There is nothing more dangerous to development and growth than fast success; success that hasn’t been what would be considered earned in the traditional sense. Most of us lack the ability to deal with rapid success, which is why you see most pop stars become insufferable assholes after a hit or two, and why they all tend to be broke and forgotten a few years later.
Our industry is in full Kardashian era right now, and much like what the K family is doing to the priorities of a large chunk of the under 30 set in the western world, this is causing what might be irreparable damage to the industry.
The reason is that hairdressing has become generic, boring and way too easy.
I’m a cranky old bastard so we can get that out of the way. Perhaps I’m being super dramatic, but I don’t think so.
As much as a few people like to think I’m a progressive thinker, I’m very old school in my belief system; develop your craft through apprenticeship, working your ass off under a master or two. Overcome adversity and work until you are deemed good enough, fight for your skillset and your station. At the same time, I do believe in faking it until you make it and putting out the perception to clients and potential clients that you are better than you might be in order to build your books. Because clients want to sit in the chair of an exciting and passionate hairdresser, and they certainly want to have faith that their stylist is fantastic.
But the important part here is that the stylist themselves need to know that they have work to do and that they should never be satisfied with their current skills or abilities. Never being satisfied means the stylist will continually work to become better, through ongoing training as well as a truly objective opinion of their own work. The issue we are having today is in how many relatively new stylists view their current skillset, and who they are influenced by each day.
I was lucky to have apprenticed under a few very demanding hairdressers who were much more knowledgeable than I was. They weren’t always nice, but they were fucking awesome and I had a deep need for their approval and to figure out how to get my work to be great, like theirs was. That need in me was personal, but was also part of the culture of the salon I worked with, to grow through the ranks of the company and become a master stylist. And this is what I attempt to do with my own company as well.
Today we have a very different industry than we did 3 years ago, even 12 months ago. If you’ve read this far, I thank you. But here is where I will start pissing some of you off:
Instagram, YouTube, “PLEX” products are hurting the future of the craft of hairdressing.
Instagram itself is an awesome tool for sharing work and allowing people to build their businesses by showcasing the type of work they like to do and are excited about. It’s wonderful in that we all have a website that anyone can view in seconds and it broadens our potential reach drastically. It’s basically given everyone an equal opportunity platform to let the world know what they are all about. Awesome, right?
What we have seen since this phenomena started is a rapid dumbing down of hairdressing. This platform has launched a new generation of industry stars, virtually unknown, almost overnight. And that in itself is amazing, except for when some of those people aren’t that good at doing hair.
Now this is not at all trying to imply that Instagram famous hairdressers aren’t great. Many of them are amazing and do wonderful and sophisticated cuts, colours and finishing.
But a small handful of these stylists are not very good. At all. And it’s clear that they are unaware of it. And no, I’m not naming names.
So now what’s happening is that a few shit stylists have become influencers to an entire new generation of stylists, who try to emulate them. Product companies are sucking up to and endorsing stylists because of reach rather than skills.
Now we come full circle to that thing about surrounding yourself with amazing people who are way better than you so you can always see that you have room to grow. Many of these people won’t look around the room because they are starstruck by IG hairdressers and want to follow a similar path to success. And because most of these stylists are also constantly putting up bullshit inspirational memes about independence and being true to yourself, new industry talent sees this as their path also, rather than working their asses off to perfect their craft and to climb a ladder in an amazing salon company. It’s now a race to rent a “loft” space and work alone. While I totally get independence and the micro-salon thing, it absolutely should not be the goal for anyone but the most together, driven and entrepreneurial of us, and that is an extremely small minority. But that is another article.
So here we are today, where tens of thousands of hairdressers are making a cacophony with largely similar, often mediocre to completely shit work on social media. In literally 3 years, the legends, the people who have put their time in, who have dedicated a lifetime to artistry and craft are disappearing from eyes of the vast majority of the industry while mediocre curl-sets hiding mediocre cuts reign supreme.
