The Man Behind The Name
Dedication and a total commitment to quality education, services and products, combined with very hard work, is the only way Kenneth Shuler knows how to do business. Since childhood, Kenneth has seen this philosophy practiced and the successful outcomes it produces. His father practiced this philosophy daily in the homes that he constructed. He built more than homes. As a family and community role model, the elder Shuler built an outstanding reputation in South Carolina as someone who prided himself on superb quality, exceptional craftsmanship, added value and hard work. It was not until Hurricane Hugo hit areas where his father had built homes that Kenneth realized the success of his father’s hard work and a quality product. Many areas where Kenneth’s father built homes were hit hard and suffered damage. However, his father’s homes sustained minimal damage compared to all of the neighboring homes. Kenneth took note of this lesson.
"Quality stands the test of time."
Kenneth knew that he, too, would make a name for himself and be successful by following his father’s philosophies. After graduating from the Palmetto State Barber College in 1959, he was first hired as an apprentice at a local barbershop.
A slight setback proved favorable for Kenneth, who then decided to pack up and move to Myrtle Beach, SC. It was there in 1960, working ‘behind the chair,’ that he started to build his artistic and business-savvy reputation.
In 1964, Kenneth was proudly named the ‘South Carolina Barber of the Year.’ He also won the Men’s South Carolina Hairstyling Championships in 1966 and 1967.
In 1966, he opened Kenneth’s Men’s Hairstyling Barber Shop in Myrtle Beach, SC, where he was an owner and a hairstylist for two years. He was then offered an opportunity to purchase a school in Columbia, SC. Kenneth decided that he needed to take advantage of this special opportunity, so he moved to Columbia in 1968. He received his South Carolina Barber Instructor’s license and took over the Capital Barber College as the new owner, where he added men’s hairstyling to the curriculum. Kenneth knew there was a need for better basic and advanced education in the professional hair industry. During the 1960s, by making presentations across the state of SC, he helped establish the new longer trends in men’s hairstyles, making them more acceptable in society as well as providing an enrollment boost for his barber college.
His first national recognition came when his work was featured on the cover of the May 1968 issue of Master Barber and Beautician Magazine with the step-by-step directions for cutting and styling his model.
Kenneth states, “I remember the laughs and smirks when I advocated that men could and should use blow dryers and professional hairstyling products.” He became known as a maverick, yet also as a man who always stood on solid business principles.
The continued improvement of quality instructors and educational curriculums available to cosmetology students became an important mission for Kenneth.
Even though he had achieved a high level of success for himself, he was never satisfied until he began to consider how he could reach the next level for his students as well.
He served as President of the South Carolina Barber’s Association from 1970 to 1971 and began his membership with the National Hairdressers Cosmetology Association (NHCA) in 1979, as well as his membership with the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences (NACCAS) in 1981. His love of the professional beauty industry and his desire to always learn something new encouraged him to attend many advanced workshops and seminars including eight consecutive Redken National Seminars from 1970 through 1978, the Success Motivation Institute in 1977 and the Dale Carnegie Personal Development Course in 1978.
Kenneth felt that there were more opportunities for him to better the entire cosmetology industry. In 1981, he opened the first Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology. From 1985 to 1988, Kenneth was a member of the Steering Committee with School America NHCA and in 1986 he organized the Men’s Hair Fashion Committee for South Carolina and served as a member on the newly-formed committee that same year. He has also served as two-time past-President of the South Carolina Association of Cosmetology Schools. In addition, Kenneth owns and oversees a chain of successful hairstyling salons.
As of 2012, for 44 years, Kenneth has helped define the cosmetology industry and education program locally in South Carolina as well as throughout the nation and the world.
Expect to see much more from him as he continues to change the way cosmetology is taught and implemented. When asked what we may see in the future, Kenneth states,
"There is definitely more to come! I want our schools to be known as the top of the line for quality in the cosmetology industry."