At the start of school, a successful career seems a long way off. So, six weeks into the curriculum, we give our students their ‘Influential Hairdresser Project.’ Not only do the students learn about the powerful, positive changes these pioneers make to the industry, they also learn — with the right skill-set, inspiration and perspiration — that incredible achievements are possible in the hairdressing craft. Class 11 recently completed this project, and their work shows the value of switching on the light bulb.
Seeing what others have achieved provides motivation and belief, because all hairdressers, however great, started at school. Students are given the name of an eminent hairstylist and must produce and present a 3-page essay discussing the span of the artist’s career: what they have done to become so influential, and a detailed analysis of why their work is inspiring, including how it relates to the student’s own actions and thoughts and ambitions with regards to the craft.
With the advent of social networking, many students were able to connect directly to their protagonist, which led to some fascinating insights, and wonderful essays.
So good, in fact, that we’re sharing some perceptive snippets….
“Oribe took something so basic and fundamental that we learn it in hair school (roller sets) and brought new life to it! My attitude went from ‘why are we learning this?’ to ‘WOW! look at what this technique, when combined with the right styling, can do, not just for one hairstyle, but for a career.’” — Meg Churray, Class 11. Influential Hairdresser: Oribe
“She is a trendsetter and has created a path in the hair industry for which new stylists like me can follow. Sally has helped transform hairstyling from a service industry job to a lifestyle with rock-star status….Not too bad for someone who was once ashamed to admit she was a hairdresser.” — Kimberley Robinson, Class 11. Influential Hairdresser: Sally Hershberger
“Before this assignment, I didn’t know much about Sorbie, or what he contributed to the hair industry. However, after reading his biography, seeing his creations, and watching and reading his interviews, he has inspired me in such a positive way. Not only is his work inspirational, his character is an inspiration, too….He started his own charity for people suffering medical hair loss….I found this amazing and was very touched by his concerns for the community….Trevor Sorbie is now one of my greatest icons…” — Janet Song, Class 11. Influential Hairdresser: Trevor Sorbie
“Vidal had a vision to free hair from the set; with this vision he put in motion the idea that the cut of the hair, rather than the style, was the key to woman’s beauty. The idea was to let the hair’s natural movement become the focal point. During the 1960’s alone, Vidal introduced the world to several never before seen hairstyles, including: the geometric, the asymmetric 5-point hairstyle, the geometric perm, the short layer shape, and the Nancy Kwan (hair that is longer in the front than in the back).” — Colleen Thomas, Class 11. Influential Hairdresser: Vidal Sassoon
“I feel very connected to Beth’s story, as I have a similar one. I also come from a family where hairdressing was considered beneath me. I, too, pursued a degree in Elementary Education, knowing deep inside that it was not what I was passionate about. Just like Beth, with little support from my family, I still pursued what I love and, after researching her story, I cannot be more excited about my future in the industry. I believe we share internal drive and enthusiasm for the beauty world. Aside from her amazing technical color work, it is her apparent perseverance that is MOST inspiring to me. So much so, that I decided to reach out to Beth, using Facebook. To my surprise, she wrote back within hours, and shared an inspirational message.” — Krista Lundberg, Class 11. Influential Hairdresser: Beth Minardi
After their Influential Hairdresser Project, our Stage One students have newfound familiarity with the industry, and the realization that all of their dreams can come true.