We used to rip through trade magazines each month to see who was featured and who was doing what. We would wait for the Contessas, the NAHAs and the British Hairdressing Awards to see what new, incredible work would be put out and who would evolve into a future icon or legend by consistently being nominated or winning. We would see what the latest photography and makeup trends for editorial were going to be and who was going to do something truly meaningful and lasting.
Whenever I speak, I ask if my classroom knows of certain industry icons. Of course everyone has heard of and icon like Vidal, but in a very vague, mythical sense. But few will know of Roger Thompson, Trevor Sorbie or Tim Hartley. And of course I don’t even bother with names like Akin Konizi, Angelo Seminara or Mark Hayes.
But they absolutely do know the Instagram stylists with huge followings. Again, this is not at all meant to be negative about people putting out work that they love. And again, many them are fantastic and we should all have had the foresight and have worked so hard at the outset of social media to secure our place. And, they deserve all their success for putting out work that people are loving.
What it is about is our technical and creative leaders who have spent a lifetime honing their craft being replaced almost overnight, sometimes by people who are incapable of cutting a one-length bob. And when a standard of technical excellence and pursuit of perfection is being replaced by a pursuit of likes and followers, our industry suffers.
I believe in having a solution before bringing up a problem, and there is hope, but it falls on a few key people:
All hairdressing school instructors and mentors have a responsibility to teach people about the history of modern hairdressing. Vivian Mackinder‘s wonderful video series, “I’m Not Just A Hairdresser,” is part of my academy curriculum and I make it my mission to introduce my students to the icons of this industry. My personal hero is Trevor Sorbie, so I make it my mission to introduce him to my students and staff.
The trade magazines already promote NAHA, Contessa and BHA winners in print and showcase what can happen when hairdressers push the boundaries. But they should celebrate these people on one IG post per day. It would be invaluable to young hairdressers. Let’s be honest, our trade magazines’ social media accounts are following right now rather than leading. I get that they have to tap in to the popular vote in order to gain followers, but they also have a responsibility to uphold the highest of standards and only showcase the best of the best. They should also make it their agenda to help push rather than follow, which seems to be what is happening lately.
The Hairbrained Teach-In is one of the few ongoing platforms where icons, legends and new talent alike get together on a stage and show their work and talk about their beliefs. I love what they do over there, and I think it would be amazing if they would invite an Instagram famous stylist to participate at each teach-in. Right now there seems to be a divide, and by welcoming them into their arms and giving them their platform, it will bring people together, and this can only be good for our industry. And the gang at HB will discover what many of us already know; that these are awesome, passionate talented hairstylists who are capable of great work and inspiring others. I consider the HB Teach-In to be a showcasing of the elite, and I think the elite should embrace these artists and start to bridge a widening gap.
The artists themselves need to work harder for a stronger social media presence Of course the trade magazines promoting them should help as well. I looked at several IG accounts of the 2016 NAHA finalists, and most have dismal followings. The scale needs to become a bit more balanced, as the work we currently see and is celebrated by the community at large is more or less all the same.
Right now the industry is heading towards Idiocracy. But there is hope, because we have never seen so many people taking pictures of and celebrating their work. This is incredible. But what needs to happen is an industry-wide effort to improve standards and raise the bar. And to recognize mediocrity and not reward it with likes, follows and compliments.
We need to not be afraid to say the Emperor has no clothes.
But Michael, why are you bitching about “PLEX” products? They are awesome!
Well, they have made it so nobody has to master the art of the colour correction anymore. Slap on some high volume bleach and you’re there. While it is a true miracle and an incredible breakthrough, it has made doing hair colour something that your average person can learn on Youtube in an afternoon and perform reasonably well in their kitchen now. And not only that, we have so many hairdressers teaching professional colour technique publicly rather than in private accounts.
Again, I’m a cranky old guy, so take that for what it’s worth. It’s my opinion that the majority of hairdressers out there suck and the majority have always sucked. I myself am only fairly decent at it. But never before have we seen an era where mediocrity and sameness has been so celebrated en masse. If you’re a hairdresser and you care, decide that you aren’t good enough and then invest the time in truly becoming great.
