It's time for a change!
I’ve lost count how many apprentices I’ve interviewed. For over a decade now though I’ve known the answer to the main question asked before the words even slip out of their mouth.
What makes you want to be a hairdresser?... ‘I like to make people feel good about themselves.’
Such a simple sentence but with such a deep feeling behind it. It always makes me smile. Another person created to see the beauty in others. Another soul who’s simple life desire is to make others feel confident; to make others smile. Another apprentice that has no idea what they are getting themselves into.
Hairdressers (the good ones) are born, not created. They are knitted together with an amazing gift that even they can get through life without realizing it’s full potential. If they don’t understand or appreciate it though, how does society really understand how talented they are?
To be able to look at another human being, take in their personality, their features, their colouring, their needs and to visually, in their mind, create a masterpiece specific to that person is nothing short of beautiful. To be so passionate about seeing the smile on that persons face when you finally reveal what you have done, that you excitedly go about your career day after day, year after year, cut after cut feeling fulfilled by something so simple.
Hairdressers’ ability is to give the gift of CONFIDENCE! What is confidence worth to a person? What does having confidence mean to a persons daily life? We not only affect them the day that they walk out of the salon, we have a positive impact on a clients life every day when they get up and look in the mirror. How many industries can have that impact on their clients? Yet as hairdressers, we tend to forget how far the ripple effect of our work spreads.
Why then, is there so much burn out for stylists? How many ‘ex hairdressers’ do you know? I’ve lost count. Why did they leave the industry? Why, when a person is born with this beautiful desire, do they not only leave their career, but run screaming from it with pure terror on their face at the thought of returning?
Well there’s the sales pressure with no actual training given in this area in the first place, just the demand to get results. There’s the time pressure to get the clients out the door one after the other (what a perfect way to remove ALL sense of satisfaction of creativity by not being allowed the time to actually PROVIDE that for your client). Then of course there is the simple attitude from basically most of society, including your own clients, that you are ‘just a hairdresser’. Where in the middle of all of this does the ‘I like to make people feel good about themselves’ get a look in?
I see a different phase of our industry needed. A phase where hairdressers really understand their talent; really understand themselves and know their own worth. A time where salon owners have the skills to really nurture their staff and provide a salon environment that really fuels a hairdresser’s passion for their career (as well as creating an environment where they actually CAN deliver the solution to their clients’ needs). A phase where clients understand how to get the most out of their own appointment by understanding how to get the most out of the artist working on them.
To get this ball rolling though, it’s up to the hairdresser to understand themselves. To really deeply appreciate their own artistic talent. To know that your skill is just as valuable as any other career out there! That you are NOT ‘just a hairdresser’. After all, how can you expect others to respect your talent if you don’t?
All For Mary - Creative Director
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