Exploring Multi-faceted Careers in Beauty with an Industry Insider



After 15 years of working in the hair industry, I wanted to share my experiences — not only behind the chair — but also the myriad of other possibilities that come with being a professional hairstylist. I have had the opportunity to work in many different areas in our industry. These have included backstage styling at London Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week, creating award-winning photoshoots and editorial campaigns, and working as an educator and platform artist for multiple brands. Additionally, I have worked as a brand ambassador for Electric London, and creative director at my own salon in Toronto, JUSTB Salon. And more recently, I entered the world of entrepreneurship and brand ownership when I founded FASTFOILS.

As For How I Got My Start?

I am British-born and Canadian-raised. I have always felt like an outsider — different from the rest. And because of that, I was driven to prove to myself that I could be successful. Over the years I have had triumphs and failures, celebrations and tears. I was in the hospitality industry for six years before I became a hairstylist, but along the way, I decided that I needed to do something meaningful with my future; that’s when I made the decision to venture into hair school. I had no agenda or prior experience with hair. I didn’t even know how to hold a comb, a blow dryer, or even a pair of shears. However, I instantly fell in love with the art of hair styling.

The core of our business is behind the chair, but it does not stop there. We are creative, compassionate, and fashionable people who can work locally and globally. We can be colourists, cutters, and stylists. Some take their experience to another level and even become creative directors, bridal specialists, editorial masters, acclaimed educators, platform artists, product developers, and salon owners – the possibilities are endless!

My Questions To You

What inspires you? What areas of the industry have you always wanted to explore? Is there something that you have always wanted to try but don’t know where to start or are scared to try?

I didn’t always have the answer to these questions, and I feared the uncertainties of how to begin and to discover more. That’s why I wanted to share my experiences and allow other artists to share theirs too. This way, we can collectively break some of the barriers and inspire you to discover your own path, by bringing you inside a multitude of areas of the hair industry.

What Are We Working On?

I am looking forward to teaming up with The Tease Media to explore different areas of the hair industry. This will allow me to share my experience in the industry. The Tease Talks with Ben Barkworth will host experts sharing their experiences in their areas of expertise. Some topics that will be covered include: how to grow your personal brand and what it takes to become an editorial stylist. I will also be interviewing a variety of professionals whose focus will be on areas such as: texture hairstyling, entrepreneur/brand ownership, platform artistry, and of course, salon ownership.

I invite you to follow my experience as we explore the many avenues you can choose as a career path in the hair industry. I have been fortunate to have built a brand, operated a salon, been a creative director and platform artist, developed products, and educated fellow hairstylists. I look forward to learning the experiences of my guests on the podcast, to share with you all.

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Ben Barkworth

Ben Barkworth is the owner of JUSTB Salon, Toronto and an international award-winning hairstylist with over 15 years of experience. He is also the founder of FASTFOILS and leads with a mission to inspire, educate, create and promote hair health.

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