But it is going to require looking outside the wavy hair-noise we are inundated with each day.
May 30, 2016 at 2:16 pm
So much…… Well everything you’ve said is true, maybe the saddest day for me was when I was talking to a veteran (11 years) behind the chair, and she didn’t have a clue who Vidal Sassoon was. A little bit of hope fore the industry died in me that day.
May 30, 2016 at 4:06 pm
Wow. I get it. I would enjoy an historical study about civilizations and cultures based on grooming practices. As superficial as it may be, it can convey the social condition. Currently, our culture’s “selfie mentality” is dumbing us down. Taking our craft a bit more seriously would be refreshing. That being said, the hairstyling industry has the amazing ability to conform to who ever is practicing it or vice versa.
Anyway, I’m old and grouchy too.
May 30, 2016 at 4:26 pm
Thanks Michael for another awesome rant!! Its something I rant about all the time to myself and who ever will listen. I have been progressively looking for the solution to this phenomena. I used to think it was an Island thing (I am a salon owner in Victoria) But have only lived here 7 years and I have seen many salons and studios and stylists come and go. And the ones who have the same “Old School” perspective and values, with an updated version are still around. They are solid and they have a formula. I believe that there are still people who want to be the best stylist they can be and be fully booked.
I’m not sure if things have really changed much since I started out except for the platform of showing /telling everyone how wonderful you are. The proof is always in the pudding! You can only fake it for so long. I do believe there is the new and old wave of educated and talented salon owners who are bringing customer service and precision hairstyling and colouring back. Those are the places that are attracting the clients that are tired of the latter.
Thanks again Michael love your posts!
May 30, 2016 at 6:09 pm
Same thing also happening in the makeup industry. IG fakeup artists dominate while actual pros have no following.
I’m hoping the trend will swing the other way, it usually does. But wha’s really scary is that social media and technology in general are unpredictable and everything is so easy to access. That ease and the misguided thought that achieving a certain level of success is easy is what the newbies see and believe.
May 30, 2016 at 8:15 pm
While I mostly agree with this article; being a well trained craft hairdresser who assisted under some great talent and who knows hair hero history, but who has also decided that working in a studio is right for me right now; I’d say that this change with social media and the possibility of being doin business independently is pretty amazing. I follow both industry icons and insta famous artists. They both have their value in their own way. There will be a balance again. These insta artists are super skilled in showcasing their work and marketing themselves. We could all learn from them in this changing climate. Also I love being in a studio right now. There’s no lack of education. Actually I’ve been forced out of my bubble and have attended education with a broader perspective then the salon I’d been in for the last 10 years. I’ve grown as a hairdresser and as a business person. My career started to feel a little stale; I had reached the top of my salon ladder. Now being independent I’m as passionate as ever about my craft. I surround myself with more inspiration via social media then before because before I only had my immediate peers and the platform artists I saw at big events on rare occasion. I attend classes with as many amazing artists as I can. The unfortunate thing is that there are many brands that exclude independent artists. That make it hard to reach the best of the best unless you work at an elite salon which is not possible for everyone. Social media has opened that world up.
May 30, 2016 at 10:09 pm
Who really cares about being able to cut a one-length Bob? It’s like being able to do finger-waves in 1967 when nobody wanted them and hadn’t for 25 years. Being able to cut a Bob isn’t any longer a criteria to judge whether someone is a good hairdresser because hardly anyone is wearing it today, certainly nobody under 40 anyway, in fact haircutting is fading fast as the money-generating service in the hair trade and it has been in decline for a few years. As anyone can see it’s color and styling which is driving salon revenue today, the proof is the number of Blow-Dry shops opening up which don’t even sell haircuts and the biggest irony of all? Vidal Sassoon’s own daughter owns some! Even she is hip to the fact that haircuts are out of style.
May 31, 2016 at 5:24 am
Wow, if you are old enough to have worked with Vidal, l am truly shocked that you don’t realize the value of a good foundation to build on. People forget that hairdressing is geometry, and chemistry – not just artistic talent. The Bob is part of that foundation, that knowledge ( and patience to learn it ) are invaluable to an artist.
