As they work their way up, young up-and-coming beauty professionals are blazing trails and making waves. We scoured the country to find out who is doing what and how it all began. Here is our chat with up-and-coming beauty professional, Jason Massa.
Salon Magazine: How did you get your start in hair? Why did you decide to be a part of this industry?
Jason Massa: Growing up, I watched my mom and cousin in the hair industry and was always fascinated by the art. I’ve always been passionate about fashion, including the different hairstyles that came along with each look. One day, I made the decision to sign myself up for hairdressing classes here in Montreal and it was after my first class that I knew that it was exactly what I was meant to do.
SM: What drives and motivates you as a hairstylist?
JM: Going in every morning and being able to change someone’s day or even give them a fresh start to life motivates me to be the best that I can be. It’s seeing the client’s instant satisfaction and seeing the boost of confidence on their faces in the mirror once the cut is complete. The relationship and trust I create with my clients is also what drives me to help create a special look for each one of them; making them feel greater than ever in my chair.
SM: What is your expertise? What do you specialize in or excel at?
JM: My expertise is men’s hairstyling and barbering. I excel in classic and modern-day styles by adding my own twist to them. I have always loved the old-school barber straight blade and hot towel shaves along with the services that come with it. The knowledge I gained from hairdressing classes on women’s hairstyling helped me with my sheer techniques. This allowed me to be comfortable with the incorporation of clippers as well, bringing both hairdressing and barbering techniques together in my work.
SM: What is the one lesson you’ve learned throughout your education and career that you still keep in mind today?
JM: I would say that the one lesson I have cherished is to never rush a haircut. Sectioning is a must and it is important to follow through with steps even if I’m running a couple of minutes behind schedule. It is of great importance to me to treat everyone who sits in my chair with the same amount of respect and focus. I would rather have one extremely satisfied customer leaving my chair than two clients who are simply content with the final look.
SM: Who is your mentor or who do you look up to when it comes to hair? Anyone in particular on social media?
JM: My mentors include anyone who has ever helped me with my craft including my teachers from hairdressing school and the other hairstylists I have crossed paths with throughout my career. They have all helped me grow into the hairstylist that I am today. Someone I look up to on social media and who I’d one day love to meet would have to be Kevin Luchmun. I am fascinated by his incorporation of editorial photography and modern-day barbering. I would love to be able to achieve the looks he creates.
SM: Who is your hair hero? Is there someone you want to work with?
JM: Kevin Luchmun is my all time hair hero. I would love to have the opportunity to work alongside him one day.
SM: As a young artist, what has been the biggest challenge have you faced and how have you overcome that?
JM: I would have to say that the biggest challenge I have had to face, especially as a young hairstylist, is how to differentiate myself from my competitors. I have put in a lot of hard work, good haircuts, and good service to get myself to where I am today. I have the constant need to better myself and have continued to take courses including trainings with American Crew to learn different techniques. I am not the only one benefiting from this – my clients leave my chair happier as well.
SM: Who gave you the best advice as you embarked on your career and what was that advice?
JM: A piece of advice that my mother gave me a couple of years ago when I decided to embark on this journey was that it will definitely take time to get to where I want to be – long days of work, sacrificing weekends and nights out and to focus on my career. As long as I give my all to my work, success will find its way to me.
SM: What is your one must-have product?
JM: The one must-have product that anyone should have is the American Crew Alternator Spray. Its flexibility helps create a finished look that gives a natural flow to any hairstyle with the perfect body and movement.
SM: What are your goals for the next 5 to 10 years? Where do you see yourself in the beauty industry?
JM: My goals for the next 5 to 10 years are definitely to try to participate in as many competitions and take as many courses as possible. I would also love to start working behind the scenes in editorial photo shoots to explore and expand the creativity of my work. I would also like to start up my own barber shop later on and become an educator.