One woman working to provide direction for hairstylists through the current COVID-19 crisis is Candy Shaw. As a hairdresser, educator and creator of Sunlights Balayage, the self-proclaimed “Balay Lama” is using her platform to give stylists and salon owners the tools they need.
“The thing I knew right away with Sunlights Balayage was that it wasn’t about discounting sales […]. It was more about being a voice to my students.” Shaw explained. “My phone is in constant motion, filming Facebook Lives of inspiration, going into forums to answer questions, and doing webinars and podcasts.” Not only does Shaw continue to educate through these avenues, but her video education library is also open for users to enjoy at no cost.
Furthermore, educating has always been an important part of Shaw’s business. After buying her salon from her father, Jamison Shaw, she revamped the space into an academy for students. It was through the challenge of finding her footing in the salon that Shaw found the secret to her success. “At first, the daunting task seemed impossible. […] The only thing I knew I was pretty good at was teaching. So, I took a huge leap of faith and opened an Academy in the midst of rebuilding,” she shared.
Along with helping hairstylists to brush up on education, Shaw knew “[her] sisters and brothers out there needed to stay busy and creative. Hairdressers don’t come with an on off switch, and my biggest concern was honestly their mental health. I knew we could withstand the toughest of times economically, but my fear was how we would rebound emotionally,” she shared.
With the perspective gained from her humble beginnings, Shaw knows the importance of remaining productive and relying on others. Because of this, she is able to offer comforting words to fellow stylists and salon owners suffering right now. “My advice to professionals weathering this economic storm is very simple. Take it one day at a time and make practical thought-out decisions. You must be proactive, not reactive.”
She continues, “but most of all, don’t be afraid; it’s ok to ask for help and lean on your community. Even though […] we’re told we are a non-essential business, I assure you we will be more essential than ever before!”
Finally, Shaw’s Sunlights Balayage has been urging clients to rock their natural hair until they’re back in a salon chair. With a collective 17,000+ Instagram posts, the brand’s #showyourroots and #supportyourstylist campaign “encourage[s] our guests to wait it out with us.” Shaw believes, “it’s critically important to follow social distancing guidelines […] and to not become ‘Kitchen Beauticians’ during this time. Not only that, [but] we certainly want to ensure that we still have busy books to return to when this all blows over!”