A question I always get asked "Have you always wanted to be a hairdresser?"

My answer was always "Yes!"

Let's take take a trip down memory lane .....

A very long time ago, i was playing with my cabbage patch doll,

(they had wool for hair back then)

+ i taught myself how to braid,

from that moment i knew i wanted to be a hairdresser!

During high school I did work experience at various local salons

+ quickly realised this is where I wanted to be

I would have loved to do an apprenticeship, however it wasn't meant to be for me

Another avenue was to start my Certificate 3 in Hairdressing at TAFE, luckily there was a subject in year 11 + 12 that allowed us to start our chosen career path whilst still at high school

+ that's what I ended up doing

After finishing year 12, i moved to Bendigo to continue my hairdressing course full time

Towards the end of completing my Hairdressing course, 

i was lucky enough to start working at a salon in the port area in Echuca

(little did i realise i would end up buying the barber shop

next door in years to come!)

I quickly realised that even though i was classed as a qualified hairdresser,

i could see how much salon experience i lacked,

this became my mission + passion to build that bridge for myself,

so I had possibilities + answers for any hair type or colour that walked in

My boss was an old school hairdresser, she did loads of perming (perming queen) & tipping, therefore any other modern/fashion colour work was left to me & the other staff

I learnt a few things here, we changed colour brands atleast 3-4 times in a matter of 3 yrs

so i quickly learnt to adapt to different colour brands, which are all different,

each having something unique to offer to make their brand different

Another tip i learnt: If i ever asked my boss for help when working something out,

she always said "what would you do if i wasn't here?"

man i hated that lol but it was ultimately the best thing she ever said

because it made me have a go, try a new colour formula, or foil pattern

+ grow my confidence in what i had chosen

From memory i think we even taught her how to do foils as she hadn't done them before

+ she had already been hairdressing for 38-40 yrs then

When practicing setting on a mannequin head,

if we had one roller out of place or too much hair in it,

we had to take them all out & start again! - we learnt quick lol! 

After i soaked up as much knowledge as i could,

i started working at another Echuca salon,

This whole salon environment was completely different

+ allowed me to see another side to hairdressing,

one that i loved more, a relaxed environment, gentle music,

nothing was rushed, not 'get them in, get them out' mentality

which made it enjoyable + relaxing for you to be at work as well 

I learnt many new cutting + colour techniques + about the salon experience

 

Now days most colour companies have a Colour Technician

+ they run colour education classes, seminars, workshops etc,

aswell as cutting workshops with some of the industries best

However back when i first started, colour companies may have had a colour technician on staff

but didn't offer education on their colour brand, this came years later

So you really did rely on learning from other hairdressers

(this is why i moved around, to learn from other amazing hairdressers),

or travelling to Melbourne to hairdressing training academy's 

 

Thankfully, technology has made hair education so much easier to attend + watch with alot online + more visits to country towns like Bendigo

After that i headed back to Tongala to work at the local salon (part time/casual),

I remember (among loads of other things) she showed me

how to break down a men's haircut that was in fashion at the time, something i obviously learnt during my course, but each haircut is different + this particular one wasn't a traditional cut

I use this learning every time a new men's or ladies fashion haircut is requested

 

During this time i was offered full time work at a salon Rochester, with a girl i trained with

- it was where i found i could really put to use all of the things i had learnt,

i now had achieved lots of experience, lots with colour,

i think this is where i kicked any doubt in my abilities

+ gained a lot of confidence

+ really developed my own style of hairdressing

I blossomed, grew + flourished as a senior hairdresser

I learnt to use different cutting methods on different clients

+ personalise colours to suit my guests,

so everyone walked out different, not the same

We had a young trendy clientele so lots of innovative + modern cutting + colour work was our thing, which was great experience, it pushed me to think outside the box

Some people need different techniques to achieve similar results

There was still no company support in the way of education then either

I felt i had again stopped learning

 I realised I had focused so much on ladies hairdressing,

that I wanted to focus more on men's hairdressing

A position came up in Echuca at a barber shop

+ that's where stayed working as i ended up buying it

 Men's cutting was an area i knew there was more to be learnt

 

During this time i decided to do my

Certificate 4 in Training + Assessment as i'd love to teach someday

I had an apprentice, i was so grateful for the help,

she organised me, cleaned + it was a pleasure to train her

Fabulous clients that were happy to be involved in her learning + training

A year or so on, i decided to move the shop to a much more organised + private space 

In between all of this i met my now husband, I cut his hair

+ eventually he asked me out + the rest is history 

After working + owning the salon for 4-5 years, the decision to sell was made

I had a few months off + very much needed it

 

During this time is where Hair By Belle Echuca was born, since we didn't own our own home,

i started Mobile Hairdressing, going to clients houses to do their hair

I did this for 4 years, in the end it was a bit demanding on my back, 

carting my equipment + tools in + out all day

Once we bought our first home i ended up setting up there

During this time i worked part time in Kyabram

 

So when the opportunity came up to open in Tongala, i admit i was nervous,

however i jumped at the opportunity go back to my home town

I didn't do this because home wasn't going well, im really happy with how home was going,

it was literally an opportunity that came up + i thought,

"why not? what have i got to lose? You only live once right? Right?"

Covid hit not long after, as I wanted to protect my family + clients I made the hard decision to temporarily closed my home based salon + focus souly on the Tongala salon

Isn't funny how things work out, I couldn't see or understand

"why" the opportunity came up in Tonny +

"why" it just worked out. Now that covid is here, I can

Stayed tuned for what's next!

- Don't worry im not going anywhere anytime soon,

but you know im still young!

Well done if you actually read all the way to the bottom, 

Thankyou for taking the time to read my story,

I hope you enjoyed it!