By the time I was 13 my parents gave me no choice but to work in a salon. I had already figured out how to color my hair with Jolene facial bleach & Kool-Aid, got an undercut, and finally just went to a full blown mohawk. Thursday night was dedicated to coloring & cutting my hair, doing my nails & playing with makeup, which was basically me seeing where the best spiderweb placement would be.
My first job. My cousin owned a salon in my hometown called X-S Hair, it was THE place to go in Port Chester. I started out sweeping floors, washing towels, making coffee, bringing clients to their stylist & eventually I was allowed to start washing hair. I literally remember running around this salon to keep up pace with all 15 stylists (I don't know if that number is right) but I loved every second of it. I would skip school and go to work early & get yelled at by my cousin, even though he secretly knew I was better off in the salon! There was not one day that my cousin Joe didn't try to teach me something. I was held to old-school high-end salon standards but in the most fun way. Hair needed to be washed correctly, the floor could not have hair on it.... and that espresso better have the correct foam on top!! This job created the income to start my vinyl record collection that I still have today.
Fastforward to 17 years old and it was time for a new job. At this point New York State had changed their rules for assisting in salon & I needed to be licensed or in school for cosmetology, no one would hire me even though I had worked in a salon for years. Except one woman who gave me a chance, Janine Rose. She hired me on at her salon as an assistant and that place was poppin!!!! There was never a slow day, there was never a day I wasn't running but most of all... there was never a day Janine wasn't teaching me. She brought hair education to another level. I had to understand why and how products worked, when to use them correctly, what they were made with, molecular weight & size of products & how to blow-dry properly. This was the 90's and the staff at this salon was so educated; they taught me razor cutting, dry cutting, proper highlighting (and no one was using a dryer) & proper use of heat tools. This was a powerhouse salon filled with women who hustled every day and were at the forefront of the NY salon scene. Janine Rose Salon was the place where everyone was encouraging me to go to school for hair, they saw it, but I didn't see it yet. As much as I loved it, I wasn't ready to be a stylist yet... and I went to college.
6 years of college & 2 degrees later... I hated the industry I was in & I hated what I was doing. I floated around for a few years like a jerk in my 20's. I travelled and fed all my crazy impulses because really, I had to. My adrenaline & impulsivity led me to Muay Thai (kickboxing) this was the single greatest thing I have ever done for myself. It helped me control my anxiety, it fed my adrenaline and most of all it calmed me the hell down! It gave me the space to realize that I loved working in salons. I went back to school at 27 years old.
What's the point of this story??
I love what I do. I've always loved what I do! I've spent most of my life in salons and I have absorbed the knowledge of this industry. I don't need to use photography parlor tricks to make hair color or haircuts look healthy, I offer my clients education on how they can take better care of their hair at home & I definitely care way too much about how you're brushing your hair. I will tell a client the truth about how certain looks can affect their hair, but most of all, I'm going to show up & do my best every day.
I'm excited to see where this blog takes me on my writing journey. I literally had no idea I'd wake up today and that this was the story I would be telling. I hope someone reading this gets fueled by the fire and finds the courage to make a huge change. Someone told me once, "The first thing you wake up thinking about, is the thing you should be pursuing as a living." Considering I dream about my client's hair, I think I figured it out!!
Till next time friends!
10vol, NO HEAT!