The world of bridal hair offers an array of possibilities for stylists – it can be big business, plus it is incredibly rewarding to see your clients smile on their special day!
However, it can also feel like a lot of pressure – you will probably never feel the need to get your work done so perfectly!
So, for this month’s Ask the Expert feature, we chatted with Hannah Taylor – a bridal hair expert and educator – to find out exactly how she transitioned into this specialism so successfully…
Hi Hannah! Can you tell us a little about yourself and your career in bridal hair?
I would say I have specialised specifically in bridal hair for around 8 years now. It is an absolute obsession of mine. I do over 120 wedding bookings a year and I have been lucky enough to train up some of my closest friends – I now have them on my team as stylists, as the demand was so high! I now have them to recommend when I am fully booked.
During the week I teach workshops covering all aspects of bridal hair and I have people come and see me from far and wide – which is a huge honour. I have decided to take this a step further and I am currently in the process of creating my own online education – there is only so much you can teach in a workshop due to time restrictions. I am really excited to launch this, the course will cover absolutely everything I know and I think it will help a lot of stylists.
What made you want to carve your expertise in bridal hairdressing?
Since being a little girl I have always been fascinated with hair. So, as soon as I was old enough at 14, I started working as a Saturday girl in a hair salon. I then continued my training and became a full time hair stylist and stayed until I was 22, which is when I had my little boy. I then decided to work from home as it was easier for me.
The first year, a lot of my clients got married and that’s when I realised that is where my passion was. To be a part of the biggest day of someone’s life is an amazing feeling for me, and to be honest it constantly feels like I am just involved in a girly get together – which is really fun!
Unlike cutting and colouring, I love that styling hair has instant results. I love to create endless beautiful hairstyles that are unique to the individual and makes them feel special. This is something that has always come naturally to me; there is nothing I find more relaxing than styling someone’s hair – which I know may sound a bit strange!
What does it mean to you to be an Ulyana Brand Ambassador?
When I was approached by Ulyana Aster to be her new ambassador I was absolutely amazed. She is someone who I have always been inspired by and her accessories are just beautiful. For me it was such an amazing feeling knowing she thought I was good enough and it really boosted my confidence. I can now use all her gorgeous accessories to compliment the hairstyles I create.
What drove you to set up your own workshops and help other stylists learn from you?
Before I started training, I used to get lots of messages from people asking if I did lessons and to be honest, at first this was something I didn’t even consider. I didn’t know where to begin and I was worried that I would be creating additional competition for myself. But I eventually decided to start and realised I absolutely loved it!
I find it very satisfying to see people progress and gain more confidence. Due to the high demand, I now teach workshops, which I do during the week. They are very relaxed and informal (I usually wear my slippers!) and the aim is for people to learn as much as possible. A lot of the time, it’s the fear and pressure of bridal hair that puts people off from doing it, so I try and eliminate that by teaching techniques that are very quick and easy to understand to save time – which is essential when you have large bridal parties to do.
It is so lovely to receive such positive feedback and to know that people travel so far to see me. Going forward, I am going to be offering lifetime access and support from me to those who enrol on my online education course, which I am sure will keep me busy and will mean I will get to see so many more people progress with their careers.
How do you keep your inspiration fresh when creating your bridal hair designs?
For me I try not to overthink! I love nothing more than to have a head of hair in front of me and to see what I come up with. I think it is great to be inspired by other people’s work. Instagram and Pinterest are amazing for this – but don’t copy, it is good to have your own style!
What are your essential tools or products that you love to use when working on hair?
I like to keep things quite simple. I will only use Hair Tools grips, 2 inch and 2.5 inch. I use elastics and hair donuts for padding. I like to use a curling tong (around 25mm barrel) and hair straighteners. The products I like and use most often are: Osis Style Tame Wild, Schwarzkopf Silhouette Super Hold Setting Lotion, Osis Soft Dust Volumising Powder and Osis Finish: Freeze Strong Hold Hairspray.
How important do you think social media is to your business or the hair industry as a whole?
Although social media is often criticised, I think in the hair and beauty industry it is essential. We all have the opportunity to get our work seen by people all over the world. We can tag our photos in the hope that people we admire will see our work. I have been lucky enough to have my hair shared on some big Instagram accounts and I think it is great to use social media to inspire and help others, passing comments back and forth to encourage and support each other. It is also great to build each other up – if you have been inspired by someone in your work then tag them and let everyone know! I Love It!!!
What advice would you give to somebody just embarking on a career in the hair industry?
I would say it is hard work but so rewarding. It is never going to happen overnight, so don’t be disheartened or precious about how many followers, likes, comments etc you have. Get as much experience and as many heads of hair done as you can. Do people’s hair for free at first if you have time. Reviews and recommendations are far more important than earning money in the beginning.
Take lots of photographs of your work and use Instagram and social media to its full potential and, most importantly, go on as many courses and do as much training as you can! It may cost a lot initially, but you will reap the rewards and earn the money back 100 times over.
What is next for your career through 2020 and beyond?
In 2020 and beyond I will be concentrating on providing education, continuing to build up a good reputation and getting lots of wedding bookings for me and my girls. Being self-employed in the hair industry, I never know what the future may hold but that element of the unknown keeps me striving to be the best that I can be. I also think it is important to set goals – no matter how small, to try and achieve along the way.
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