|From the Heart: A BTC Stylist Celebrates What Has Changed and What Should Always Stay the Same|
From the Heart: A BTC Stylist Celebrates What Has Changed and What Should Always Stay the Same
By Lora Seligmann, Asante Salon and Spa, Lebanon, TN
I knew from the time that I was a little girl that I wanted to do hair. At that time, all that you needed was a 10th grade education and a license. We took our tests with a #2 pencil and learned how to do shampoos and sets for the sweet ladies that came in our shop once a week. Our career choice was viewed as something you fell back on or did only if you were not bright enough or too poor to go to college. Times have changed, and boy am I glad!
When I got out of school I knew how to apply color if it was mixed up by an instructor, cut a straight line and create finger waves. My real education started when I stepped into a salon. I didn’t know what in the world I was getting into, but 27 years later, I am still here. I have immersed myself in education. Spent money I didn’t have on classes and done everything I was told to do to grow my business.
Over the years I have seen many changes. I have gone from being a beautician to a hairdresser to an artist or a service provider. My customers have become clients, then guests.
By utilizing many of the educational opportunities that have been made available to me, I have improved my life. I have learned how to chart and improve my business, hone my technical skills and plan for my future with investments, insurance plans, savings etc. I am so happy that all of this is available to the next generation. They will not have to struggle the way I did.
I have been blessed beyond belief. I have traveled the country, been on movie sets, at video and photo shoots and stageside at rock shows because of my profession. However… as we strive to improve our industry, I hope we do not forget why we entered the profession to begin with.
What we call ourselves—beauticians, stylists, artists–has changed but one thing has not: our responsibility to provide people with the best experience possible while they are in our chair. Whether we are commission or booth rental, owner or employee, our responsibility remains the same. We are in the business of making people beautiful and making sure they feel beautiful when they walk out the door of our salon. And we are here because of the relationships we develop with our clients.
We all need to make a living. It is vital and crucial to pay our mortgage and put food on the table. But we must also keep the human aspect of what we do for a living in mind. Consider the young mother who is feeling blue. Instead of cutting her hair off as she requests, we teach her stylish, five minute updos that make her life easier instead of giving in to the hormones that would have left her bewildered by a haircut that makes her “look like a boy.” A fresh color and cut brings out the blue eyes of a newly divorced woman who is insecure and terrified about facing the world single again. A cup of coffee, shampoo and style soothes the wife who lost her husband of 35 years and can’t face being alone in their home on a rainy afternoon.
We have a gift. A wonderful, unique chance to improve our clients, inside and out. We are advisors, psychiatrists, confidants and cheerleaders. This is what makes our lives so rewarding.
Just the opinion of an “old school hairdresser” who loves this career, this industry and the life it has provided me!