I think all of us have been to the hair dresser at least once in our lives. I don’t know about you, but there is nothing better than a pamper day at a hair saloon in which you enter looking and feeling a certain way and leave looking and feeling even better if the hairdresser did a good job. I like to think of hairdressers as artists, what they produce is unique and it has an impact beyond just the looks of a person.
Human hair is their canvas and they confidently play with it until both the customer and the artist are happy with what was created. But being a hairdresser involves many things that people might be ignorant of, and if you are considering to follow this career path, I would love to give you a little bit of a big picture of what hairstyling really involves. So keep reading and let us answer some of your questions.
“Just make my hair look good” or “I want it a bit shorter” might seem like clear instructions if you are the one giving them, but if you are on the receiving side as the hairdresser, following such instructions require interpretation skills. People usually think they know what they want, but their perspective is not always accurate.
You may identify with this, but people look at the picture of a haircut and if the model looks good, they usually think it will make them look just as good. This is not always the reality, and it happens with hairstyles, haircuts and colour. The job of the hairdresser in this case it to find out why they like the cut, what they want to achieve through it and how they want it to feel. Do you want it to make you look thinner? or maybe give you more volume? Do you want it to feel light? Do you want to stand out or do you want to remain discrete? Through questions like these, the hairdresser can find the answers they need to interpret what the customer wants and make sure they do a good job.
This is a very interesting aspect of the job, but people usually feel like they are in a safe environment when they go to the hair saloon. This might be because they are relaxed and because they are trusting someone with their personal image, but there is something about hairdressers that just says “I am here to listen”.
Some people are happy to make small talk, but other people actually find their hair saloon time as kind of a therapy time. Life stories, advices, romantic problems and other topics are usually what come out during a styling session.
I remember my cousin, who teaches hairstyling, told me once: “You need to ensure the students have both the ability to relate to people and the ability to cut hair, because if you only have one or the other this is not the job for you. They go together!”
Masters of imagination
Another skill hairdressers need to have is the ability to imagine. As we all know, they are playing with a canvas that can only be used once, so if they mess it up, there is no turning back. So with every haircut/colour/style they plan, they also need to have the ability to imagine how its going to look so they can give useful advice to the customer and think how they will get there.
The phrase “Do whatever you think looks good” is also not as uncommon as we think, and when presented with this challenge, good hairdressers let their imagination take them where their hands will later follow. Having a great imagination will also help them work creatively, using the basics as a foundation for more elaborate hairstyles and this is what will make them standout amongst other hairdressers in the industry.
Beyond outward appearance
What I love the most about hairdressers is that their job does not only have the power to improve our outward appearance but it has the power to impact our confidence and even heal emotional wounds in people. Like every artists, they are able to create things that lift up people’s spirit, and sometimes the boost of confidence a good hairstyle gives us is all we need to get through a rough week or to get that job we were working so hard to get.
I’ve met people who never saw themselves as beautiful until a hairdresser told them so, or helped them see the potential they held. So the job of these people go beyond just outward beauty and involve helping other people see the beauty they carry within.
Have you ever thought of being a hairdresser? Let us know!