Why Telling People I’m a Hairdresser Makes Me Feel Inadequate

Work / Thursday, April 4th, 2019

Here’s something you might not know about me; I’m a university dropout. That’s right, after one term in higher education, I threw in the towel to become a Hairdresser. Was it too difficult? No. Could I have stuck it out? Yes. Did I want to? Absolutely not. The truth is, university held me back. I wanted to be in the world of work, I wanted to be my own boss and sticking around at uni wasn’t going to help me with that.

To that end, I trained on the job and was working for myself in a short space of time. I built up a business that would see me earn as much, sometimes more, than my then teacher of a husband. I genuinely loved what I did. Working with young and old clients, in care homes and in a freelance fashion. I couldn’t have been more accomplished. I did really well, even if I do say so myself.

Even though there are so many positives that came from the decision I made to leave university, I still feel inadequate when I tell people that I’m a hairdresser. So much so, that I often avoid telling people I used to cut hair for a living. You’d think I’d be used to the pitying looks of strangers when they realise I ‘didn’t have the brains‘ to get a job that packed more punch. It still hurts though. I still feel a pang each time another person fails to see past the ‘thick‘ label that comes with the title of Hairdresser.

I’m not uneducated –

The fact is that I’m not uneducated. I have more qualifications than you can shake a stick at. I can smell an opportunity a mile off and I’m not afraid to learn. Yes I like the simple things in life and yes I can talk the hind legs off of a donkey, but I have substance. I hate the way hairdressers are perceived to be uneducated. If you asked another professional to give you the right mix for a 5.0 on grey roots, do you think they’d be able to give it to you? No! That’s because this has to be learned and it takes brains to understand the rules of hairdressing and to put them into practice.

The money is rubbish –

Here’s the rule of thumb. If you’re a hairdresser working for someone else; get out, quick. If you’re going it alone, you’ve cracked it. There’s money to be made for the self-employed, you just have to go out and get it.

There’s always room to grow –

Another common misconception about Hairdressing is that it’s a ‘dead end‘ job. There’s no progression involved and you’ll be stuck behind a chair for the rest of your life. Firstly. there’s money to be made from being stood behind a chair. There are countless areas within which you can expand; your own salon, specialist treatments, beauty – among so many more. Being your own boss means that you’re in charge of your future. The amount of times I’ve been dismissed when I’ve admitted to being a hairdresser is more than I care to remember. I don’t fit the stereotype though and I’d hazard a guess that the majority of Stylists don’t fit the ‘ditsy mould’ either. 




25 Replies to “Why Telling People I’m a Hairdresser Makes Me Feel Inadequate”

  1. Nothing is small. Don’t feel bad. So proud of you .It takes ebenou courage to start work on your own. You are amazing. Hope you get more and more success.

  2. I think being a hairdresser is awesome – there’s so much knowledge in what you do that you are definitely NOT uneducated !!!

  3. You should be very proud of your career. The stylists around here make a lot of money, my neice included and she’s always learning more to increase her value as a hairdresser on a daily basis. It’s not an easy job. No one’s hair is the same and it takes a lot of skill. I hope you will embrace your job with pride in the future. You deserve to.

  4. be proud of who you are and what you have become. like every business you will find good ones and bad ones and it sounds like when you put your attention to something you give it your all. That makes you the good ones! keep up the good work! and stay learning, there is always new to learn

  5. I don’t think being an hairdresser is small that’s a big achievement you have there. Trust me there are so many people looking for this opportunity and trust me if they could get one am sure they will grab it. Being accomplished have nothing to do with being educated. I won’t call you an hairdresser rather I will call an hairstylist.

  6. Don’t ever feel bad for what YOU want to do!! Every job is great and money should not matter. Do what you love and don’t care what people have to say! We have one life and it’s meant to be enjoyed!!! Proud of you keep rocking it!

  7. I agree with you. Hairdressing is such a beautiful job. I wish I encouraged my sister to follow her dreams to become a hairdresser. She didn’t get enough support from home and was persuaded to continue with her education. She wasn’t fulfilled going back to school. I wish you the best.

  8. We all have our own path to walk, university isn’t for everyone and there is nothing wrong with that. You’ve been successful in your chosen path and that is all that matters.

  9. College is not for everyone and I think our society has damaged itself by making people think that it is. You should be proud of yourself no matter what your career.

  10. You are living an honest life making honest money so there’s nothing to be ashamed about telling people that you are a hairdresser. You are doing a great job!

  11. oh I hate it when people judge. I mean we do all need hairdressers and we need them smart! My own hairdresser used to be an engineer and is phD before he quit. He likes taking care of hair and making people beautiful more. also I don’t understand why people have to want to have a career and development. why can’t we just do what we love whatever it is?
    P.S. When I just started reading your post I thought you were annoyed with all that ‘what cut should I try’ and ‘make me a cut’ dialogs all the time

  12. Congrats on making it! It’s so hard to go out on your own and market yourself! Also, you have a talent I deeply admire, because 1. cutting hair and 2. I can watch hundreds of videos and still can’t do a fishtail braid!

  13. Being a hairdresser is amazing. When I was a child I want to be hairdresser. Don’t feel bad about it. Without you our hair is a mess now 🙂

  14. What a great opportunity to be a hairdresser. You should be proud of it. If I have given a chance, I would love to learn on becoming a hairdresser.

  15. Hairdressing is actually quite a complicated thing. And i’ve been able to tell the difference between the stereotypical ‘thick’ people and hairdressers who are really gifted and intelligent. There is a massive divide.
    Plus starting your own business requires a ton of different skills. You’re doing well! Don’t give up!

  16. Thanks for sharing your story. As long as you really love and enjoy it, be proud of it. A hairdresser holds a trusted place in a woman’s life.

  17. wow!! Really reading your story here, learnt a lot from your post here as I did wish to become a hairdresser when I enjoying to observe my aunty who was a hairdresser during my childhood thanks for this informative sharing
    Cheers, siennylovesdrawing

Let me know what you think...