Andrew Carruthers Discusses the Roles Within the Hairdresser Community

For this month's Sam Villa column, Andrew Carruthers, the Education Director of Sam Villa, took the reins.

In today’s world of social media, the highly motivated, hair-obsessed artists are fun to watch and super motivational…to some of us. To others, the constant perfection could feel like they’re not keeping up with the influencers and the NAHA nominees, so they must be doing something wrong. We often get highly emotional messages through Facebook and Instagram asking how to keep up in this high-paced environment when you barely know how to take a picture with your smart phone. Not to mention that you’re already working through 15 clients per day and raising three kids that have basketball practice, piano recitals and karate tournaments.

First, we have to ask what our motivation is. What is our purpose in our career? For the people we watch sky rocket on social media, they’re investing their heart and soul into their platform as an artist, and they’re probably dedicating a significant portion of their day working on great imagery to share. For some of you reading this, that doesn’t excite you and seems completely exhausting. But, maybe you feel like you “should” be doing all of this. Well, my friend Lyn Christian told me this one time, “stop shoulding all over yourself!” 

Let me say this loud and clear, you get to decide what your career should look like; you get to decide what environment you work in; you get to decide how you participate in the hair community, and you get to decide if hair is an artistic passion or a craft that you practice to provide for your family. The truth is, the people that are most publicly celebrated in our industry are actually a very small percentage of hairdressers. 80% of our industry is made up of the everyday hairdresser that loves their job, as their job, not their entire lifestyle.

That’s not just okay; it is honorable. One of our ArTeam Members, Jesse Linares, respectfully refers to himself as a “blue collar hairdresser.” He takes pride in the fact that being an operator in his salon isn’t a highly artistic endeavor for him; it is a craft that he takes seriously and work that he loves. I imagine many of you can relate to this, but it’s rare to be encouraged that this is just as noble as our friend Jake Thompson who eats, breaths and sleeps the art of hair. We need to remember that both are equally as valuable and essential to our industry my friends.

This is our opinion at the Tribe of Sam Villa:  If you’re a platform artist with 200,000 followers on Instagram, multiple NAHA wins under your belt and hair is life for you…we love you!  If you are a 50-hour-per-week hairdresser that earns your family’s income, makes your clients feel special, and could care less about photo shoots or social media…we love you! If you have a small hair studio built onto your garage and spend 10 hours per week working on friends and family between caring for your children… as long as you are happy and fulfilled…we love you!!!

We believe that hairdressers are a community. Please believe that you are valuable in this community regardless of time, price point, pay structure, influence, etc. As long as our intent is to support and protect this community, we can all continue to grow and be successful in our own way.

Aspire for more!

Andrew

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