From emerging hairstylists who are just getting their start to excelling stylists who are on their way to becoming the next set of leaders and to even those in between, we spoke with hairstylists to learn more about their stories and how they’re making their mark on the industry.
Sharday Walker. Hairology Studio, Winnipeg.
Age:21 · Pronouns: She/Her
After just graduating from the Aveda Institute in Winnipeg this year, Sharday Walker is taking the salon industry and social media by storm.
“I had taken a year off from high school and then COVID hit, so I was forced to take another year off,” she says. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but my mom knew that I liked doing hair when I was growing up because I would make wigs and braid my friends’ hair, and it was one of the only things that I was really passionate about. But I knew that there was going to be an aspect of me being my own boss in the hair industry, and that was holding me back. I realized that the only way to make it was to be responsible for your own success, I just went for it and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because I’m loving it so far.”
During her time in hair school, Walker noticed a lack of textured hair education, which was what she knew she wanted to focus on. “It’s important to me because I’ve always had curly hair and, growing up, I always hated it,” she says. “To this day, I still struggle with it, but I realized that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you really just have to accept what you have and embrace it. Once I started to embrace my own hair, I wanted to help others gain that confidence and make them feel happy. I feel that it’s important to incorporate it into the hair school curriculum because so many people have textured hair. I really want to normalize curly hair and let people know that they can do anything with their curly hair. I want people to feel comfortable and confident with their natural hair, and that was my goal when I chose to focus on it.”
As a Gen Z stylist, Walker has embraced social media and uses it as a platform to share her work. “It’s where I get to show my talent, and it really helps me build my clientele,” she says. “If clients are thinking of booking with me, they get to see what I can do, how I teach and how I cut and style. I think it’s helped me a lot when it comes to getting clients into my chair.”
Walker shares that in addition to social media, which has helped her garner about 85 per cent of her clientele, working at Hairology Studio has made a large impact on her career. “Working in a salon has really given me that push to build a clientele and has helped me do it. If I was working solo, I think it would be harder to get those clients in as an apprentice because I think clients like coming into the salon to get the full experience,” she says. “Working for someone like Josie Vilay has also helped because she’s always pushing me to learn more. She’s always sending the team discounted courses to take, she gives us the opportunity to watch educational videos and she makes sure she has time in between her clients to help us. All of that is so important and I don’t think I would be where I am if it wasn’t for her. As long as I’m willing to put in the work, she’s willing to help me succeed.”