An interview with Highlighter Kate Rawnsley

For the next few weeks, the Highlights Network will be posting interviews of some of our featured hairstylists.  This week we have Kate Rawnsley, a Hairstylist and Creative Technical Director, from Bisbane, Australia and recipient of many prestigious industry awards.

Highlights: Tell us a bit about yourself.  Where are you from?  Where do you work?  How long have you been a hairstylist?

Kate: I am the Creative Technical Director for Fruition Hair, Brisbane, Australia.  I’ve been Hairdressing for 17 years, specializing in colour for 9 years.  I am also a National Guest Artist for Schwarzkopf Professional, leading a seminar called Colour Unplugged as well as being part of the Creative Team engaged for key fashion events such as Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival and Fashion Week.  I also work as a stylist, most recently for BALLY and MX magazine.

Schwarzkopf Professional

Highlights:  When did you first realize that you wanted to be a hairstylist?

Kate: As a child, my mother would always take me along with her to our local hairdressing salon. Every week I would sit in the reception area whilst she had her appointment. I thought the hairdressers in the salon were so cool.  The way the dressed, the ease with which they cut, curled, smoothed and moulded the hair into shape. There was also a massive sense of community, with customers looking to the hairdresser for advice not only in relation to their hair but also on life in general! I wanted to be part of that culture and so I started sweeping the floor… I guess it all started from there.

Highlights: What/Who inspires you?

Kate: I am a fashion fanatic.  It totally consumes me, in a completely positive way.  I read tonnes of national and international fashion magazines, BLOGS and trend reports.  Street Style really inspires me too.  I am a huge people watcher.   I also have a fairly eclectic taste in music from x to x… I think all aspects of popular culture are interrelated and clients who want to emulate a particular look often use music artists as a point of reference.

Highlights: Do you have a signature look that you like to create?

Kate: I think every look you create should demonstrate a fundamental understanding of what suits the client’s skin tone, eye colour and face shape.  Creating beautiful hair that enhances all of these things is what I do best.

Highlights: What are your favorite brands/products to work with?


1) Schwarzkopf Professional Blondme Colour Range – for creating really personalised palettes of pastel blondes

2) Schwarzkopf Professional Osis Grip Mousse – for big body blowdry’s

3) Schwarzkopf Professional Osis Dust It – for the dishevelled look

Kate's favorites!

Highlights: What are the best and worst parts of your job?

Kate: Having a creative environment to work in everyday and being able to be myself is a very unique position to be in and why I truly love me job.   There is no time for worst bits!

Highlights: How often do you think people should change their hairstyle?

Kate: I think seasonally…Spring/summer – lighter, softer…Autumn/winter – darker, richer

Highlights: When someone is choosing a stylist, what is a ‘must’ they should look for?

Kate:  I would say that experience; understanding the clients’ natural canvas and creativity are the ‘must haves’ of a great stylist.

Highlights: Would you share with us a few of your best hair tips or insider secrets? What advice would you give to a hairstlyist who is just starting her career?

Kate: Listen to your clients and they will listen to you. For anyone just starting out, always say yes to every opportunity that is offered to you.  Educate and listen to the knowledge that is given to you because it is the key that opens the door to the future of your hairdressing career.

Highlights: What were some of the most defining moments in your career?  Tell us about some of the awards you’ve won and/or some of the people you’ve most enjoyed working with.


  • Australian Hair Fashion Awards Creative Colourist of the Year 2009 – Finalist
  • Schwarzkopf Professional Colour Salon of the Year 2009 – Winner
  • Hair Expo Colour Technician of the Year 2010 – Judges Recognition
  • Hair Expo Colour Technician of the Year 2011 – Judges Recognition

Highlights would like to thank Kate for taking the time to be interviewed!  You are an inspiration to the Highlights Community!!

If anyone has any questions or comments for Kate, please leave them in the comment box!  Stay tuned for next week’s Highlights interview!


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