what products we’re going to use. We have standard procedures, which gives us consistency for the clients and common ground for the staff.”

Over the years Kim has seen changes in styles and colors and esthetic treatments. Everything comes back around, she says, but with a different twist. “You can’t bring out the old and repeat it, but you can put a modern spin on it. Whatever clothing fashion is on trend, the hairstyles will follow. For example, if geometric shape patterns in clothing are popular, you’re going to have a more sleek and defined look. During the bell bottom craze the hair was worn long and flowing but not flat like in the ’60s. If hemlines are asymmetrical, the hairstyles will be more romantic looking.

“I have curly hair so I know how to cut curly hair because I have an understanding of it. I offer a keratin therapy that is a smoothing treatment and keeps hair stable so it doesn’t change with humidity. It’s not permanent and will eventually wash itself out. The client can still wear a curly style, but the treatment takes the frizz out.”

Clients have comfort zones concerning their hair, Kim says, such as always wearing bangs, or wanting their hair flipped back away from their face, or having hair that falls in front of their face.

Kim recalls she once had a little accident with her own hair. She was cleaning the gas grill, turned it on, closed the lid, and realized she had to go inside to get the grill lighter. When she came back and opened the lid, she stuck the lighter right in and whoosh! Luckily, the mini-explosion didn’t burn her face, but the ends of her hair were fried and had to be cut off. “I had pretty short layers for a while,” she says with a laugh.

Her pet peeve? “Not being busy. I love being a stylist and love going to work. I’m lucky to be able to do what I love and have been able to do it for a long time.”

Here’s What Works for Kim:

Photos by Patti Hartog 

Babe Lash Eyelash Serum
This eyelash growing serum takes a while to work. You have to use it three or four weeks before you start to see a difference. I apply it to the roots of my lashes every night and let it dry. I’ve used it for the past three years. (Writer’s note: I can attest that this works: Kim’s eyelashes are so long and full she can push open doors with them!)

Pureology Nano Works shampoo and conditioner
This shampoo moisturizes, but it’s not too heavy and not too light. It’s formulated for use with mature hair and colored hair.

Chanel Rouge Coco Baume
It is a hydrating, conditioning lip balm. It looks like a lipstick but has no color, and it is not waxy. I use it all the time to keep my lips from cracking.