We’re interviewing the best in the industry on how they got to where they are – and how you can get there too!
This week, we talk to Dee Dagher, the official hair expert for TV’s Steven and Chris show. Here are her tips for working on television:
1. Get yourself out there and try lots of different things
Before I started doing TV, I was very involved in the industry. I tried to dip my feet into everything I could, namely, to get my name out there and try to decide what I loved most.
To start, I competed in many different competitions and won L’Oréal’s and Contessa Session Hairstylist of the year. Winning these competitions helped build my self-confidence, and take more risks. I also worked on photos shoots, which helped build my book. In turn, this got me signed with Plutino Group. From there I got the opportunity to style for seven seasons at Toronto Fashion Week. At Fashion Week, I got recognized by one of the beauty sponsors, Rowenta Beauty. They offered me an opportunity to become their lead stylist and spokesperson. This allowed me to build my confidence in public speaking through on-stage work with them.
Rowenta’s PR agency presented me with the opportunity to audition for an on-air position as the guest hair expert for the Steven and Chris show—I went out on a limb and auditioned. This was a very big obstacle for me, as I had never worked on camera before and was a little shy. However, I decided to challenge myself and take a chance. I was selected to be the on-air expert for the show and now I’m on my second season of filming. It was very challenging at first, but I slowly got into the groove and built my confidence. Now I absolutely love being in the spotlight.
2. Practice public speaking
Producers are extremely particular when selecting an on-air hairstylist. I learned that after five rigorous auditions and interviews. The producers mentioned various times that the difficulty doesn’t lie in finding a good hairstylist—it’s finding a good hairstylist that is able to articulate properly.
A television stylist has to know that the audience watching them generally knows nothing about hair and styling it, therefore they are looking to you as the “expert” to educate them, which means breaking things down very clearly and talking them through the steps. This may seem simple, but I quickly discovered that it wasn’t. Typically, stylists speak publicly to an audience full of fellow hairstylists, and not everyday people who know nothing about hair. Learning to break down your work and articulate it in layman’s terms is key to doing television.
3. Develop a great portfolio
Developing a portfolio doesn’t happen overnight. It took me years. My suggestion would be to always take opportunities that come your way, regardless of how small or irrelevant they seem. Networking has been the key to my success and I met all the right people through being on small sets, fashion events and hair shows. Having a big ego doesn’t get you anywhere in this industry. Never think that you are too talented or over-qualified to do something, as you don’t know who you will meet at an event or on a set.
Do as many photos shoots as possible and enter them into as many competitions as possible. I strongly believe that winning the Contessa for Session Hairstylist opened many gates for me, and drew attention from agencies and beauty companies alike.