May 31, 2016 at 6:23 am
You are the idiot this article is about. The fact you made this statement shows how grossly out of touch you are. So you can’t cut a good bob? Pathetic. Bobs are a classic shape that will always be used. Do your clients and the industry a huge favor and become a barista.
May 31, 2016 at 8:49 am
I don’t need to come to Mitchell’s defense, but he has been doing hair since the 60s and certainly knows his way around a bob. He claims to have worked with Vidal way back when.
He’s just super opinionated and loves pushing people’s buttons.
May 31, 2016 at 11:17 am
I think you’re missing the point here. The ability to cut a precise bob has nothing to do with fading tends but more to do with the artist’s ability to dedicate their skills, time and patience to leaning and understanding the the basics to be able to create something of their own. You need to master the rules before you can successfully break them.
I don’t know where you live but in Canada’s capital bobs are and always will be a staple classic. Not everyone wants colour or highlights or a great style that will last them until their next wash.
You need to be able to give your guests something they can work with on their own every day! A precise, one-length bob is something that air-dries beautifully when done right and is easy to maintain. All yourself how many of your clients WANT to spend any time styling their hair at home.
A weak foundation lays ruin to any work.
June 1, 2016 at 7:05 am
I see your point, in regards to your comment on “The Bob”. I believe that we can only blame ourselves, for permitting corporations to take over our profession, telling us what works and sells in regards to their products agenda. Thank you for your insight
May 30, 2016 at 10:23 pm
Mitchell, the point of learning fingerwaves, pin curls, roller sets and every other technique wasn’t to be “trendy” it’s to learn to manipulate hair properly.
If you study the ebb and flow of hair fashion, trends you will see that the Bob will resurge many times throughout your career.
When you don’t have a solid understanding of the basics you can’t ever evolve. Eventually you’ll have to do precision work, and your career will die if you cannot perform.
May 30, 2016 at 10:25 pm
BTW…I don’t disagree with much of your thesis above regarding the state of hairdressing today but I love many of the young hotshots who are using the Web to become instant stars and create a following with their innovative ideas and personalities, it’s young, fun and dynamic. They’ll have to keep working at it to stay in the limelight and those who do will deserve to be on platforms showing the rest of us what’s new. As for myself, I simply can’t be bothered to sit and watch a dullard demonstrating another tired graduated Bob and expecting me to spend an hour doing so. It’s time that we had a shake-up and got some new, fun and creative young people onstage and online, the tired old-guard who have been resting on their laurels for decades should go quietly into the night and let the new generation evolve. As to Olaplex, (the first and best of the ‘bond-repairing’ products), well, I can’t see why such an innovative product should be derided, it works! As to a loss of skills in the trade…I worked with Vidal in his original London salon during the 1960’s and he was ridiculed by the hairdressing establishment (who made their living doing weekly wash-and-sets) as being ‘a Barber’ because he saw the demise of the roller-set (it’s on the way back BTW) and said so.
May 31, 2016 at 7:44 am
Is this my old friend form the BTC days? How are you? Still being the provocateur I see.
June 1, 2016 at 8:33 pm
I love your point of view.
May 30, 2016 at 11:04 pm
Let’s also talk about the fact that the only people we celebrate as masters are MEN! In an industry that is predominantly women. I know many Women who are masters, yet we only promote and celebrate the boys. This is where IG has helped. Its seems to break the chain a little because it’s not the same people, men and women, deciding who is a master.
May 31, 2016 at 11:18 am
June 5, 2016 at 9:37 pm
agree 100% Angeina!
May 31, 2016 at 12:30 am
I 100% agree with you, it’s even More relevant in the Makeup Artist community… Yes, there are some talented folks on social media BUT a very small percent on a Global Level. Then the company’s jump in and Pay them big bucks, to endorse, rather, “push” the products…
I’m an Independent Educator myself, I’ve put my All into continued education Nationally & Internationally … And it hurts me to see/hear certain things in my classes, such as “Why can’t I use the Permanent color that I used for the retouch, to refresh the ends?.”
