Karen Whelan of Aidan Fitzgerald has received recognition as the First Colour Expert Salon in Ireland by the Good Salon Guide. This award recognises the exceptional level of training and expertise that Karen and her colour technicians have achieved. This is the first award of its kind by the Good Salon Guide in Ireland.
In an industry that has been largely dominated by men at top for the past 50 years in Ireland, this is the first time a woman has been awarded an International Accreditation for her expertise, level of training and ability to demonstrate her skills within the industry. L’Oréal, Matrix, Wella, Alfaparf and Schwarzkopf are offering colour specialist degree training which has raised the standard of professional hair colouring in Ireland to an international level. The Good Salon Guide is a Michelin Star rating and accredits hair salons in Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and Malta.
Karen Whelan is a native Dubliner and studied hairdressing at the VEC Crumlin. She went on to serve her apprenticeship under Frank Hession where she was recognised as a talented and enterprising trainee. She completed her full training but quickly discovered that colour was her passion. She pursued a career with L’Oréal where she took up a position as Technical Manager with responsibility for all training in Southern Ireland. This position gave her an incredible insight into the colour market and her skills were regularly sought when colour went wrong in the salon sector.
20 years ago Karen joined forces with Aidan Fitzgerald in Blackrock and took over as Technical Manager of the Colour Room, on the 1st Floor of the Salon, with 17 working chairs and a team of six Colour Specialists and assistants. This state of the art Colour Floor provides quality colour services and treatments to clients by a highly skilled colour team using products that include L’Oréal, Matrix and Natulique.
Karen has regularly featured on Off the Rails, The Gerry Ryan Show and has travelled to Paris, London and Iceland with the Aidan Fitzgerald Creative Team demonstrating their skills. She works a busy column which includes a list of celebrity clientele from Ministers to Hollywood Stars - Kiera Knightly and Colin Farrell - and a well-established discerning client base while managing a dynamic young team.
Karen is hands-on with colour training evenings for apprentices and is constantly striving to be at the forefront of the colour industry. Karen loves the ‘light bulb’ moment when apprentices come in to their own with colouring and develop their own style with confidence. Karen realises the importance of advising her clients to update and adapt their colours on a regular basis.
The award was presented to Karen Whelan by Dawson Penn, the founder of Good Salon Guide, with special guest, Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Enterprise, Mary Mitchell O’Connor.
Images: Dave Cullen Photography