Many people leaving school don’t know what they want to be “when they grow up”. Maybe they float around in a gap year until inspiration takes them or they go off to Uni with a degree that sounds ‘’ok’’ and a social life that sounds even better. Of course there are a few determined teenagers, like I was, who have always, always known what they want to do and for me it was to become a Hair Stylist.
I remember clearly being 8 years old when my mum decided I could come to her proper hairdressing shop and have my hair styled (and not just cut). It was very long, at the time, and I went for radical short bob (so trendy back then) and I felt so grown up. I was in awe at how the hairdresser could make me feel like someone totally different from the person I was stepping into the place and I vowed to make people feel like that.
The reality of training to be a hairstylist was tough, it meant first securing myself a Saturday job so that when I left school I would have proven myself enough that they would let me work there throughout my traineeship. It meant cleaning hair up from the floor, washing hair and making endless cups of tea and coffee but it meant I could watch the experts at work in the wall-to-wall mirrors. My back was sore, my feet were swollen but at the end of the day I felt closer and closer to achieving my dream.
Of course it meant not a lot of money, in the beginning, because the place where I was working were investing in me as a trainee, giving me valuable time and resources and allowing me to learn from the best. The money I did earn went back into my own supplies as I learnt it was important for me to have my own “kit”. Thankfully there are many college hairdressing kits available which give you everything you need to start out. It’s also a good idea to buy yourself a gown, like the proper hairdressing gowns for salons, as you can use this when practicing your new techniques on any willing friends or family! Speaking of friends and family, they were invaluable to my learning because eventually I was going to have to cut hair! Luckily a Senior Stylist was always on hand to check before I did any cutting but my sister did rock a few different hair colours as I learnt how to blend properly.
The wonderful thing is that 10 years on from my training I still love it the same way I did back then as an excited 8 year old. Only it’s me that gets to make people feel like someone totally different as they walk out of the door…