Or “I don’t understand why I can’t put my bleach client under a hot dryer.” And it goes on and on…Where did they go to school?
Then there’s the Cutting vs. Styling… Sorry but a really good blowout will not always hide a really bad haircut. Strong Haircutting skills are Still King to accompany a Great Color and Finished style. All 3 areas are Important.
Continued Education is Key, whether you become the Biggest Fish in your Pond or one of the Awesome Fish in the Crowd, trust in yourself that we’re Never Done Learning and that we can me Mentors to many withought being “bought”. 😉
May 31, 2016 at 10:52 am
Well said Petra, Mitchell, Farris and michaellevinehair!!!!!
May 31, 2016 at 2:12 pm
I’ve rarely read such irresponsible trash in my life. Normally even taking the time to comment on your article is a big waste of time. However, as an educator you have a fiduciary responsibility to rise beyond cliché and vulgar platitude. What you are completely missing is that the quality of skill is positively correlated with the amount of earnings power the industry affords. Since we systematically erode the value of our industry through such galacticly provincial thinking as you demonstrate in your article … we should not be surprised that the increasingly bleak career outlook in the beauty industry no longer attracts the brightest and most talented artists—not to beauty schools, not as platform artists, not as educators, and certainly not to salons who continue to largely exploit beauty artists in the U.S. All to say, instead of drafting such nonsense, how about you spend that time learning about the real needs of your audience and serving them. And the irony of you deriding social media is that social media allowed you to reach so many people with such noise in the first place. Just imagine what you could achieve if you actually took the time to serve your audience with quality.
May 31, 2016 at 5:07 pm
Disclaimer: I am a client at a Michael Levine Salon and a former client of the man himself.
I agree with you Micheal but unfortunately what you have highlighted in your blog is actually a symptom of a larger problem that goes well beyond hair. As a society, we celebrate mediocrity in most things (excluding professional sports) and penalize the top performers because it satisfies our need for an egalitarian system. The way we were brought up (i.e. we had to fight for success) is dead. Stick a fork in it- dead. I for one, don’t share your optimism for the future where the best will rise to the top. Artists, whether they be hairstylists, musicians, painters, sculptors, poets, writers, chefs… should be doing what they love and not be vying for fame nor should they feel left out because they don’t get the exposure of those with inferior talent. After all, Justin Bieber is insanely popular but is not a great artist but an underrated band like New Order for instance get very little exposure. This is just the value system that has crept in over the past 10-15 years. Looks like you just woke up to it now my friend.
May 31, 2016 at 6:08 pm
Michael, this is so spot on, having been an educator for Paul Mitchell, I had wonderful opportunities to work with incredible artists, one day I asked a new hairdresser if she knew who Jeanne Braa was, she had no clue. I loved this article ❤️
June 1, 2016 at 9:47 pm
I had the privilege of meeting her being taught a class by her at my school. Amazing woman!
May 31, 2016 at 9:28 pm
So much to say on this topic but hell we made a film about it. If you have 45 minutes jump in on the convo here: https://vimeo.com/151969904
May 31, 2016 at 11:17 pm
Loved the reset Daniel, you should have interviewed me, I have created a 600 Honoured hair school program and we graduate 60 students a year. Nice of you to check out my blog. Hope to see you again one day.
June 1, 2016 at 6:03 am
This it’s fantastic!!!!
June 1, 2016 at 9:18 am
Just finished watching this. It was so wonderfully done and inspirational. I loved it, thank you!
June 1, 2016 at 10:08 am
There’s a lot of brown nosing in this documentary … Paul from Paul Mitchell one of the biggest crooks in our industry… Ask any corporate lawyer in regards to Paul Mitchell products sales in places as target and Walmart. Would’ve loved to see him confronted in the legal aspects of his so-called diversion program… And his Paul Mitchell franchise beauty schools are a topic all its own, I have taken students that have graduated from that program and they’re not much off in education then just sanitation from State-Board regulation. Tony&Guy?..please, I have a student they’re paying top dollar for water down supplies, teacher turnaround is beyond belief, due to the employment representation of this company … Come on now!
