Thursday, 14 May 2015

Job #12 - What is it like being a hairdresser?

Job #12 is working at a hairdressers, it's such a friendly team at JM hairdressing! As soon as I arrived I was told that they will be running a raffle where all money is donated to The Meditation Trust and clients can win a £50 voucher, how amazingly kind is that! This is the first job where I have felt a real pressure that I have to look nice for work, don't get me wrong I always make an effort - but here you know people will be looking at your hair!

After being shown where everything is, it strikes me just how much there is to this job...I didn't even know that many comb sizes existed! I can imagine that it's one of those jobs where you can learn as much as you like at college, but the real learning is once you actually start doing it as everyone's hair is so different that the way you work with it changes from person to person!

Our first client didn't attend, they had a long treatment booked which I was looking forward to seeing, so that was a shame. Obviously there are very good reasons for people not to attend, but I do think sometimes people don't consider that the hairdresser has lost out on money due to people not attending. Luckily our next client was super early, so all was not lost!

She was lovely to talk to, I think that's a side of the job that I would absolutely love is getting to talk to so many different people. Although as an observer it's fine for me to chat away, but I can imagine if I was actually working on someone's hair I might find it difficult to listen to their story's fully while trying to concentrate on what I'm doing! If your one of those people that has days where you really don't want to be sociable, this probably isn't the job for you!

Children can be the worst clients - they take the longest and pay the least! (I would like to add that this is my observation and not the opinion of the stylists at the salon!) I can imagine it's very tricky to keep a child entertained whilst their having their hair cut. Having said that, it was half term whilst I was at the salon so there were a lot of children having their hair cut and they behaved impeccably! It was actually great fun discussing their future career aspirations and the reasons for them (I am doing a job challenge after all!). One little boy decided that he would like to be a builder as he is very good at making houses out of paper, and would quite like to build them for real!...oh how I'd love to know if he follows his dream when he's older.

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There's hair everywhere in the salon and granted you would expect that, but all I can say is I'm glad that I didn't wear sandals as you get a serious case of hairy toe syndrome! there's even hair on the notice board in the staff room, no they don't just love hair that much - they will do a strand test if someone wants to change their hair from very dark to light, to ensure you leave with the colour you are hoping for and not bright orange hair! Lucky we did as one ladies test strand went a very unusual colour whilst I was there...phew!

After a day of observing I got to help colour someone's hair on the second day, I really enjoyed it. Hairdressing is actually a very creative job indeed! Something that the experience made me realise is that I'm one of those people that likes to be a bit different (wait for it, that's not what I realised!), which I think would make me find it really difficult doing traditional styles as that's not my taste. That also works vice versa! I already knew how much there is to hairdressing - being someone that's into hair and loves observing I have picked up a thing or two at my own hairdressers. But it made me appreciate my hairdressers even more as they always do something that I love even if it's not something that they would have themselves! This is another question that I had - if someone asked for something that you thought really wouldn't suit them would you tell them? The answer was of course they would, in a round about way - they never want people to leave unhappy but also don't want to upset people either!

There are quite a few ladies of an older generation that come every week without fail to have their hair 'set'. To you and me that's having their hair put into rollers and then sprayed with a product that sets the style for the week. I was under the impression that this is something that along with a blue rinse, you get a calling that it's the hairstyle for you when you reach a certain age! Apparently not, the ladies that have those styles have always had them (that was the trend when they were younger apparently!). I am Informed that people rarely change their routines when it comes to hair, which I can definitely believe - maybe I'll be 90 with one side of my head shaved still...who knows! It does seem that you don't feel like anything's changed, but all of a sudden it was 9 years ago that you were 18 - so I can see how you could keep the same hair do!

Anyway, Jackie - the lady that owns the salon is a rather admirable lady. Not only does her salon run like clockwork but she also likes to get involved in raising money for charity. She also helps people by visiting Cambodia every year to teach the them how to cut hair, which goes down a storm! She said it's quite an amazing experience. Plus the salon raised a whopping £50 for the charity that my challenge is for as well as donating £50 herself - thank you so much for that.

Everyone made me feel so so welcome for my two days at the salon, I learnt so much. I even got to be in the photos for their 15 year anniversary which was the day after I left.

I wanted to see if hairdressing is a cut above the rest on the job front so I asked Jackie a few questions...
1. How long have you worked in your job and how did you get into it?
I have been a hairdresser for nearly 40 years!! And in my current job as a
salon owner for the past 15!

2. What's the best thing about your job?
As a hairdresser we are privileged to be able to make our clients look and
feel great! turning bad hair days into good hair days - also helping my team
achieve their goals is fantastic!

3. What's the worst thing about your job?
The worst day of my life here was when our computer crashed and we lost
everything all client details appointments records absolutely everything we
need to operate! we had to start again from scratch, and client turning up
for appointments we had lost off of the screen! The endless mounds of
paperwork is the worst part of my job

4. If money, time, education etc were no object what would your dream job

I'm in my dream job! otherwise If I could work on a beach somewhere exotic
that would be it!

5. What stress rating would you give your job (where one is super relaxed
and 5 is super stressful)

So lovely to meet people who are doing their dream job! Thank you to all the team at JM hairdressing! and a huge thank you to Jackie for letting me come to your salon for a couple of days and for your extremely generous donation. If this blog is so long that you now need to get your hair cut check out their website
And if you would like to donate to the amazing cause that this is all in aid of then please visit!donate/c1n0m 


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