My Journey Through Hair

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I was the tender age of 18 when I naively walked into the beauty industry. Having graduated high school at the height of the recession in 2009, incurring massive amounts of debt from college didn’t seem like a great option. Instead, I chose to pursue a more creative path – hair! This decision was highly scrutinized by both family and friends. Many feared that I was headed into a profession that is frowned upon, that I was wasting time and money on a fruitless venture. While their opinions weren’t totally baseless, the past six years have taught me just how much this profession has given me. Let’s explore my journey.

The Beginning  

 

As I just stated, I was very young when I enrolled at the Aveda Institute Minneapolis (one of the top cosmetology programs in the country). I had absolutely zero idea what was in store for me. My best friend at the time had chosen to pursue the industry, so I decided to join her! One of the first obstacles I was faced with was gaining the dexterity of working with hair. Most of my classmates were girls, and consequently had an innate advantage over me. After a few months of being in the program, one of the instructors took interest in me and connected me with a Master Stylist at Juut Salonspa of Minneapolis. I began assisting under her, and quickly gained the skill set necessary to stand out from my peers in the program.

Training Wheels

 

After assisting for nearly a year, I graduated at the top of my class and was quickly offered a job working for Juut as a New Artist. Much to my surprise, the learning wasn’t over. In order to be placed on Juut’s salon floor, New Artists have to undergo a year’s worth of specialization training (Stylist or Colorist). I chose to pursue the Stylist path due to by experience assisting. These 12 months were brutal! The pay was low, the expectations were high, and failure was highlighted often. I considered quitting several times. In fact, the group that I started with nearly shrunk to half of its original size throughout of training. Nonetheless, I survived and was placed early in my permanent salon.

Achieving Mastery

 

Once placed into a salon, the next obstacles a Stylist faces is gaining a clientele, as well as achieving high metrics for promotions. Juut’s structure is somewhat complicated. It breaks down its seniority scale into New Artist, Studio Stylist, Senior Stylist, and Master Stylist. Each of these titles contains 3 levels in order to progress to the next rank. The average timespan it takes to get from New Artist to Mater Stylist is approximately 10 years, which takes a lot of time and dedication. One of the things I am most proud of on my journey through hair is that I was able to achieve the title of Master in 6 years, while pursuing a degree full-time.

My Takeaway

 

While my journey through hair has certainly not been easy, it has been a great learning opportunity. I have not only learned a great deal about hair, I’ve also learned a tremendous amount about people and life in general. Every person is unique, every story is meaningful. Through hearing each and every one of their stories, I’ve gained knowledge, become culturally aware, and inspired. Though I now realize the challenges that surround hair, I am equally aware of all that I’ve gained through working in the beauty industry. To those of you that feel compelled to follow your passion and pursue a career in hair, I say go for it – enjoy the journey of hair. For those of you that would like to learn more about me, check out my salon’s website Juut Salonspa.

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7 thoughts on “My Journey Through Hair

    1. Thank you, Karen. That compliment means a lot coming from someone with so much success in the corporate world. I really hope we have more classes together in the future!

  1. Thanks for sharing your journey, Sam. I had no idea the amount of time needed for that profession was so lengthy. Congratulations on your accomplishments!

  2. Oh wow, Sam! What an incredible journey. You’ve accomplished so much in such a short amount of time; I am very impressed! Congratulations on everything you’ve done! 🙂 Also, I want to say that I love Juut, as they did my makeup for my wedding back in November. It’s a great place with a great team, and I would 100% go back for hair and everything else they offer.

    By the way, that first photo of you is fancy and super professional. Love it!

    1. Thank you for the kind comments, Anna. I’m glad you had a wonderful experience on your wedding day! As you know, we always strive to make our clients day, I’m glad we made yours!

      It was lovely being in class with you. You’re natural talent with social media and blogging is evident. Thank you for contributing to all of our learning development through lending your knowledge!

  3. Hair has always been a hobby of mine but I know I couldn’t have made it thru the rigor you had to endure. It would be great to see some pictures of your work! Finished up-do’s and cuts. I’m always looking for inspiration and love admiring work of others that I simply could never do myself!

    It was a pleasure to be in class with you Sam! Best wishes to you as your pursue more dreams!

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