We asked 10 of the top Canadian hairstyling educators share how you change your career for the better.
Don’t seek fame.
-Terry Ritcey, National Education Director, Redken Canada
Best personal advice: “Stay humble and lead without title. Always remain open and keep learning, and then teach what you learn because when you teach, you learn it all over again.”
Must-do for hairdressers: “Social media is the fastest and best way to reach your audience with a strong and concise message of who you are and what you do. With education, the focus is on how-to videos that are three rather than 30 minutes long and can be watched on a smart phone. This is not the future; this is now.”
Be ready to work for it.
-Shannon Simmonds Global Educator, Joico
Best personal advice: “Be patient. I see a lot of stylists that volunteer and want to be platform artists, but they don’t realize the work that’s involved to get to that point. You need to pay your dues in a company for at least two to three years and then you have a greater understanding.”
Must-do for hairdressers: “You never stop learning. Education is so important as a hairstylist you have to stay up to date because if you don’t, it really shows.”
Tap into your natural talents.
-Roch Lemay, Education/Events Director, Matrix Canada
Best personal advice: “I have a background in architecture and graphic design…When you have a strong method, you can create anything you want. It’s like building a house: If you have a detailed plan, you know exactly what you’re getting.”
Must-do for hairdressers: “The older generation still loves going to shows and taking classes, and the younger generation grew up with the Internet. Spending an entire day in classes is not something they look for; they want to be part of an online community. E-learning is definitely here.”
Give your everything and you won’t be disappointed.
-Jean-Sébastien Tremblay, Field Education Capability Master, Wella Professionals
Best personal advice: “I love seeing people evolve in their career by putting my heart and mind on the table. Teaching has a lot to do with generosity. You give a bit of yourself in every class. By being an educator, I am able to merge these two passions together.
Must-do for hairdressers:“Premium services will help the client tell her story. It’s the ‘haute casual’ concept, where we never compromise on quality but the looks are also easy to wear every day. Technology is at the forefront. Innovations are going to enable colourists to offer a much broader variety of services.”
Never stop learning.
-Susan Boccia, Educationn Manager, Schwarzkopf Professional
Best personal advice: “As a hairstylist, I recommend taking as many seminars and attending as many events as you can. Knowledge is power, and the more we know the more confidence that we have and the more we can give.”
Must-do for hairdressers: “Based on what’s happening in the world of fashion… [focus] on fast and easy colour techniques—that’s really what the stylists and consumers want.”
Get outside your comfort zone.
-Edwin Johnston, Global Artistic Director, KMS California
Best personal advice: “Push creative boundaries. You have to be able to teach to really understand the techniques so that you can break them down and explain them. It’s not just about being on stage; you have to have something to offer that’s different.”
Must-do for hairdressers:“Business-focused training. I give my audience techniques that are a bit more advanced, but stylists can apply what they learn in the salon.”
Be open to the possibilities.
-Kelsey Yule, Education Director, Revlon Professional/American Crew
Best personal advice: “Work hard and be aware that you have to make sacrifices. People don’t realize the numerous avenues in the beauty industry. They often think that the only place they can work is in the salon, but you can do freelance or take educator roles for manufacturers or academies.”
Must-do for hairdressers: “Learning the technical application of colour including, blending and a lot of colour melting. Also, mainstream hairstylists haven’t been trained in classic barbering techniques, and they want to learn more about men’s grooming.”
Stay true to yourself.
-Manon Carpentier, Regional Manager, Revlon Professional
Best personal advice: “Technology is growing in leaps and bounds in the industry. Hairstylists are sometimes taken aback by all this progress…It’s important to rely on your strengths to be successful.”
Must-do for hairdressers: “Visual aids are very important. Stylists are extremely visual and passionate about seeing things concretely and, when I teach, I aim to be as visual as possible.”
Always give back.
-Daniel Di Tommaso, Canadian Core Team Lead, Sebastian
Best personal advice: “Having the ability to show someone the potential they don’t see in themselves, telling them to go for it and seeing them grow is amazing. There’s no greater reward than being able to give back to this industry by inspiring the next generation. Giving them the ability to let go and be free — that’s what makes you feel alive.”
Must-do for hairdressers: “We’re starting to see more wave, texture and movement in the hair. This allows the client to frequent the salon a little more for blowouts or treatments because many times they can’t manipulate their hair in the same way.”
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
-Alain Laroche, Director of Professional Development L’Oréal Professionnel
Best personal advice: “Have a clear goal of what you want to accomplish, and don’t be afraid to seek out help from those who have gained success by asking them to share their best-kept secrets.”
Must-do for hairdressers: “In terms of colour, we are seeing splashes, particularly pink, red ombrés and mocha blondes. If we look at cut and style, the pixie is super- sexy and very hot right now. Volume is also big news.”
It’s all personal connections.
-Timothy Switzer Artistic Director, Goldwell
Best personal advice: “In my career, along the way I’ve had many great mentors and people who share their passion for the industry.”
Must-do for hairdressers: “The most amazing thing to me is when you see someone return to you because they feel motivated and inspired by what you’re giving them and they always feel that they learned something from you.”