June 1, 2016 at 9:10 am
Great read Michael; you build the bridge and I will be happy to cross it!
June 1, 2016 at 9:12 am
Love Idiocracy by the way, very relevant to our Political world right now, sadly.
June 1, 2016 at 3:09 pm
Amen! I stood 45 years behind the chair. Loved every minute, well most minutes, of it. Did the work had mentors . I’m horrified at what I have seen since retiring. The TV and movie goers seem to not even notice how truly unattractive the styles are, they are not unique. They are horrid. It’s like having a decade of bad music. This is a decade of shitty stylist that seem to rise to the top when the have no talent to be there.
Good for you for taking the time to explain this to those that might actually take the time to read this. Since it is more than an Instigram. It’s hard to say how many actually will. But, I appreciated your effort. Thank you.
June 1, 2016 at 5:20 pm
While I agree with 99% of your article, I have to point out that all of your “icons” are men. And THAT has been a looming issue for women pioneers in this industry. Why is it that every male hairdresser only mentions and gives accolades to other male stylists? Have the men forgotten Ruth Roche, Sonya Dove, Sally Herschberger to name only a few?? I’ve been a stylist since 1990. I admire all the icons both male and female. I’ve had the privilege of training with many of them. (Oribe, Sassoon, the Doves, Sally, Ruth, Fekkai etc..)
It gets tiresome to only hear of the “greats” as being men…
Maybe social media has freed some of the women in this industry to showcase their otherwise hidden talents ?
I do however agree that some of the work showcased on social media is crap and disguised as crap with curls. Photography has been bastardized as well….that’s another story. While I think I’m a pretty good stylist, I have taken some crap photos of my own work and cringed. We’ve lost the art of a true photo shoot.
June 2, 2016 at 9:37 am
You are right. I’m embarrassed to have not included my all-time favourite stylist, Antoinete. I believe she is the best stylist on the planet for the last 20 years. And of course there are many others.
It’s funny you say that about the art of the shoot. I was thinking about this recently and was going to write about the impending irrelevance of trade magazines and editorial hairdressing competitions.
June 1, 2016 at 8:51 pm
I disagree with this article ! Every icon you listed was a man. For years female colorists have bent their creative vision to showcase the “real craft” of haircutting. Now for once – color is in the spotlight and cutting is taking a back seat. Unforninately this divide is not only between cutting and color- but cutting has been mainly dominated by leading men, and we all know the majority of colorists are women.
My point – There is room for all of us. There’s a new wave of artists shaking up our industry and rewriting the rules. And I’m one of them. You don’t have to put down one craft to raise up another. We are a lot stronger as an industry if we lift each other up.
Calm down Boys Club – cut all the bobs you want…. I’ll be over here giving women the feminine sexy long wavy highlighted hair their asking (and paying$$) for. Doing a full corrective highlight with color melting toners on a fully booked day (with time for a photoshoot!) isn’t “dumbed down” as you think.
June 2, 2016 at 9:35 am
Well said, and you are right. But I’m not talking about today, I’m talking about the future, where we could be in a few years.
As for women, you are right and I’m embarrassed. I consider Antoinete to be the greatest hairdresser on the planet for the last 20 years. There is nobody better and I didn’t include her.
I did mention Viv, but not for her amazing contributions, and Kris Sorbie and Ruth of course are incredible. And there are many others.
Moving forward, there are incredible stylists emerging, this is not about them. It’s about the next generation after us, looking for instafame because that’s what they see as the mark of success in our business. I just had a conversation about this yesterday with a very famous Instagram hairdresser. She had not read my blog and brought it up herself to me and my students. It is happening already.
The shift that matters is going to be in how we relate to clients and to their needs, especially as they age and evolve.
When they client wants sophisticated looks and the cut truly matters, there are going to be a lot of people completely unequipped to deal with it and unaware of where to even look for training.
When people are achieving crazy success in just a few short years, it’s very dangerous if they believe their own hype.
Hairdressing as a craft absolutely is being dumbed down. The question is if we can recover.
