Advice to Up & coming HAIR STYLISTS
Ten years ago, when I started out in the beauty industry, I was gifted with many strong minded and experienced mentors. I was only 17 after all ...and these words of wisdom along the way were integral in shaping the beginning on my career. However, ten years later, there are a few things I would love to pass along to anyone new to the beauty industry....
You can do AMAZING thing no matter WHERE YOU START
I grew up in a very small town...my first salon was a "big fish in a little pond" place, and it was unheard of to charge anything over $50 for a haircut. You get the point...it's sometimes hard to set your sights high when most things around you are telling you there's no chance to surpass the "norm". I never dreamed of making what I make today, having the experiences I've had or opportunities I've been given.....BUT, I always knew MORE was possible-and always strived for more, no matter the situation. Never let any person place or circumstance dictate WHERE you strive to go. You are only as limited as you allow yourself to be. And guess what? Faking it until you make it is always an option! Don't SETTLE!
Never apologize for your prices
You are a professional. You worked hard for that license and trained hard for that chair. Don't ever feel the need to apologize for charging whatever you do for your WORK. You dont walk into Saks Fifth Ave and hear them apologizing for the price of a bag or shoes. You dont walk into a restaurant and hear the waiter apologize for the price of a steak or discount it because you don't have a lot of money. (Of course, there are those exception clients and friends we all want to help out & that's beautiful). So here's the deal....your work is WORTH it. This is your CAREER. And most of all...getting your hair done is an elective-no one will die if they can't get that color done....so don't ever let anyone lowball you into working for less than your worth. Trust me, your clients will respect the respect you have for yourself.
Dress the part
The BEST thing that was ever said to me about appearance was by a mentor in L.A. , when I asked what the salon dress code was. His reply was "Make sure you dress in a way that if a magazine came in to take photos, you would feel comfortable". Basically, if you wouldn't want to be photographed or filmed like that -step it up. I have seen way too many junior stylists come to work with wet hair, no makeup & ripped clothing (and trust me-this took ME awhile too!!!). Yes, I understand buying a top wardrobe when you're starting out isn't usually an option...but there are always ways to look more put together, and to show your style personality. Believe me, as much personality and good work go a long way...dressing for the salary you WANT goes even further!
Don't get DISCOURAGED
Sure, some stylists get into the industry and realize they really dont like working with people as much as they thought....but the first year you are on the floor is mostly a learning experience. It's your moment to learn how to handle difficult clients, situations and personalities. It's your time to hone your skill set and gain your own inner strength and confidence. Don't ever think you need to have everything together out the gate-it takes time. And there's no shame in admitting that you're still learning....because no matter what stage you're at-were ALL still learning!