A Day on the Road

It was nice to see two apprentices with the dolls heads out this week- something I don’t often see.
One was a barber practicing uniform layers.
Another a hairdresser, who I had fun showing some braiding techniques to.
We got chatting about learning these skills, and I shared some memories of what it was like being an apprentice 30 years ago. (THATS scary)
Our bosses were god. You didn’t dare answer back, and you didn’t have any rights…after all, they would call your parents if they felt the need..
But we learnt from their experience, and even though my boss was an absolute B@@TCH, all these years later, I am still grateful that she taught me so much, from hairdressing to having a spine and standing up for yourself.
In our salon, if you had nothing left to do, you got the dolls head out. 
As juniors we weren’t allowed to sit out the back if it was quiet...only seniors could do that..
We had to perm that dolls head over and over until the tension was perfect and not a fish hook to be seen.
Finger wave it, set it, pin curl it, barrel curl it…
All skills that are disappearing, and it wasn’t just about the perm- although now they are a huge trend in the male market with teens paying $180 for a perm!!’
It was about dexterity, strength of your fingers- very important in our game, it was about the bonds in the hair, understanding hydrogen bonds, and cysteine bonds.
It was the foundation to everything.
I often hear owners saying they don’t have time to train their apprentice, and that tafe should be doing that.
Your apprentice goes to tafe once a week, but is in the salon for the other 30 plus hours a week.
As owners, you need to invest time into teaching them, whether it’s them standing watching you, whilst you explain what you are doing, getting them to assist in picking toners, which teaches them underlying pigment and counteracting colours,
getting the dolls head out to teach colour placement, and techniques.
If we invest our time into our juniors, we will get in return, more loyalty, a better skilled senior, and a more confident junior.
If we want to bring back the skills and the art of hairdressing, we need to start with our juniors.
Even down to how to shampoo hair properly, and the technique of a scalp massage.
Our fingers weren’t allowed to leave the scalp!
Teach them how to retail at the basin, it’s the perfect time to chat about home hair care, and it’s another way for your apprentice to generate income.
From explaining what shampoo and conditioner they are using, to placing it 
in front of the client when they take them back to their chair.
Share your skills, so that our industry is rich with amazing seniors, who will thank you for your skill!