Sean Hanna has always been passionate about hairdressing and his enthusiasm for his art has earned him an impressive array of industry awards, including "Business Director of the year".
He is also three times winner of the British Hairdressing business awards, "Marketing Award", and has twice received "Manager of the Year" Award.
Hair and Beauty Jobs talks to Sean about his career and asks what advice he can give for aspiring stylists.
Q. What inspired you to start your career in hairdressing?
My first job was in accountancy and it just wasn't ticking the right boxes for me at all! I decided I had to do something creative on an impulse, I decided to explore hairdressing as a career. Before I could change my mind, I started an apprenticeship in London!
Q. If you'd chosen another profession what do you think it would have been?
Possibly a photographer or an accordionist! I love to listen and play music, and am motivated by the visual image.
Q. Tell us about your salons
I currently have six salons, in London and Surrey, plus a Training Academy. More are planned!
Q. What gives you the most satisfaction in your job?
I am a firm believer in variety being the spice of life! It's very satisfying for me to maybe be working on a model casting one day, on a photo-shoot with the art team the following day, to running a training seminar on another, to working on our range of salon software programs and books. And of course, assignments abroad give me the opportunity to see the world and enjoy other cultures.
Q. How do you feel about being a role model in this field?
I feel very honoured to be am ambassador for hairdressing. Winning the Business Director of the Year at the Hairdressing Awards was an incredible accolade to receive from my own industry, and I take the responsibility very seriously.
Q. What qualities are required to be a successful hair stylist?
Apart from sound technical skills and a meticulous attention to detail, I would say that successful stylists are those who have a vision and an objective when starting each and every haircut. You need to want to make a difference to the way someone feels about themselves.
Q. What opportunities are there for career stylists?
It's not all about just being confined to working in a salon these days. Opportunities exist for those who want to venture into managing a salon we currently have several young people currently taking Foundation Degrees in Salon Management, and a thriving Junior Management team, too. Some stylists and technicians in our group specialise in teaching and training others in the Academy, whilst for those who are motivated to show off their creative skills, can join the artistic team and become involved in seminars and shows at home and abroad.
Q. What makes seanhanna perfect training ground for budding stylists?
The seanhanna Academy is a City & Guilds approved Centre, able to self-certify up to NVQ Level 3. Our training programme is aimed specifically for seanhanna staff and all of our trainees achieve a Full HABIA apprenticeship. Trainees are fully supported by a full time highly qualified Training Manager and mentored by their salon team.
Q. What career opportunities does seanhanna offer?
At seanhanna, we have a clear, structured career path. It is possible for a dedicated individual to progress through the ranks from a trainee right through to becoming a Creative Director or Manager maybe even a franchisee manager.
Q. What tips can you give to stylists wanting to achieve your level of success?
Just be clear about what you really want to achieve. If you are truly ambitious and want to be a top hairdresser, take every opportunity to hone your technical skills and your creative prowess. Don't be afraid to push your personal boundaries, make sure you regularly get out of your comfort zone! Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes just give you the opportunity to learn how to do it right next time! Envisage each move as a step nearer your goal, and getting there won't be a daunting prospect but something you can really enjoy!