Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What does it take to be a Hairdresser?

I am pretty sure that this question is asking "how do I become licensed" but I am going to answer it as it is. What does it take? Truthfully it takes a lot. It's not an easy industry to be a part of. So we will start at square one, beauty school. States vary in how many hours each student needs to graduate. It is between 1,300 hour and 2,000 hours. I personally had to do 2,000. This includes studying hair, makeup, skin, nails, etc. The chemistry and process behind each product and color line. Not to
mention business, marketing and people skills. This costs an average of $15,000-20,000 and takes 6 months to 2+ years!

Next is getting out into the real world. Most people start as an apprentice or assistant. They make close to minimum wage and learn the basics of the salon world. Booking appointments, sweeping floors, washing hair, assisting stylists in blowouts or foiling, making confirmation calls, etc. This last 6-18 months usually.

Next you become an actual stylist! Finally you have arrived! But most of the time (no matter how long you have been in the industry) before you can get a job you have to do an oral interview (which is like most interviews) and then a trail or practical interview, where you have to do a cut and color on a client in front of the boss to see if you are up to par. Then if you get the job you go to work! You get to work alongside competition! Every single stylist in your salon does what you do, and your clients could go to any one of them. So it's important to make clients loyal to you and not just your salon space.

Then you have to get continued education. Some states require it to continue being licensed. Others don't but it is still offered. You end up paying to stay up to date and current on trends, products, techniques and to stay relevant in the industry. Classes range from $20-150 each! You also are usually in charge of buying you own business cards, promotional material, and tools. In many cases you also have to choose and purchase your own product and hair color.

Then you get to stand all day, literally all day. You have your arms up 90 de
grees or higher for 80% of that time. There have been days when I am at the salon from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. and I only sit down when I am going to the bathroom! It's a fast paced and crazy environment with inconsistent pay, a lot of competition, tons of crazy clients and situations you find yourself in!

So why do it? Because we love it! You can't do hair and not love it! There is a stereo type that girls who don't want to go to "real college" or that get pregnant and drop out of high school go to hair school. I have to admit that I saw a lot of girls in that boat in my cosmetology school. None of those girls lasted more than 3 months after graduation, except for the few that became super driven and passionate. It takes heart, passion and love to do what we do. The love of making people look and feel confident! The ability to physically touch hundreds of people’s lives every week! It's amazing! I love this industry, but it's not easy!

*** Thanks for asking Melia Neilson***

What's the perfect Wash and Go Haircut?

Ah! The elusive wash and go haircut! I have had so many clients sit in my chair and say that this is what they want. Well the truth is, there isn't one. There are a few people who have normal hair density with a straight texture and they can just air dry their hair and go, but that is SUPER rare. And there certainly isn't a haircut that will magically make your hair hang in a specific way. When you sleep your hair will move, when you drive your car your hair will lay differently, and after showing however your hair is positioned when drying will change the overall look when dry.

The next question I usually get from clients when I say this "Well how can I get it to look like you do after blow drying it at home?" Simple, do what I do! I don't use Pantene Shampoo, Herbal Essences Hairspray and Suave Mousse on your hair do I? No, I don't. If I did then it wouldn't look like that. I invest in the products I use on you and myself.  If you want to get the look I am giving you then buy the products I am using on you, invest in you. I always say you aren't spending money on vanity or beauty products, you are investing in confidence and in you.

TIP: If you buy the products and try the technique I am using and it doesn't look right - PRACTICE! My first blow out on a client in hair school was a hot mess (and lasted over an hour)! It takes time, it takes practice and muscle memory. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither were my skills, and your wont be either. I did 2,000 hours of practice before I was even paid for my first client! It's okay if you don't get right on try one... or five.

***Thanks to Jannice for this question***