It all starts in the salon, behind the chair.
The core of any great hairdresser starts behind the chair. This is where you practice, build your skill sets, core techniques, and hone your signature into who you want to be! This also financially supports you going to classes, shows, and events that will be an investment into your career long term.
Local classes, shows, and events
Invest into your future. Get as much education outside of school as possible—local classes, in-salon classes, and hands-on classes to better your skill set and broaden your perspective on the industry. This will give you exposure to what is in the industry.
National Shows and Events
Learn from everybody around, then start investing into yourself on a bigger level by putting yourself at national shows, events, and industry events to learn from the best of the best, and to network with other professionals. Learn from those at the top of their game and make it your own. But you have to be there and be involved to learn and grow.
Train with a Manufacturer
As you are at shows, find many manufacturers that you like. Start aligning with one that can lead into training with the manufacturer directly. Once you have found a manufacturer you want to work with and they want to work with you as well, they will invest in you with training, classes, product information, and techniques. This is a phenomenal way to learn as well as go out and share with the industry. This could lead to national trainings, national shows, and industry events in attending them as well as supporting them and growing into possibly being an artistic team member that presents at those types of events. It is great to be involved with different manufacturers – the learning is second to none!
Competitions are a great way to share your work with the world! It is a great way to gauge yourself in comparison to others out there in the industry, and it is a great way to get exposure at the highest levels. I would start at the local level, competing in competitions like NCA to build traction and success. Work up to national shows and finally enter Stars, photo competitions, and NAHA through editorial work. Again, this is a great way to expose yourself to the industry.
Team up with stylists, photographers, models, and other creatives to capture your work through photographs. This is a great way to expose your work to the world. Send your work to publications and ad agencies. In short, behind every advertisement is a hairdresser.
You can do anything you want in this world if you take the steps, put in the effort, and don’t take “no” as an answer. Push yourself to be the best in the salon and grow and expand with each exposure to the industry.
Take care of the industry and make it better than the way you found it, and the industry will give you everything. Hairdressing isn’t a job for me, nor is it a career. It is a lifestyle and it is an amazing one – so I ask you, “What do you want to do with your job?” Make it an artistic one.
All my love to this industry,
Award-winning hairstylist Chrystofer Benson is highly respected in the professional beauty industry for his exceptional creative vision, communication skills, and technical talent that clearly defines him as a industry leader, a MATRIX Artistic Director and Global Design Team Member. Working and educating globally, he is driven by his unparalleled creative energy to break down barriers and leave his mark and legacy on this world. As an avid competitor, he has many International titles in Cutting, Color, and Styling from earlier in his career.