My Life As A Hairstylist

Salon owner, hairstylist, educator, product maker, photographer

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Hey Vancouver, We Are Putting On A Hairshow!!!

teals show small

My team and I are super excited to be a part of a very cool project. I have always wanted to put on a hairshow at the Vancouver Planetarium, so when my friend Ryan Teal called to say he wanted to come to Vancouver and do something, I knew this was the right time.

The Teals are Ryan and DeAnnalyn Teal are super talented stylists and educators based in Portland Oregon, but from we can tell they’ve not been home in years. The Teals won North American Salon Team of the Year a few years back for their amazing editorial work.hey are too busy educating all over North America.

The Teals are going to be showing cutting, colouring and wigmaking at this session and we will be hosting them in the salon the following day for a limited seating hands-on event. It’s going to be awesome.

Our team is going to do a short set to open for the Teals, with our brilliant Education Director Devon Plamondon and the prodigious Jaelyn Walker, (who happens to be the hottest colourist in Vancouver right now and is only a couple of years out of hair school) joining me on stage. We will be knocking out some cuts and styles for the crowd and be sharing some of our ideas on hairdressing and success in the business.

This is also the Canadian launch of:

Hattori Hanzo Shears- a badass, high-end scissor manufacturer based in California and manufacturing in Japan. They are making some absolutely brilliant cutting tools and are taking over the industry right now through the quality of their tools and their amazing education.

Product For Hair is a company my wife and I started about 11 years ago after a falling out with a certain large product company. Tired of the bullshit and the lies being told by big manufacturers, we started our own brand and are finally sharing it.

This is a small event, with only 85 seats, and it’s going to be the coolest thing you do this year.
For tickets, go to:

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I’m a New Weekly Writer For American Salon Magazine Online!


I am proud to be a part of an incredible group of amazing industry experts and stylists sharing our views, techniques and ideas. Check in each week at American Salon Magazine for my latest blog posts and videos!

Here is a link to my latest video, this one is about Saying YES! I hope you like it.

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Did You Know We Run The Most Revolutionary Hair Program in North America?

There are a lot of hairdressing schools out there. In fact, probably too many. But our program is different.

The Vancouver Hairdressing Academy is the shortest, most accelerated system anywhere. Our 6 month 3 day a week program allows you to train faster and enter the workforce sooner. You will get a jump start on your career because we won’t waste a minute of your time teaching you things that you don’t need to know.

And when you are thinking about where to go for hairdressing education, an important thing to consider is who is behind that education and what have they themselves accomplished in the hairdressing world.

Long before we opened our first academy, we built our reputation in the salon world. And we did that through apprenticeships. We trained our team from the ground up, whether they had gone to hairdressing school or not.
And we have helped launch the careers of some very well known and award-winning stylists.

You can get your hairdressing education from a lot of places. But when you have the choice, consider getting it from the people who are out there every day running salons and performing services at the absolute highest levels of the industry. From people who have done it.

Most importantly is our students’ and graduates’ perspective. Watch this video and hear what they have to say:

For information on how you can join the most progressive hair school anywhere, contact

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Your Body Language, And Why Faking It Is A Good Thing

I am kind of protective of the term “Fake it till you make it.” It gets a bad rap because people don’t really understand what it means, and it gets used a lot by cheesy people. But it is a simple term that describes a philosophy or mantra that can change our lives if we choose to adopt it or are forced into it.

To me, it means getting out of your comfort zone and forcing yourself to do the things you aren’t good at or maybe scare you. Eventually you evolve and realize that you can do anything you want to do. And that is the most powerful realization a person can have.

Watch this very interesting TED talks by Amy Cuddy about body language, power, confidence and much more. And a great story about faking it until she made it starts around 15:30.

Big thanks to Caramel Salon stylist Aimee Cox for sending this one my way.

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Your Saturday Action Plan 4- Ask For Referrals


Asking for referrals can be one of the most difficult and awkward things for a stylist to do. Part of the reason is scripting. But it’s through our existing and happy clientele that we have our most loyal and vocal “fans,” and no amount of advertising or social media investment beats a client leaving the salon looking incredible and feeling great. This is the client that will rave about you whenever someone in their circle complains about their hair.

There are lots of ways to ask for referrals, but I watch my most successful stylists for simpler, easier ideas.

I have a woman working for me and she makes a phenomenal living. She is a multi award-winning stylist named Alina Friesen. Part of the reason she is so successful is because she is always dialed in to her client’s experience. And because of this, she never misses an opportunity or a cue.

A client mentioned that her daughter was coming home from university for the summer. Every stylist I know, myself included would have done the small talk thing; “where is she going, does she like it, does she have a boyfriend…”

Instead, Alina immediately and excitedly asked, “Oh my God, do I get to do her hair?”

So simple and powerful. Mom ended up buying a gift certificate for not just that daughter but the other as well, and brought them both in and of course, bought new products and styling tools for them because that’s what Moms do.

Our education director Devon Plamondon is a great stylist, very successful, and he has a different approach. He very calmly says to his clients as they are leaving, “Send me your friends with bad hair.” Amazingly simple, not forced at all, and is a cute little farewell to his clients.

What I like about forcing yourself to ask for referrals, as well as all the other behaviour and scripting I discuss in Saturday Action series is that you can’t do any of it unless you are performing at your highest levels. Asking for referrals, retailing, giving styling lessons, pre-booking and every other action a successful stylist does is not possible if you are not totally and completely dedicated to doing your best work and making sure the client is thrilled.

By exceeding clients’ expectations, asking for what you need becomes very easy. But it’s impossible to do if you aren’t doing everything you can to do gorgeous hair and create for an awesome client experience.