The Evolution to Specialization
What an interesting 10 years it has been for me as a stylist.
When I was at the Aveda Institute all those years ago, I think we all kind of thought I was going to end up being a hair cutter. After winning a couple awards on a model I collaborated with a colorist on, salons wanted to hire me based solely on that haircut I did. When I think back to that haircut, it wasn't really a flawless haircut but I had managed not to butcher some pretty advanced stuff(I think, at least). I even considered going to Vidal Sassoon after that for haircutting.
I ended up moving to Colorado and working for an Aveda salon. I always loved to do color and I would dread the "haircut days". You know the ones. When you have 8-9 back to back haircuts and your body is killing you from all that blowdrying. Even then I somehow managed to grow a very healthy haircutting business. I became known for all types of short hair. Bobs, pixies and men's fades and that's what I spent a lot of my time doing. For years. What I learned over time is that I don't even necessarily like cutting hair, the only reason I'm any good at it is because I am a perfectionist with anything that I do. Even if I clean a toilet you can bet it will be the shiniest toilet within a 5 mile radius. I need everything to be beautiful.
So a couple years ago I started getting really into balayage. I enjoyed doing it. Looked forward to it. Wanted to talk everyone into it. The entire application and look, everything about it, appealed to me. I started taking all kinds of advanced classes for balayage so I could master it, because like most people I had run into some of the signature issues associated with the technique. Slowly, my business began to shift organically. I was spending more time doing balayage services and that's what I became known for. Social media was definitely a driving force behind that as well. Once I started seeing my schedule filled with mostly color services, I realized that I would kind of dread having just a stand alone haircut on my books. Even though that's what I USED to be known for, I just didn't want to do it anymore. The passion wasn't there.
I have decided moving forward that I only want my life to be filled with what I am passionate about. So just recently, I have decided to specialize in color and balayage services/looks specifically. I can't tell you how hard it has been to have to tell clients I've been doing for years that I will no longer be cutting their hair. I believe a lot of people take it personally but you have to do what is necessary for your happiness, your business, longevity etc. I will still cut hair for my color clients(you can't do a beautiful balayage and then not trim their crazy ends, right?)
I suppose my reason for writing this blog is to try to empower people to follow their passion and let you know that it's never too late to shift your specialty. Your career will evolve so many ways over the years and to avoid burning out, you have to do what you love to do. It's been 10 years and I'm just now making this shift. It's too soon to analyze how the risk weighed against the reward but I'm hopeful.