Being one of the the stylists who’s career began before the explosion of social media, I miss the days of genuine face to face conversation. A conversation that’s uninterrupted by the Insta ding, Snapchat bing, texts, alerts or our aimless mindless scrolling. Rubbing our index finger on the glass we’ve shattered, spent a fucking stupid mount to replace, just to shatter it again so we can.......keep.......on........swiping 👌🏻
Soooo why a blog?
I actually really enjoy writing. I went to author conferences when I was younger & in college while taking my Visual Art degree, I used to wing my essays in an all night writing sesh (thanks insomnia!) after not reading the material but reading the summary on Google. Not ideal. I don’t recommend it. But it still got me 90’s.
However it was one particular encounter in 2017 that reignited my desire to write. Consider it the cherry on top of the pile of misinformation out there for clients, current stylists and the future generations entering the industry. Let’s throw in the gaggle that’s social media, egos, lack of vulnerability, fear of judgement, everyone showcasing their highlight reel and not real life (I know your kid took an epic fucking tantrum after you took a selfie during the picnic cause you probably opened their granola bar wrong👍🏻) Do I go on?
So this is what happened.
A while back, I met a seasoned stylist of over 20 years in Calgary. When he was asked what advice he had for the new generation of stylists he flat out said without any hesitation, ' Find another job.' I had to momentarily control my 'Mc'scuse me?!' face & gave myself the afternoon to mull over his statement and came to some reasonable conclusions:
This industry is hard as fuck on your body. Throw in any pre existing conditions and your daily and lifetime pain and woes are amplified. Period.
Finding your 'people' is a journey. Finding a work environment that will encourage you throughout your career, genuinely care about how successful you are and actually give a flying shit about your work life /balance are few and far in between. Not everybody fits into the 9-5 Tuesday to Saturday know how to do it all be a master of non jack of all trades box.
It can be a thankless job. The industry has changed & will continue to do so. Social media is an incredible communication tool, BUT does make our job incredibly difficult when we say 'no' to a service and you see stylists all over Insta posting a 12hr job condensed into a 30 second video with zero advice on maintenance, 0 after photos of the fadeage on mermaid colours, the steps involved or wait for it...COST. That was a mouthful. When we are the person standing between someone who’s already, in their mind , decided they’re leaving with Kylie Jenner hair...even though you’ve told them it’s a wig. Yah. Cue the crickets.
We are stylists. Therapists. Professional huggers. Expectation managers. Consultants. Interior designers. Conflict managers. Match makers. Cheerleaders. Secretaries. Bookkeepers. Cleaners. Wives, husbands, and mums. Did I forget stylist? 😂
Do I sound like a Grade A asshole?
But these have been MY experiences & are my opinions. I won’t apologize for that. What I hope is that by bringing these to light, and putting them out there for fellow professionals, future stylists, clients and even just those that want a good read, whether you're sitting in the chair or standing behind it - you will understand. As a professional, understand you are not alone, and many others have the same fears, insecurities, wants and dreams as you do. For the future generations, this industry is full of incredible opportunities YOU can create for yourself. And for clients or for those who enjoy reading all my F bombs, this is our job not a hobby. It is a lifelong journey of honing our skills, education & self discovery.
A stylists chair is equivalent to that of therapist, a hairapist is what my mentor Kate used to call us.
I want to bring that back.
Bring the value back to the appointments, to when we built genuine & sincere relationships with our clients. To when we saw them as more than just $$$$$ walking through the door. To when we shared the best and absolute worst days with them and actually made a conscious effort to remember it. To realizing people aren’t just paying you for hair, but rather paying you for a feeling. To leave our chairs feeling fucking epically fantastic. So let’s stop the shitty unfulfilling chit chat, keep our hangover stories to ourselves (like pop a tic tic and layer new makeup over last nights makeup if that’s your thing 🤷🏼♀️) and as stylists, lets all remind ourselves why we are able to enjoy our less conventional lifestyle.
Without them you don’t get to replace the iPhone screen you’ve cracked so many times you’ve lost count.
Spend a painful amount on clothes at Aritzia....just to splatter them with bleach.
Buy the Tom Ford lipstick no one will realize is Tom Ford but you.
To get lashes so thick it looks like you had a fight with your liner pen. Also can someone explain this trend to me? Why do you want your lashes to look like a peacocks bottom....?
To give Starbucks 3/4 of our paychecks.
Buy ALL of homesense. Like all of it🙌🏻
To put our gremlins in daycare, upgrade our house, splurge on a car or go on vacation.
WE are nothing & have nothing without our clients.
Don’t fucking forget it.