As a salon assistant I have many responsibilities that help keep the salon running smoothly. It is also my responsibility to learn as much as I can from the stylists around me. I consider myself fortunate to work everyday with talented people who are always willing to talk through a haircut or unpack a color formula with me. Therefore, when Jay approached me and Caitlin Brennan (artistic director/stylist at Local Honey) with the opportunity to travel to New York to spend a couple of days at the Hairstory studio I was ecstatic to have an opportunity to enhance and build upon my skills as a stylist.
Hairstory is not a salon but a studio that was founded by Michael Gordon, a pioneer in the hair industry. Hairstory is a sprawling tenth floor apartment in Manhattan where stylists, makeup artists, photographers, and all around innovators meet to create a avant-garde yet beautiful experience for their guests. People are invited to have their hair cut, colored, and/or styled by the team of stylists. After the person’s experience, they are then professionally photographed with their new hairstyle.
I expected to learn new hair cutting and coloring techniques during my two days at Hairstory. However, I learned much more than new skills. The team at Hairstory believe that every hairstyle should tell a story about the person wearing it. There should be no fast-food hairstyles; meaning every person possesses different qualities and their hair should reflect the same. The stylists at Hairstory achieve this by looking at the person in the chair, evaluating with the person what he/she needs, and then using their highly trained skills to make it happen. Thereby, transforming the person’s hair into something much more than a hair “style” it becomes a hair “story” that resonates with that person.
When people asked me why I decided to becoming a hairdresser I usually came up with a few answers, but none of them felt authentic. My experience at Hairstory helped reveal to me my purpose for why I have chosen this career. I want to be a hairdresser so I can help tell a person’s story through their hair. I hope to give a gift to each person that sits in my chair; a gift that is unique and special to the person wearing it. Wes Sharpton (lead haircutter at Hairstory) explained it perfectly. He explained that being a part of this industry is similar to when you step into a large, breathtaking cathedral. You are immediately humbled and feel very small. At the same time, you feel important to be even a small part of something that you know is so good.