"Also in a craft like ours that is 100% about our skills."
I think this is where the issues is. It's not 100% about our skills, it's very little about our skills. I mean, depending on where you want to go with hair...
I think of the hair industry a lot like the music industry. I am a very good guitar player (think Steve Vai) and I spent 10 years mad at the whole world because Blink 182 was selling tons of records with 3 chords and I don't think any of my bands have ever had a legitimate fan. But I could "meedly meedly" circles around that Blink guy... The people buying music don't care if you're a virtuoso, they care that the sounds you're making and the style your putting out there will fit or inspire their mood, and that can even be done with 2 chords. Connecting with listeners sells records. Being a shred head virtuoso solo masher, though, means you can teach guitar lessons to the guys who spent the money on the album, spent the money on the guitar, and will spend the money on you. It'll also get you props from other people who understand guitar (but it still won't help you sell records to anyone but them). The music industry and hair industry are not professional basketball, where ability, talent, and skill, are provable by stats, to show us who deserves to be paid more and watched more. To sell the records the music industry need to push the ones who connect on some level with the people who have the money to spend. This is hair, too. You see more "fluff" on stage than talent because the fluff and glamour sells brushes and tuition to beauty school, while only a small handful want to reach virtuoso status in hair (why would they? the industry doesn't favor them because it doesn't sell!). I blame American Idol, everyone wants attention, and to be a star for nothing, and I hate to say this, but I know like 10 barbers and hairdressers who are less than 5 years into the industry with dreams (that I'm watching come true) of being big time educators. Mastery is now unnecessary to make money in hair, or to gain popularity, as long as they look the part and talk the talk. "Sell some shears and brushes and I'll get you on main stage!"
Be the change, Ryan. I'm with you.
Where are the Springsteens or the Cobains? It's a great question. I don't have an answer. I just wanna be the Johnny Thunders of our industry. Just leave a grease smear on the industry and have a few people think I was cool. ;)
See you in May, buddy.
There are no more Gate Keepers ! I personally don't like all the BS that goes on at hair shows , but i respect the hustle . Its up to each individual to create their own Tribe .
I agree with a lot of what's said here.
But I also see a hair industry that is stuck in the past.
Many salons don't have good social media marketing or online booking systems (or have ones which are unwieldy and annoying to use). They don't profile their staff on their website properly or promote their work. They don't have a ton of before and after pics of clients. I see customers educating themselves about hairstyling via youtube, not their hairdresser. Customers are buying their hairdryers, brushes and tongs from any old brand or store, not the obvious place. Salon owners are still pushing stylists to sell products, instead of being happy for the stylist to build a relationship and trust with clients first (I sell far more since I worked at a place which doesn't set any product targets). Salons are still expecting people to turn up at the salon during opening times, instead of being flexible (having said that, I do not agree with working on Sundays and never will. That's the day for friends, family, loved ones).
This doesn't apply to many of the people on this forum but still. It's no wonder young people don't get it with the hair industry.
Great hairdressers are usually people who continually strive to improve the whole package. Better technique, wider repertoire, more knowledge, patience and understanding/love, better communication, presentation, customer service, personal management.
I was just having some fun with my earlier answer. But really, "What makes a great hairdresser?" You could ask a thousand different stylists and get about as many answers. I suspect everyone that is a member here either is a great one or on the path to becoming one (and really, do any of us ever really leave that path? Probably not).
I just concern myself with myself and my tribe. I try to keep relevant and growing. Train my staff. Train my students. Get training for myself. Some will get it and crave more. Others will not. However, that doesn't always dictate who is successful.
I'm just grateful that I landed in this crazy industry. My worst days are still pretty good days.
I do agree, for the most part but.... there is a certain degree of natural talent that can't be taught, it's the EYE, the ability to see what a persons hair could be. This combined with technical skill is a the recipe to become a good hairdresser. The Eye can't be taught but it can be developed by constant exposure to beauty, art, design and nature.