As a stylist who has worked in many environments over the course of my career, I have seen many trends come and go. Usually the trends are style related and were seasonal in nature. We would respond to whatever was new or in season, and our training would reflect the shift in these trends. Sometimes there would be a shift in the technology, like chemical straightening, colour or tool technology that we would respond to (or not) depending on our curiosity or the demand from our clients/employers for this knowledge.
All that has changed with the emergence of the internet, social media and the pervasiveness of portable computing devices. IPhones, IPods, IPads, have taken the place of trade and fashion magazines as a means for stylists and clients to respond to each other and emerging trends. There is an immediacy to these tools that opens up a new world of challenges for stylist and client. Clients see a look from the awards show last night or the current runway show and expect their stylist to reproduce it. It certainly ups the game for those of us behind the chair.
“Barriers to entry to the industry are minimal, creating intense competition for the consumer spending dollars available. The main draw for beauty salons is the stylists they employ.” http://www.anythingresearch.com/industry/Beauty-Salons.htm
On-line sites such as YouTube teach us and our clients how-to’s. Apps such as Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter allow instant access to and dissemination of visual inspiration from around the world. These new ways of communicating are allowing conversations and collaborations that are truly global.
They also allow myself, as an educator, to respond to the curiosity and demands of my students in a fun and immediate way. I see it fueling my own and my students creativity and passion to learn. I am dedicated to keeping up with and encouraging my students to use whatever inspires their desire to learn.
The other trend that is combining with this new technology is the emergence of websites such as… http://www.behindthechair.com to teach a more professional approach to the stylist’s career. These sites offer everything from on-line hair tutorials, career opportunities, to lessons on how to market yourself and become a successful business person.
Believing in lifelong learning means embracing these tools . They make it a fantastic time to be an educator!