This summer, after 25 years in the beauty industry, Tanya Hill made the very difficult decision to step away from salon ownership in order to dedicate more time to the committees, associations and other businesses she is involved in.
Here is a bit of her story.
Hairstylist, Tappa Hair Salon
Association Vice President, Ontario Professional Hairstylist Association (OPHA)
Affiliate Relations Manager, Beauty For Good
Let’s start from the beginning. What inspired you to pursue a career in the beauty industry?
I grew up in the beauty industry, my mom had a salon in Manotick. I always loved helping and working in the salon. The funny thing is, I didn’t think it would be my career, until my mom sold the salon, and then it was like an epiphany, that this was the industry I wanted to make my life’s work.
I was disappointed to discover that professional beauty products are now being sold on big box store websites. These products, which should only be used by professionals, are now available for anyone to purchase. I think this only hurts the industry and salons. What do you think of this move by beauty brands?
I too would rather not see diversity. However, I have been a big believer, ever since diversion came on the scene, that its our job as the professional to educate our client while they are in our chair – about the products we are using, why we chose it for them and how they would use it at home. I believe its with this education that the retail component happens naturally as a result of fully servicing our guests.
Having played an active role in the Ontario beauty industry, how do you hope OPHA will help with the evolution and sustainability of hair professionals?
I love and endorse OPHA’s vision to always promote, progress and protect the trade of hairstyling. For me that sums it up.
If every action, task and objective outlined by OPHA is done with the aforementioned vision, I believe that the evolution and sustainability of the industry will be an organic result.
You are a strong supporter of the Red Seal program, how do you believe it strengthens the beauty industry in Canada?
Yes, I was very disappointed when the current government suspended the Red Seal Exam as a result of winding down the Ontario College of Trades. Red Seal is another way to not only maintain but elevate the standard we all strive towards.
The Red Seal Program has never been more important. The practical test will be another measure to confirm our skill sets (including but not limited to; sanitation, disinfection and infection control) an additional safety measure to both stylists and the clients they serve.
You have almost 30 years’ experience in the industry as a hairstylist and former salon owner – how has the salon industry evolved over the last 10-15 years?
For myself, I see all industries evolving and adapting. The consumer is so much more informed and knowledgeable – they know what they want.
With the consumer being so educated, it has also encouraged businesses and professionals like hairstylists to look for training to update both their professional and technical skills. Clients will come asking for the latest trend, product or service by name, thus the onus is on us to keep ourselves current, evolving and adapting.
BEAUTY FOR GOOD
Tanya is the Affiliate Relations Manager for Beauty For Good.
Beauty for Good is a hair and beauty e-commerce platform on a mission to empower women and build a community on the foundations of self-care, self-acceptance and self-love.
Beauty for Good is also dedicated to funding women’s empowerment programs and providing moments of self-care across Canada. To find out more about the program click here.
Having a strong online presence is so important for building your brand and customer base. Many salons and barber shops don’t take full advantage of all the social media platforms available or have strong websites. Is media something that is covered in curriculums?
The current curriculums definitely include entrepreneurial skills, marketing and professional development. The Training Delivery Agents (TDAs) are always sourcing guest speakers and looking for resources to touch on current trends like social media. TDAs also have advisory committees, that have members from the industry (hairstylists, salon owners, barbers). They usually meet quarterly to review the curriculum and speak to any new trends or required skills sets.
My mother was a stylist and salon owner. I remember growing up, she always knew so much about everything and had this innate ability to read people. The beauty industry is like a university for life. What is the best part about working behind the chair?
I LOVE what you said because I always say: the chair is like my university, I learn something everyday.