As a fitness professional, I often look outside of our industry for lessons, ideas and strategies to take back and use in fitness. I think we can learn a thing or two from the beauty industry. Like PTs, as with any service industry, there are those who take it seriously and continue to grow and develop…and there are those who don’t! There are AMAZING hair and makeup artists who expand their business and personal brands while offering premium services, and there are those whose ‘care factor’ is LOW.
As with any industry, the crème rises to the top; they differentiate themselves, make a name for themselves and establish a niche. That’s exactly what my dear friend and beauty blogger Rebecca Needs has done. We caught up recently and had a good talk about the similarities between qualified hairdressers and makeup artists and people who have their personal trainer certification. Here’s some of our conversational nuggets!
What inspired you to get into hair and makeup as a career?
I started my hairdressing career officially when I was 14. I left school with permission from my parents and worked as an junior – sweeping floors, making coffee and tea and cleaning. When I turned 15 I was old enough to be an apprentice.
My favourite aunty was a hairdresser and I spent time in salons with her and my Nanna that looked after me when my parents were at work. I loved everything about the salon: the smell, the rollers, the gossip and most of all the transformations made. It was the transformation of the way clients felt when they were finished with their stylist that hooked me. This was the 80’s, so the way out hairstyles were quite fabulous!
Would you ever tell people NOT to go into your field?
I’ve never told people to not go into my field, although I have suggested that if long hours, standing on your feet and not great wages all sounds too hard that it may not be for them. You really do need to start from the ground up … literally sweeping floors!
What was your first client like?
You know it’s been since 1986 since I’ve been in this world, so I don’t remember my first client, however, I remember how I felt at that time … on top of the world! When I held the mirror up to show clients the back of their hair, I remember beaming with pride at my creation and feeling so grateful they chose me to do their hair.
When did you discover you could branch out and work in different areas beyond the salon?
I worked in salons for 20 years. In that time, I worked for some of the best salons in town and they had a strong focus on education. It was through this that I became an educator myself, for a colour company. I travelled as a guest artist for them all over Australia; they were partnered with fashion festivals, so I was invited to work backstage at the shows. This was it for me, I put my hand up for everything possible: competitions, photo shoots, and student films and mostly working for free … I didn’t care, I loved it!
How did you get your foot in the door of the Film and TV world?
I got into film and production work professionally through an actor that I had helped on a student film, he asked me to work with him creating the look of a film he made that did really well at film festivals, he then introduced me to a designer or head of department of a film he was working on. I offered my help, she kept me on after for her next film and I was hooked!
What are the big mistakes you see new hairdressers make?
I feel the biggest thing to learn is the importance of consultation, listening is everything. Be honest, do not promise what you can’t deliver and this little piece of gold was passed onto me…. if in doubt, DON’T!!
What do you love about what you do?
My job is different every day, that’s what I love the most.
I can be working on a wedding, doing a film in the desert, shooting fashion in the studio or trimming a fringe! I meet the most amazing people and what I do makes them feel good, it doesn’t get better than that!
I can see the similarities are numerous here between the best-certified personal trainers and the best-qualified hairdressers! Bec understands the importance of education, she gets how important it is to LISTEN to the client and not just impose your own ideas, she loves helping people and she knows that she can carve out a niche by working hard and building trusting relationships.