This March, The Tease is bringing you stories from women who are #MakingHairstory, #BakingBeauty and #DoingItForTheCultuHer. Learn how these influential women are breaking barriers, disrupting their industries and empowering others to do the same all month long.
Award winning hairstylist Whitney VerMeer wears many hats. Whether she’s slaying the editorial hairstyling game, acting as Creative Lead of Global Education for Andis Company or becoming the first woman to develop a line of haircutting scissors—VerMeer is set on disrupting the salon professional industry and creating space for all. Needless to say her work is worth watching. (P.S. VerMeer’s high precision cuts and incredible creative direction can be seen in Andis Company’s new hair tech book, FLUID.)
We had the pleasure of speaking to VerMeer about her experience in the industry and what she has learned throughout her career.
The Tease: How did you get started in the salon professional industry?
Whitney VerMeer: I had never even planned to get into hair. I originally went to school for Business and Marketing. It wasn’t until my grandmother suggested hair school that I even considered it to be an option.
How would you describe your relationship to hair?
Cutting hair will always be a part of me. No matter how my career/life evolves, it will always be something that I need to do to feel like me. This industry is genuinely the love of my life. Every ounce of energy I have put into it, I have received something in return, and I can’t say that about many aspects of life!
Women are often discouraged from sharing their accomplishments, but we want to hear about them. List some of your career highlights. What are you most proud of?
Oh wow, let me think. I’d say winning NAHA and also being the first woman in the industry to launch a scissor line alongside launching the first ever scissor made ergonomically for women are up there. Although, I feel like I haven’t even gotten started—there’s more to come!
What are the biggest challenges you have experienced within the industry and how did you overcome them?
I’d say just having enough confidence to share knowledge and put my art out there is a challenge that I experience and overcome frequently. However, someone once told me, “you already are a leader, you just need to find your voice.” I reflect on that when I’m feeling off my game.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned throughout your career?
Trust your intuition. And if you make decisions from your heart and focus on your own lane, the rest will fall into place. My father told me that when I was young, and it wasn’t until I was 5+ years into my career that I finally understood what he meant.
Are there any women in the industry who inspire you or your work? If so, who?
Hands down Christine Schuster of L’Oreal. Remember the advice I shared above? Those words were straight from her mouth the first time I met her, and they really did impact my life in ways that I never would have imagined.
Do you have any words of wisdom for other women within the salon professional industry?
Stop asking people who have never been where you’re going for directions. You don’t need approval from people who do not understand your vision. Stay focused, stay humble, and come from a place of love and you’ll always be exactly where you need to be.
What’s next for you?
I have so many exciting things in store for 2020. Teaching on stages across the globe, launching a new top-secret project (stay tuned), several new editorial campaigns with Andis Company, and the launch of my new thinning scissor with Mizutani Scissors: the Whitney VerMeer CrossoverTH!