I took the longer road to find my career and five years ago I landed on the perfect fit, hairstyling. I was lucky to do a lot of things correctly (mostly because I came out of hair school during the social media boom) but I still wish I could have avoided some of my mistakes and hope this will help some of you just starting out…
I did assist and strongly recommend it to all hairstylists even if you are naturally “gifted” because it gives confidence behind the chair that clients will be able to feel. There is no right amount of time to assist, and you will know when you are ready to start your own career.
I did quite a bit to build. I will say that the old fashion way of sitting around in the back room waiting for walk-ins was the most mentally difficult. I would advise anyone that is doing this to spend that time advertising themselves, on Instagram, Yelp, Facebook, etc. If you have other stylists that are waiting around as well, I suggest doing each other’s hair to get photo content so that you will have something to post for your social portfolio. If you are resistant to social media, just understand that it is a free way to showcase your work and get clients in your chair! I built my entire business behind the chair in 4 months because of social media and good old fashion word of mouth! If it’s making you money to pay your bills, it’s a good thing!
One issue I had and sometimes still have it pre-booking! It’s so simple and will keep your clients in your chair and your schedule filled and steady. Don’t give them the option, let them know from the beginning that you are a stylist that does your best work on a schedule. Don’t ever get too comfortable, always educate yourself and always stay up to date with the industry (I.e. Social media today) Post your work on social media even if you are established, it will show your clientele that you “love” your job and are still relevant next to other stylists that they may be following.
Under promise, over deliver: Biggest and hardest thing I’ve learned!
It is a sign of your confidence in your craft to say “no, that is not possible today”. If you end up performing a miracle, you look even better but please please please help yourself by not biting off more than you can chew!