What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Angel Montague-Sayers, Sally Montague Hair Group
My favourite motto is: “You’re only as good as your last haircut, so make it amazing!". Education is essential to never staying still. Work on your weaknesses and they’ll become your strengths. And finally never say no to opportunities; you never know where it could lead or who you might meet in the process.
James Earnshaw, Bad Apple Hair Group
The best piece of advice I received was from Francesco Group's Michelle Thompson about making sure you learn how to work with all hair types. Whether working on shows or shoots, the skill to work with curly and textured hair has helped me when working backstage at fashion week and editorial shoots as it’s not a skill everyone has.
The thing that has stuck with me throughout my career was said to me at the first course l ever went on in the ‘70s. Belfast hairdresser Jim Croskery told me: "Treat your clients’ needs like visiting your doctor. Consult, diagnose, prescribe."
Good things don’t come from comfort zones. The thing that drives me is being uncomfortable, it’s the only way to grow, develop and to really find out who you are. Success isn’t something that just turns up we all need to persevere and push ourselves to get there.
Practice, then practice some more. Take responsibility for your own learning. I attend as many courses as I can and learn something new every time.
You need to watch, you need to listen; you have to 'be' before you can 'become'.
A great speaker called Simon Woodroffe OBE gave me advice that I continue to use every day in so many situations: ‘Whatever you want to do in life, never ever ask anyone’s opinion whether you should do it. Whatever the subject is, research it until you have all the facts, figures and relevant information you need, allowing you to make the best factual decision or judgement.’
At the consultation stage I always explain to clients that they realistically need to wait 10 days to decide how they feel about their colour, as it will always soften and slightly change and their eyes will adjust to their new shade and tone. After 10 days, if they're still not sure, invite them in for a consultation to discuss. This is a form of professional communication and is clarity for you and your client.
Jack Merrick-Thirlway, Neville's Hair & Beauty
The most invaluable piece of advice I’ve received was to learn how to give a perfect consultation. No matter how experienced you become, you need to understand the client - their needs, how often they spend styling their hair, how often the hair is washed, if they have any particular concern areas. This information is 100 per cent necessary if you are to satisfy them to the highest standard.
Learn how to do every service on the salon menu. If you can’t do it then practice and learn until you can! If your client requests a service that you haven’t mastered then they’ll go to another stylist and you may lose them forever - I never, ever wanted that to be me.
I always refer back to advice I was given as an apprentice, which was to 'never accept okay as a standard, as it’s not okay!' It’s stuck with me ever since and has been a driving force for me in all I do. If a client says her hair is ‘okay’ after you have finished her hair it means it’s not okay with her at all and she certainly is not recommending you. It’s great advice to live by.
Hard work always pays off! There is rarely a quick way to success it can take many years to hone your craft, and even then you never stop learning.
‘Work hard and be nice! It’s a long way to the top but it’s a hard crash back to the bottom, so make friends on your way up and you’ll never hit the bottom because you’ll always get caught by a friend on the way down and elevated back up.’ It’s so important for us to do self check-ins and make sure the way we are presenting ourselves as honest, authentic and, most of all, kind.