What do you do?
I’m a hairstylist. I work at a salon full-time and I usually do freelance, like editorial and bridals on the side.
How long have you been in this field for?
I’ve been doing this for about six years now.
What inspired you to pursue this career?
It’s been something I’ve always been passionate about. I was always the girly girl – out of me and my sister, she was more of a tomboy. I was probably in Grade 3 or 4 and living in Paris, Ontario at the time and said to her, ‘I really want to learn how to braid here. Please let me braid your hair!’ But she said no. So I ended up practicing all these different looks and different hairstyles on myself. That’s when I really started gaining interest, because I just wanted to learn all these different things.
It wasn’t until my mom really gave me a push that I fell into hair. She was the one that really inspired me to check out hair schools and from there everything fell into place.
What was the biggest hurdle in attaining your career goals?
I guess the biggest struggle initially was going into education for hairstyling. Sometimes when I told people that I wanted to be a hairstylist, I’d get a lot of negative feedback. A lot of people saying, ‘That’s not a real job. You should be a doctor” and things like that. So that really held me back for a long time. It wasn’t until my mom said ‘No, you talked about this since you were little. You need to follow your dreams’. That’s kind of what pushed me into it.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
My favourite thing overall – whether it’s a little cut or a big transformation – is seeing somebody’s face light up and knowing that they feel good through and through. Especially about themselves. When somebody’s face lights up, I can get very emotional. It reminds me of what I’m doing, and that what I’m doing is to make people feel good about themselves. And find something that suits them. That’s my favourite aspect.
What do you find most challenging about your work?
Nothing currently. I think in the beginning it was challenging. I was at a salon and it was very competitive. I definitely lucked out where I am now because being a hairstylist, it can be a very competitive and catty atmosphere. Where I am now, it’s a very accepting community and everyone helps each other.
If you weren’t a hairstylist, what would you be?
Originally I wanted to be an art teacher. I always fell back to hair, but for a little bit I was looking into being an art teacher. I like to draw in my spare time, so I did a lot of co-op placements for that. I drew a lot of hair and fashion design. The fashion industry has always inspired me.
Name one hobby you have that’s not related to your work.
Playing guitar. I like to play guitar and sing in my free time.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
And last thing you do at night?
I’m usually in my bed, curled up and looking at Pinterest or YouTube, looking at videos for inspiration and hairstyles.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you enjoy your work.
I would say a 10. I love my job. It’s really great connecting with people. I consider myself lucky because I know so many people – especially talking to people all the time – that don’t feel that way about their job. So I feel lucky that I enjoy going to work in the morning and it never feels like I’m doing a job.
This interview has been edited and condensed.