Juniors Do Not Give Up!
I loved it!!!! That first day................. oh so young and care free! Naive too! I polished one mirror for 45 minutes and it was still covered in smears! The salon I worked in was covered in about 200 feet of mirrors that went from front to back on all four walls; this was going to take a while! And all for £90 per week plus all the free teas and coffees I could drink! £90 is nothing these days. 75% of my clients now don't bat an eyelid at spending that every other week having their highlights touched up.
And then came the first day at college. They had their own salon where unsuspecting victims, I mean clients, came in to have their barnets coiffed and curled, straightened and sit in a chair all day while a nervous 16 year old tries to do golden caramel highlights while they wiggle and squirm because their bum is going numb! Mine didn't involve chemicals (luckily) but did involve 45 minutes trying to comb a ladies hair that was down to her backside and hadn't seen a pair of scissors or conditioner for 20 years! Then another 45 minutes was spent trying to untangle the brush from the bird's nest that was her fringe!
Afterwards I had to fill in a form saying how well I thought my first blow-dry went and how I could improve. And that was the rest of my first day at college!
I made the mistake of wearing heels on my first Saturday at the salon. I started at 8am and by lunchtime the balls of my feet were on fire!
I was teamed up with one of the less busy stylists in the salon as it was still taking me 30 minutes to wash a client's hair! After lunch she had a full set of highlights booked in and I was organised and got all her foils ready, neatly folded at the top, and colours set out ready for her to mix them when the client arrived at the salon.
I was bored stiff passing neatly folded foil, then holding the bowl up to her by the time she reached ear height and I went into my own little world, bowl of bleach in hand, day dreaming of my then boyfriend when she bumped me with her hip to move me out of the way so she could move to the other side of the clients head. Of course I wasn't expecting this! Bleach, bowl and tint brush flew across the salon narrowly missing a mother breast feeding her 6 week old child quietly in a corner of the salon and went all over the mirror that had taken me 45 minutes to polish only 4 days before.
Burning faced and feet (!) I ran into the staff room balling my eyes out to the poor heavily pregnant receptionist. I got so worked up I couldn't breath and had to have my Dad come and collect me and take me home.
You may think this should have put me off for life but I made myself go back into the salon the next week and the week after and the week after until 2 years, 5 months and 17 days later I got my qualification and was let loose on the unsuspecting world of hair!
My advice to all apprentices and juniors is DO NOT GIVE UP. You will be the next Beverly Cobella or Nicky Clark if you want it bad enough. Aim higher and go for it! Don't let anyone tell you that you can't make it! If hair is your passion, like me, don't let anyone stand in your way.
© Kerry Waters
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