When I started my Instagram account two years ago, I witnessed the amazing opportunities stylists were receiving and wanted to do everything I could to create my own opportunities. This industry is full of possibilities, and after a taste, I knew I wanted all I could get.
I come from a really small town where it’s your normal root touch ups and highlights. That was my comfort zone, and the thought of trying anything else scared me. While I was still struggling with finances and growing my business, I knew it was time to make a change. That was the moment I first heard about balayage.
I was following amazing artists who were doing beautiful work with huge followings, and I thought to myself, “How do I get on their level?”
So, I called my guinea pig (i.e. my little sister) and asked if I could try this new technique on her hair. I started my first attempt at balayage and… it was awful. My sister has very dark brown hair, and we were trying to achieve a more ashy balayage. Again, I was still learning and didn’t understand it would be a process. I tried taking her from a level four (not virgin) to a level eight in one sitting.
Feeling super confident, I proceeded to foil every piece of hair on her head with no pattern or dimensional pieces. I thought I was doing a good job! However, when I was done, my sister –– who hates warmth –– and I watched her level four hair pull to a very brassy level seven. Now, I always go back to that day. It taught me the importance of consultation, plus the value in under-promising and over-delivering.
Although I felt like a complete failure, I’m not one for giving up. After a couple weeks, I got over my feelings and started practicing. I bought mannequins and took in as much education as I could. I also have some amazing clients that are usually up for anything. They would let me try techniques on them and, sometimes, they wouldn’t turn out so great. But, that’s what has made me a better artist.
I posted my first picture to Instagram and felt so nervous about what people would think. Still, I continued posting and tagging brands and hair pages to get noticed. I will never forget the first time a big repost page used one of my pictures. I literally screamed!
After a year trying and perfecting my balayage and color melts, I finally figured out my own technique and had enough professional interest that I actually taught my first hair class. Never in a million years would I think I would teach a hair class –– let alone about balayage!
This journey taught me that some of our biggest fears can become the steps we need to take to achieve our goals. Now, I still have a long way to go in my career. However, to sit down and think of what I have achieved in two years is mind blowing.
From now on, I will say yes to every opportunity that comes my way, even though it definitely scares me. In this industry, the thing that scares you most is exactly what you need to tackle in order to succeed. Don’t be afraid to try and fail, because that is where you will learn and grow.
In the long run, going after everything you want and more makes you a stronger, more successful and fearless person.