Our once lead assistant and now educator + full time stylist, Lindsey McPherson shines light on the transition from beauty school to assisting and business behind the chair.
I have had a job since I was old enough to be hired. Since then I have always imagined working no less than what my title was held up too. I took my assisting job more intensely than anything else I had going on because I knew that all of my hard work that I would put into this position would benefit me in the end.
Assisting a hairstylist shouldn’t be taken as “a normal job”. My time assisting both Lindsay and another stylist had me working 10-13 hour days that insisted of me being on my feet all of those hours doing the unthinkable for not only the clients, but also my bosses such as McDonalds/Starbucks food and drink orders. I took my assisting job very seriously and I wanted to make my bosses lives as easy as possible, taking into consideration that they are not only hairstylists, but also independent women, mothers, wives, etc. If there was an extra mile I could run to help her reach her goal for the day, I’d sprint the whole way.
Assisting was my absolute favorite time this far into my career. It has built me into being the stylist I am by knowing how I want to set myself apart, what clients I want to attract into my chair, and how to build confidence with traits not only for being a hairstylist, but an individual. From assisting 2 stylists, I was blessed to witness 2 different approaches for color formulations, placement ideas, styling options, and most importantly different clientele personalities.
Being an assistant for more than 1 person was an advantage I had to have more than 1 person to take notes from, educate myself on, have the pleasure of helping, and respect. I was Lindsay’s 2nd brain with anything she needed. I made myself 1 step ahead of her in everything, in order to help with her next process. I managed both schedules, greeted clients, applied color, shampooed, sectioned and blowdried, and would give clients their totals at the end of their services. All while having 2-3 sometimes 5 clients in at once and making sure that Lindsay had a snack or water in between. I put her before myself everyday assisting and wouldn’t change a thing from that time. I was handling it all, in the process of also watching her start up her own education business. I have been lucky enough to have watched this journey grow and become what it is, and now I’m apart of it.
I truly believe that assisting in this industry is one of the greatest things a new stylist can do for not just themselves, but for our industry. There is only so much a student can take in from beauty school and assisting will open up so many new windows you wouldn’t think possible. When I was still a student, I never would have thought I’d be an educator for a business writing for their blog, but here I am. My hard work and dedication brought me to this place and it was because I never gave up; I pushed myself to my limit. I spent the time and money to know what I know now. I encourage anyone new in this industry to be an assistant, you will learn so much and its 1 step closer to being the stylist you dream of being. I also recommend stylists to open up to the idea of having an assistant.
You are capable of making your assistant become someone in this industry and they will remember who took them there. I am forever grateful for the women who have given me everything I know and who still inspire me everyday.
The relationships you build through assisting are so precious and beautiful. I now lucky enough to call my mentors my great friends. It’s not just a position to have someone hired, its an opportunity to change someones career in the greatest way possible.