I couldn't think of someone better to be apart of my very first blog post. I'm so excited to share my Q&A with Jess a.k.a @jessamberhair on IG currently kicking ass in Kitchener (and like, the rest of the planet in my opinion).
Instagram is a crazy place and I think a lot of us can agree that we've met lifelong friends through the app, perhaps even the ultimate matchmaker that bring people who have the same interests (in this case - hair) together! A quick search and a follow and just like that, you're connected. A quick scroll through her IG and it's easy to see just how talented she is. I promptly scheduled an appointment and haven't looked back since.
Q: How did you get into the hair industry?
A: I’ve been in the industry for 10 years! Wow I can’t believe that. It feels so long and not long at all at the same time.
I started in the industry when I was 16, I took the OYAP (Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program) in high school and actually became a licensed apprentice while still in high school.
Following that I apprenticed at La Vita Hair Studio, where I am currently still working. I’ve gone from employee to self employed booth renter which is an incredible and scary transition.
Being accountable all for myself is a new challenge that I am thankfully doing pretty well.
Q: Can you share any hair tips for healthy hair?
A: My number one tip for healthy hair is really going to be two tips!
#1 will be regular consistent trims.
Lots of people out there think that they’re going to grow their hair by never cutting it which actually won’t help.
Yes, there are some people who can grow their hair extremely well and can go without getting their hair cut (although look at their ends they will still be frayed), but the majority need regular trims.
When you avoid getting your hair trimmed it splits, we know this. But what happens is the longer you leave it will start splitting farther up the hair shaft and become weaker. When it becomes weaker it snaps.
So, you now went from having 14-inch hair to 12 because you thought getting 1/4 of an inch trim would make it shorter.
You do not need to cut inches every time, you just need to dust the splits off!
Tip #2 is turn down your hot tools!!!!!
You can over process your hair with heat. And that is very hard to come back from.
Use your blow dryer on medium to low heat, yes it will take a little longer but it worth it. Also use a nozzle & blow-dry downward it will make the hair less frizzy.
Keep your flat irons at 350 or lower, you do not need it at the max 450! YOU DO NOT!
And make sure your hair is DRY when straightening or curling. Sometimes were in a rush and we think our hair is dry but it’s not and when you use that extremely hot tool over damp hair, you’re sizzling your hair. It works harder to try and dry the hair before it straightens or curls and in turn, we’re using more passes to get the job done. If it is dry and your sections are small you only need one maybe two passes over depending on texture.
Q: What advice can you give to someone coming into the industry?
A: If I could give advice to someone coming into the industry it would be to continue your education yearly. School will teach you the bottom basics to pass the ministry exam. There is so much ever changing in the industry you need to stay on top of it. Get onto Social and start following followings who inspire you, take their classes. You don’t want to fall behind because you think you know it all, because you don’t. The day you think you’re done learning is the day your career is done. Another big piece of advice is Community over Competition! We are all hear to learn and grow from each other.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge?
A: One of my biggest challenges so far had to have been overcoming my self doubt when I broke my arm.
3 years ago, I broke my arm and needed surgery. The recovery was only 8 weeks long which isn’t much but can be damaging to this type of career because that can equal two 4-week appointments for some clients. It came at a time in my career where I was busy but just doing the day to day work life, nothing was really exciting me.
In my time off while I was in bed, I researched stylists on IG, who I wanted to learn from in the next coming years to enhance the skills I had. When I came back, I worked on getting my endurance and speed back for some services and then focused on what I planned.
I traveled to NYC by myself to attend my first independent educational class. Each year since then I make sure I invest time into continued education and have learnt from the top 4 stylists I planned to.
Q: What has been your biggest success?
A: So far, I would say my biggest success has been pushing myself out of my little box.
I know that sounds a little “silly” as it is not a “goal” per say, but it really is one of my greatest accomplishments.
With this has some becoming a successful booth renting stylist. An independent Educator, as well as an Educator for a product company (PulpRiot) I absolutely love and have been busting my butt to work for. Success isn’t a single thing or a straight line. It is all over and ever evolving. I set new goals for myself daily, and when I do achieve those every single of them is a success no matter how big or small they are. I have to remember to break out and push my own boundaries to achieve said goals.
Q: How do you decompress after a busy day?
A: One of my absolute favourite ways to decompress is honestly playing video games with my partner. He and I are such nerds and being able to put myself in a different reality for a moment is great.
Comic reading is another favourite, or hanging out together watching a movie, home reno shows or food network. Pretty standard off day things.
You can follow Jess on Instagram @jessamberhair!