Chroma is the Greek word for colour and Chroma Hair Studio was inspired by a kaleidoscope view into colour and creating a client service-centric salon. Kim and her husband George Astro opened Chroma Hair Studio in November of 2009. The desire was two-fold: introduce a new salon to the West End community and create a place where knowledge could be passed on.

As both Kim and George have roots in the area, setting up shop in Highgate Hill in Brisbane inner city suburb was a natural choice. “The West End culture is a very positive experience in our lives. Our children grew up in the beautiful surroundings of the multicultural West End.

Chroma Hair Studio is a team of nine, caring, talented and inspired hairdressers who create amazing looks for their clients. The team consists of six stylists, two apprentices and a salon assistant. As the name suggests Chroma are the colour experts with a reputation for amazing balayage.

In the 11 years since its opening, Chroma has drawn a loyal following. The sense of community, which is available in droves in West End is what rests at Chroma’s core. It is a place without hierarchy, where team members respect and care for each other, thriving in the art of hair styling. “We love coming to work every day because it’s the best feeling in the world to see how confident and happy our clients are because they know they look beautiful.”

Kim Astro does not understand the concept of a dull day — the hair guru has owned salons since she was 19 and education has always played a critical role. Kim is a member of the L’Oreal Matrix Australian Design Team working to provide education and inspiration for hairdressers across Australia while also engaging in photo shoots, stage work, and entering hair competitions. As part of the L’Oreal Australian design team Kim educates in her signature balayage techniques – Selfie lights, Glam lights and Sassy lights across the country

“My goal is to inspire and empower others,” said Kim. “To continue spreading the love of education through the hairdressing world, be the best educator, boss and mum I can be while running a very successful business and having a bloody fun time on the journey.”

As the AHIA “Best In- Salon Training” award recipient and QLD State Salon of the year finalist in 2016, education is fundamental to Chroma Hair Studio’s DNA. The education philosophy starts at the very beginning with a tailored and specific recruitment process. The key ingredient being a quest for personality and passion. An apprentice or stylist with personality and passion is key. “If the person has those attributes then the extra training and skills are easy to teach.”

The team follows an innovative training approach which is tailored to the needs of each individual stylists. Each team member completes a training planner at the beginning of the year. The planner focuses on skills and each member undertakes a detailed self-assessment where they rate themselves across the range of skills, highlighting areas where they would like extra education and training. From this self-assessment Kim designs an individual training plan for each team member for the year.

In addition to the individual training plans structured weekly training ensures everyone is up to date on styles, trends, and helping clients find what they did not even know they needed. To support the in-salon training program Chroma Hair Designs have important partnerships in place. “MIG Training are our main training partners. They have been looking after our apprentices since 2010. Before that, we were using a different provider but getting very little training and communication. Since partnering with MIG, training future superstars has become a much simpler process”

MIG + In-Salon + tailored extra education is the approach to apprenticeship training and the secret to the success in Chroma developing their own. The training approach incorporates a workplace model of delivery where MIG mentor, support and assess in-salon. This approach has been successful for many years. In recent times this approach has also been adapted to include a component of traditional college delivery at MIG. As always Chroma are constantly looking for the edge in building the skills of the team.

The structured approach to internal training and working closely with education partners and suppliers is rounded off with an incredible connection to industry and external educators. Team Chroma connect with the very best in education and training by networking and attending all major industry events.

A culture of education, growth and connection has delivered on Chroma’s founding desire to create a place where knowledge could be passed on. Combined with a passion for the industry and an incredibly positive, caring approach to the way they treat people, Chroma has built a much-loved brand that is respected by all who cross their path.