As the rise of women in the beauty industry continues strong and steady, we caught up with individuals who are stepping up their game as creative leaders, business builders and all around outstanding professionals in their own right. Here’s what each had to say about staying focused, engaging the next generation and more! Here is part three of our three-part series.
10. Guylaine Martel
BEST KNOWN FOR Global stage presentations and Contessa- winning photographic collections.
ON HER ART “I have always been more of an artist than a hairstylist. I studied four years as a visual artist, and as a hairdresser I’m able to touch on all of the aspects of art; from the styling to the hair, to the music to the show.”
ON SHOWS “When I create a show or a photo shoot. I work closely with the team. I know exactly every moment of the five minutes I may be on stage, and I make sure we are getting to that one big moment. There’s always a story behind what I do. I always start with an emotion. It’s very important that people see my work and feel something and keep it in their mind and heart.”
TELL YOUR STORY “It’s really important for me to express environmental [issues] and social problems through all I do but you also need to have a positive message. People may cry because it reminds them of something, but they will leave feeling positive.”
ADVICE TO YOUNG HAIRSTYLISTS: “Go see shows and travel. For years I went backstage at so many shows in Paris, which is how I learned to look at every aspect and prepare the final stage show. Don’t wait for someone to come to you—be proactive.”
11. Anna Pacitto
BEST KNOWN AS A Contessa award-winning hairstylist, educator, co-owner of Salon Pure in Montreal, artistic team member for Davines and artistic director for Intercoiffure America/Canada.
TAKING THE PRESSURE OFF “When I started winning awards and [working] as a platform artist, that’s when I was like, ‘I’m a woman, and I have to work that much harder.’ It’s really strange because I didn’t feel it in the beginning [of my career]; It wasn’t until 1998, when I won Canadian Hairstylist of the Year, and no woman ever won it before. Even though there are so many more women in our industry, men are the ones that have the big roles. But I didn’t make it a factor [in my career]. I’m just going to show good work. That’s it. I don’t let [being a woman] faze me.] If you stop to think about it, that’s when you limit yourself.”
FINDING BALANCE “Sometimes, something’s got to give. I do what I can. I’m busy, but I enjoy what I do. And when you enjoy what you do, you find the time for it. In the beginning, you can have a hard time delegating. But after so many years, you realize you have to delegate and you have to trust, and give responsibilities to others around you. It’s easy when you’re surrounded by good people. You just have to surround yourself with people who know what is happening, what needs to be done, and be at the forefront. I still take classes, have mentors and follow people. I’m always amazed by what other people do, and I’m not afraid to give praise to others. Looking around and seeing what other people can do, I’m inspired by what I’m seeing. The day I stop taking classes is the day I hang up my scissors.”
12. Michelle Pargee
BEST KNOWN AS A Contessa winner, Goldwell artistic team member/educator/mentor, Canadian member of The Leading Ladies, and cancer survivor.
HAIR HEROINE “[Mentoring] has happened organically because people started asking me for help. I would go and sit in on people’s shoots, and realized how rewarding it was. When you’re teaching someone, you’re teaching, but when you’re mentoring, your job is not to show them what you can do, your job is to show them what they can do. When I’m mentoring and I see someone succeed—for example, when they win an award—that’s actually a hundred-times better than the feeling I have when I’ve won on my own. To me, mentoring is what anyone who’s reached a certain level in their career should be doing. You should start giving back.”
ON BEING PART OF “THE LEADING LADIES” PANEL AT THE TORONTO ABA SHOW “I was so honoured that Tracey [Hughes] asked me to be on the panel. She told me not to be afraid to be raw about my health journey. What I loved was that was that it wasn’t about hairdressing and skills; it was just about who we are and our journeys. It was such an emotional experience. People were crying and hugging me afterwards, telling me how it was to hear someone talk about how powerful it is to be positive.”
13. Dana Lyseng
BEST KNOWN AS Owner of Fox & Jane salon in Toronto, and founder of the Dress Code Project—an alliance of salons and barbershops committed to providing gender- affirming services.
CLOSE TO HEART “To me, [gender diversity] goes along with who I am as a person. My gender identity is very androgynous. My gender expression has changed over the years, and expression for hairstylists is gigantic! Every single day, I stand behind a chair helping people visualize and create a gender expression—whether they know it or not.”
TAKING A STAND “If you look at someone like myself, a cis-gender female with short hair, I’ll be paying the women’s haircut price. But if I go to a salon that’s gender-affirming, I’m going to pay the short-hair price, which is typically more affordable. Why should we pay more because we’re women? It’s ridiculous and offensive.”
ON MODERATING THE GENDER NEUTRAL IN HAIRDRESSING PANEL AT THE TORONTO ABA SHOW “It was [an honour] to moderate something like that in our community. I just think hairstylists are incredible people. We’re such game changers and trailblazers with passion and love for what we do. I believe in our industry so much; one person can make a difference.”
14. Jennifer MacDougall
BEST KNOWN AS A Contessa award-winning hairstylist and influencer, delivering colour education using humour and science to create surprisingly insightful videos.
TRADE SECRETS “Number one and two have been loyalty and honesty, and by that I mean staying loyal to brands that you know in your heart you enjoy using. In my experience, you’re going to get approached by a number of different companies and your honesty will come through in your posts.”
FIND YOUR PASSION “Passion has driven me to teach. My goal is to educate both clients and stylists so that they both understand the cost of colouring hair. I see a lot of people who have questions on colour correction and I’m trying to get everyone on the same page.”
BEST ADVICE TO GET INSPIRED “Get off the grid for at least two weeks. I felt more creative and clear after taking about a month-long break. When you have time away you can figure out how you need to change something.”
PERSONALITY PLUS “People trust me, I don’t hold back and I do that all through using humour. For me, it’s about being relatable. As soon as I can get people to trust me, I can add humour in. Be yourself and I think you can naturally relate to people.”
STAYING CREATIVE “I have a six-year-old, so I watch a lot of science shows. When I do, I find that I’m my most creative. I always think about how to enhance people’s senses through my videos so that they’ll have a better experience and understand [my teaching methods] better.”