Josif Wittnik is the “Elton John” of the industry. His wardrobe is spectacular and unafraid, his presentation is entertaining and upbeat, and his fame precedes him. But, most of all, Josif is one of the most sought-after teachers in the hair enhancement and restoration sector.
Since 1991 he has run his own studio, Salon CTI, and a school to train emerging beauty technicians. He has appeared globally as a platform artist. Josif is a level 4AA stylist, associated with Redken® and Paris Hilton, and was the first graduate of the KRS Consulting Group. He has created salon editorials; magazine covers, and also has significant celebrity work in his portfolio.
And now he is applying his prodigious energies to help other schools train stylists with his patented curriculum. “What I see out there is the need for specific types of training,” he says, “that will prepare these young people to meet the demands of the most exacting customers.” Josif prides himself on having a vision for his clients before executing his work. “Putting the right look on a client requires a real honest effort,” he says.
The most desirable market is the women who know EXACTLY what they want, and won’t settle for less. They’re looking for the best, and are willing to pay for it. Obviously, they’re also the hardest to please.
That’s why it’s meaningful that Josif recently has become the face of the UltraTress brand from Hair Visions International. “I’ve put a lot of time and energy into a passion I have – changing people’s lives,” says Josif. “UltraTress® gives you more flexibility because it offers beauty makers the option to apply attachments while saving growing hair, even if it’s fragile.”
With his knowledge of what’s happening all over the industry, Josif is excited about the opportunity to fill in the gaps. “Why are graduates coming out of these schools with little or no understanding of extensions?” he asks. “This is not only a booming part of the market, but it’s highly profitable, especially for those who know the best products and techniques.”
Bringing Training into the 21st Century
Josif notes that, “For years wearing hair was a secret. It was done by self-taught hairdressers who went underground to find product for the Hollywood elite, who didn’t want anyone to know they were less than perfect. Clients swore us to silence. If you were caught telling the secret you lost a long-term client and lots of income.”
This is why hair academies and the cosmetology books generally avoided the topic. If you researched wig classes, only ethnic weave classes popped up.
So when a new client came to a traditional hair stylist asking questions, or a client of twenty years started losing her hair, there was no available remedy. “The only tool that we had was some form of liquid, which rarely worked. Once the scalp begins to show through thinning hair you had only two options – surgery or wearing a professional system that was designed specifically for you. And few professionals knew anything about that.”
That’s what propelled Josif into the hair enhancement and restoration industry at the beginning, and what built his reputation as an expert in those techniques.
Filling Today’s Need
Josif’s mission is to change the lives of his clients. “There is only one way to fulfill our mission of serving clients, and that is to know the full range, skill and science of working with extensions, wigs, and beautiful hair systems.”
It’s the extensions that have been getting the least attention in recent years, which is why he is on tour around the country to teach newcomers how to become stars. “This is a career-changing workshop. The two-day hands-on series of sessions gives students access to knowledge about the right systems, creating a custom mold, how to handle texture, color, highlights and lowlights, and – most of all – how to cut, shape and customize to the client’s delight.”
He also includes an hour of round-table debriefing and Q & A, to be sure all the territory is covered, all the questions answered, and all the most important issues firmly reinforced in the stylists’ minds.
“These kids feel overjoyed, accomplished, smarter, and fully educated about things that will make their career take off,” he says.
The UltraTress line is the culmination of over 40 years of research, innovation and customer service that has marked the history of Hair Visions International. President David Schwartz says, “This is the ultimate in extensions, designed to provide the wow factor everyone wants. It’s 100% Remy hair, with cuticles that all flow in the same direction to avoid tangling. We’re quite proud to serve very demanding stylists and their customers with this top-of-the-line collection.”
The UltraTress line includes UltraTress II, handmade with a unique application method that’s the safest on the market, which comes in 31 glorious colors and can be applied where other extensions can’t; Ultra II Plus, with medical adhesive strips and a unique sandwich application method that allows the hair to lay flat and move naturally; UltraWeft, with a discrete design that allows seamless blending into natural hair and exceptional length, volume, body and color that will last for months; UltraTress Grafts, that offer artistic freedom in designing for bangs, top-of-head and crown areas, and integrate perfectly with UltraTress extensions; and now Simplicity, the latest addition to the line, a groundbreaking system of patented extensions with a natural look and amazing comfort that can be applied in under an hour, put less pressure on growing hair, and are cost-effective and easy to remove and re-use.
Josif emphasizes that, “As one who has used all the lines available, I have reached a point where there is nothing other than UltraTress that meets my standards. I’m able to bring a whole new form of education to the youth – versatility, quality of hair and bonds – it’s a revolutionary era!”
Actual Testimonial of an UltraTress wearer…