Keith with Derek Wall, Director of Schwarzkopf who presented Keith a commemorative trophy.

How were you chosen to represent the UK in the Schwarzkopf Silueta World Championships?.

Having had a very successful hairdressing career, during which I had won most of the UK and Irish hairdressing titles, I had been approached by the then Director of Schwarzkopf, Michael Bond. Michael had been actively following my career and asked if I would accept the honour of representing Schwarzkopf UK in Tokyo Japan at the Silueta World Championships. I was speechless at his request but felt both humbled and honoured to have been given the opportunity to represent the UK in this prestigious event. I didn’t have to consider this for long before I accepted his offer and assured him I would do my utmost to bring the trophy home to Northern Ireland.

Cake presented to Keith by long term client Anne-Marie Beattie

What preparations did you make prior to attending the Schwarzkopf Silueta World Championships?.

We had 9 months to prepare so training began straight away. We had experimented with a number of colour combinations and different concepts of hair styles. In 1989 while on a trip to Spain, I got my inspiration from a flower which was red with a deep coloured centre. It looked like a star as it opened up in the bright sunshine. This inspired me to create the colour, the hairstyle and the winning dress which Tracie wore at the final. When eventually I had created the hair shape and design I started to source the material for the dress. I embellished the sleeves with the same flowers, trimmed with black beading and these were all hand stitched. I dyed the shoes the same shade of red and I made the earrings with ruby and jet stones all of which complimented the total look. Once finalised it was practise, practise, practise! This went on continually for the full 9 months prior to the competition. We practised with a stop watch 3 nights a week, late into the evening and most weekends.

How did you feel when you won the Schwarzkopf Silueta World Championships?.

After a long interval which seemed like hours, we were called for the results of the competition. There were three separate titles to be won. The official called a name (which we didn’t recognise due to the language barrier) and then he gestured to me to come up to the stage. I was presented with a large box containing a coffee maker and to this day I have no idea what this first presentation was for! After that there was another presentation for the “Total Look” of your model, which was the Hyakunichiso Prize. This was my second win of the competition and I was delighted that my talent had been recognised. But there was much more to come! This was to be my final accolade but because of the language barrier it was hard to understand what was happening. We remained on stage amid all the cheering and clapping, as the Asian Director of Schwarzkopf approached us holding the World Championship Trophy aloft. His words were simply “Ki Kan”! In other words — Keith Kane! As I accepted this beautiful trophy the confetti showered down upon us and we were suddenly surrounded by tv cameras, photographers and flashing lights.For Tracie and I all the months of hard work had paid off and I was not only very proud of her, but also all that we had achieved in Tokyo.

What impact has winning the Schwarzkopf Silueta World Championships had on your career?

When I returned home I was inundated with many offers including endorsements to act as an ambassador for the major hair companies. This would have involved travelling around the world putting on trade shows and demonstrations but I declined all these offers. My interest has always been to concentrate on and create beautiful hair for all my clients. From an early age my ambition has always been to open my own hairdressing salon where I would have the opportunity to pursue my creative talents. I have been greatly supported by my teams over the last 36 years and I have always appreciated this very much. We recently opened our new Salon just outside Carryduff on the Ballynahinch Road where we offer a wide range of both Hair and Beauty services. We will continue to maintain our high standard of services and customer care. I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all our clients over the past 36 years for their continued loyalty and support.

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