June 2, 2016 at 1:43 am
Dear Fellow Hair Design lovers,
I hope you find this useful. Let’s cut to the chase: – Since the 1920’s “The Bob” is a fundamental part of our hair cutting skills, it’s where we begin to teach our young. Hair cutting is one of the main cornerstones of our industry, to me the main one. I worked with Vidal Sassoon from 1960 to 1990, not always sweeping up. In my opinion of the sometimes exceptional hair cutters who came after Vidal at his company nobody could cut a Bob as well as he, why was this? There were many reasons but suffice to say it later became enough to be able to cut a straight line, especially over the ears, and blow dry it – Vidal’s bob was so much more. Regretfully, I must take much of the blame for that. There was something else to be learned from Vidal’s Bob, that he sought the highest standards in all aspects of hair design. Please consider this last sentence and be inspired yourself, as I am, by him. I have endeavored since I left VS, with the help of my friends Tony Rizzo and Stannard and Slingsby, to make a video among others of Vidal’s original technique with this line, I have to save it for posterity as with all respect I doubt if even the most talented teachers at that great company today teach it.
June 2, 2016 at 9:12 am
Christopher, I am humbled that you read and commented on my post.
We are all richer for having had you do the work you did in helping pioneer modern haircutting.
June 2, 2016 at 9:16 am
The ” Christopher Brooker?!”…wow!
June 2, 2016 at 9:21 am
I know. I’m a bit freaking out TBH.
June 2, 2016 at 9:00 am
I’m finding that unexperienced stylists don’t give a crap about “doing it properly” as long as it looks somewhat like the photo that is brought in. This is the same for the client. I hear, “Wow, how come it takes so long & costs so much? I don’t want it to be perfect.” But much of the stuff being put out on IG is truly frightening, especially now that we see it in action on video. I choose to focus on the people who look at this as a lifelong delicate craft. As a 37 year veteran, I’m still watching how I work, & watching the results to refine my understanding every day.
June 2, 2016 at 9:23 am
July 19, 2016 at 8:47 am
I love everything you said. I dont understand why this industry is seen as a temporary stepping stone to something ‘greater’ (being young and female, Im always asked if Im doing this to put myself through college). I may not be very good at it, but this is my passion. I want to know everything about everything that is hair. I want to know about Annie Humphreys, Tim Hartley and Vidal- but I hate the looks I get from co-workers when I so much as read a trade magazine. It’s frustrating when you want something so much, but everyone around you treats it as so temporary, or they tell you that the only thing thats relevant are the youtube stars of today.
February 5, 2017 at 3:06 pm
This article is great BUT I DISAGREE with a lit of it. I understand where you are coming from, I am from the UK and I know the old school way, but it was so hard to break through the old school regime. Also I think you give all your students an iPad as they go through your academy, wow i remember having pens and paper. Th world has changed and salon owners need to adapt. We can so no and disagree but the world is a “i want it now”, and we have contributed to this, we all want things faster. We all have email, messenger, Facebook. Apple changed the world 10 years ago with the computer phone, we have friends around the world. Satellite Tv has jumped us to show us how the other half live and we all want a piece of it. The youth want to be someone, have a life and do the kardashians hair. They want lifestyle. Just because we had it tough. So I say to all salon owners you cannot turn back the clock, piss and moan about it, but in the end you have to adapt. These children will be millionaires and earn 3 times as much as us without leaving their town. Without even winning hairdresser if the year. But that does not make it wrong. It makes it different. I believe stylist come to jobs with passion and motivation to be famous. The owners just want them to fill a column. The owner ands stylist are on two different wavelengths. Most owners get thenm in and them nag them to find clients, sell retail and get busy. They want fame, fortune and a lifestyle the owner wants them to make them money. It not long before the staff are bored. salon owners we are to blame too, we cut corners and wanted money with the effort of training a team. We expect them to come to us trained and passionate and wanting to be busy, that takes time too. Rant over 🙂 But a great article 🙂
February 16, 2017 at 7:16 pm
I think we agree a lotpre than you think we do.