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  • Writer's pictureLindsey Nelson

Claiming Your Confidence as a Hairstylist- How I Revived my Career in Cosmetology.

Disclaimer: The topic that we are discussing today is a little triggering for me because I'm still working through some of this. These are things that I wish someone would've told me as a brand-new cosmetologist.

I used to struggle with self-worth and confidence. To be 100% honest, I still struggle with it.

I used to think that I was not any good at my craft as a hairstylist and that I would never be proud of the money that I made. I would become negative, critical, and downright bitchy. Looking back, I have no idea how I had any clients at all! Maybe they saw something in me that I never saw or maybe they caught me on a good day!

I began to claim my confidence by soul-searching to determine what area I was not confident in and why. I was not confident in several areas, but the main one that stood out was the lack of confidence in my technical skills. The reason for my lack of confidence was that I did not continue my education after I became a self-employed stylist. I did not take the time to learn any new hair coloring techniques, haircuts, or salon business courses. I received some education when I was an employee but not after I became an independent hairstylist and started working for myself. I knew I needed to take some classes or attend a hair show, but I made all kinds of excuses and never did anything. The main excuse I gave was that classes were expensive and I had to travel to take these classes. This was indeed the absolute truth, but it was just an excuse. I failed to educate myself for 10+ years and while the industry continued to evolve and change. When new techniques came around, I had no clue how to achieve those looks. I felt inadequate and irrelevant and ultimately lost my self-worth and confidence as a hairstylist.

Ultimately lost my self-worth and confidence as a hairstylist.

My clients would request these new techniques like Balayage or Ombre and I would panic and shy away from doing those services simply because I did not know how! I would convince my clients that a traditional highlight was what they wanted because those new trends were just that, trends and highlights to the scalp were better. Well, I was wrong because 10-12 years later, balayage and the lived-in looks are all the rage and they are here to stay.

I started to see the pattern of making excuses and validating my lack of skill level and confidence and I hated that truth. Then one day, I told myself that if I wanted my business to look different then I had to do something different. At this time, the world of online hair education started to take shape and I began to research educators on social media. I found Carly Zanoni, @the.blonde.chronicles on Instagram, who offered a subscription to an online Instagram profile and started to follow her. I loved her work and felt her teaching style was easy to follow. She made some of the most challenging color corrections look so simple. I was drawn to her and I decided to sign up for her membership. I binged every video she had available at the time and soaked up all the education that my eyes could handle. I relearned everything that I was taught in cosmetology school and I even learned new things that I never had the chance to learn.

I began to implement the techniques I learned with my clients and I posted their photos on social media, where I received plenty of positive feedback. Those compliments gave me more confidence every time and I gradually became proud of my work and myself. I changed the way that I marketed myself because I knew what I was capable of now that I had better skills and higher demand. My clients started to send me referrals causing my confidence to soar. I had never had so many new requests in my whole career. I felt like a million bucks and I loved my job! I decided that with my new demand and increase in skill level, I was ready for a price increase. I felt confident enough to give myself a pay raise after being a broke hairstylist for so many years.

I had never had so many new requests in my whole career.

One great way that may help you identify the area where you may be struggling is to do some soul searching. I like to take some time and unplug from all distractions and ask myself what am I feeling. Is it fear or anxiety and then what is the "why" behind it? Take some time to write these fears or anxieties down in a notebook. List the worst thing that could happen and the best thing that could happen. By writing these thoughts down on paper, we can determine if these fears are legit or not. Most of the time the fears are just stories we make up in our own minds. Another reason for writing these struggles and fears down is so that in the future, you can look back and smile and all the struggles that you have overcome.

Fears are just stories we make up in our own minds.

I want you to know that we all struggle from time to time. We are not perfect. We are all on a journey of self-discovery and it may take some time. I used to struggle with taking things personally when a client would leave me. It was soul-crushing. I struggled with this for years because I would become close with my clients and even do life with them. They would send me wedding or baby shower gifts and I would wish them a happy birthday and even send their children graduation cards. Then they would leave me causing me to become heartbroken because my confidence was already on the rocks. This reality tore me up. After 15 or so years, I finally matured and realized that it was OK if a client chose to go to someone new. When a client leaves you, is it not always because you did something wrong or you didn't make them happy.

Clients leave us for various reasons so chin up buttercup!

Be sure to grab my FREE guide "5 Unique Ways to Get New Clients" ebook.

You can grab it by clicking here!

If you would like to join Carly's online education subscription, you can join by clicking the BCU logo below.

You can also use my discount code: Lindsey5 at check out to receive $5 off!

Membership Options:

•Save $5 off your 1st month membership which is only $15 anyways (6 month commitment)

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