- Edition 6, Chapter 3.3 -
I’ve been working as a hairdresser for about eleven years now. I went to beauty school in San Francisco, did an apprenticeship, and worked as a hairstylist for about three years there, and then I decided to take a big leap and move across the country. I got rid of everything and moved to New York, without a job, or a following.
I found an editorial stylist who was looking for a new assistant. I would finish these long days in the studio, and I’d walk past hair salons in the evening, and I’d see people chatting with their clients. It felt warm, and I started to miss it. It was also my bread and butter. I got an offer to work at this small shop on the Lower East Side and did the thing where you sit and you wait for people. It was not hand delivered to me on a platter. I had to go out into the world; I had to start telling people that I was a hairdresser, where I worked, and give them my cards. New York is a big city; it’s all about networking.
The idea of being independent had always been in the back of my mind. It was definitely a scary proposition. I’ve been able to work a schedule that really works for me, and see what I think is a really nice number of people in a day. I still think sometimes that maybe I’ll open a salon, but now that dream is taking other shapes.
At first, I was doing all of my appointments myself, and writing everything in pencil in a book. That didn’t work. I started using online booking, and I got somebody to build a really beautiful website for me. There are also links to my Pinterest page, so you can see what my inspiration is, what my aesthetic is. Instagram gives you a good sense of what my life is like, but also about the work that I do. There’s also a link to my Yelp page, online reviews. A large portion of my clients came through the website originally. Once I started getting five star reviews, people were beating down the door.
When I got the sample bottle of New Wash, I tried it on myself, and lo and behold, it’s like a miracle. When I started to talk about it with my clients, they listened. People want to know what I think, because I am the person that they’ve chosen as their hair expert. Once I had it in the salon I used it exclusively on every person. There’s so much information that Hairstory has provided to the hairdresser to better educate our clients, and to help them have a better experience.
Because I have all of their contact info, I will send everyone who has purchased New Wash an email about a week-and-a-half later. Most of the feedback has been really stunning. People write these emails that sound like shampoo commercials.
Using New Wash on myself gives me a way to share it from personal experience. I understand nervousness about not wanting to come off like you’re trying to sell people stuff, but the reality is I’m sharing something that’s really awesome, and that comes from a place of authenticity. And my integrity is on the line; I’m not gonna sell them snake oil.
So often, independent hairdressers don’t have a sense of community; whether we’re renting or working in some other sort of creative way, we don’t interact with each other very much. It’s been nice to build these relationships with other hairdressers as a result of being involved with Hairstory.
Hairstory is such a bold, new company, and it’s been really interesting to watch it unfold… It feels like anything is possible. I tell other hairdressers to jump on now, because it’s gonna blow up. I see unlimited success for all of us. I’ve been inspired by having these conversations about working more with other hairdressers, inspiring and motivating and helping us all get lifted up. How do we elevate? That’s what I’ve been thinking about.