She has a love for the arts and making people smile – so she went into a profession that combines the two. Please check out my interview with Ottawa hair stylist Shaylee, she definitely has wisdom beyond her years.
hair stylist + make-up artist
Texture Hair Boutique | Ottawa ON
You have artistry running through your veins – your mother is a musician, your sister is a make-up artist. Did growing up in an artistic family influence your career path?
It definitely helped me discover my passion. Growing up watching my mom doing what she loves was a huge part of my life. All of my siblings are incredibly talented, I have another sister that makes jewelry, both brothers are musicians as well.
We were taught self expression is very important. You kind of have to find your passion and let it guide you.
I hadn’t always wanted to be a hairdresser, but it’s where my love of art took me. From a young age, I remember dedicating myself to art. I enjoyed making people smile; so I suppose it’s natural that I became a hair stylist where I get to combine the two.
While at the Versailles Academy you won first place at the annual cut and color competition. Tell us a bit about that experience.
I remember starting school was very intimidating for me. The only thing I knew about hair when I started was how to use a curling iron.
I was like “ I hope I don’t hate this. What if I hate this?”
Everyone around me was already working in salons, their families were in the industry etc., I just remember feeling really clueless in comparison. The competition was my first time to stand out in front of my peers, I had to step out of my comfort zone to try and prove to myself that I knew what I was doing.
Leading up to the competition, our instructor told us that from previous competitions “colourful hair isn’t something that usually wins.” So as to be expected, everyone did a balayage/highlights – but I chose to do lilac. I really wasn’t aiming to win, I just took it as a chance to express myself.
At the end of year, we had a graduating ceremony in which the winner would be announced – I was so shocked to hear my name. I was really proud of myself for doing something different!
Don’t put yourself in a box and don’t be afraid to take the first step – life is exciting and it can take you to so many vast, crazy places, if you’re just willing to go.JVN
Is it important to you to continue competing in hair competitions?
Competitions are fun but I wouldn’t say I have a passion for them. I don’t like to try and be better than anyone else. So for myself, doing hair is more about making people feel beautiful in a more personal setting – where my work makes someone love what they see in the mirror.
Being in a classroom setting is very different than being in a salon environment. What has been biggest adjustment for you, and is there any advice you can give for students coming out of school now?
The time you spend assisting will make you a better stylist because the real learning begins when you come out of school, you may think you’re ready for clients but you’re not – and when you are, no one is going to hand you a clientele.
You have to work for it.
I’m still an apprentice meanwhile trying to build a clientele and it can be a slow road. If you already are an assistant or start an apprenticeship at a salon, don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of, or be in a place that doesn’t see you as an equal.
You need to plant yourself in an environment that allows you to bloom, if you don’t feel like you’re a part of the team – you’re in the wrong place.Shaylee Morin
The hair industry is very similar to the fashion industry. Trends are always changing and evolving and everyone wants to have the latest look. How do you stay on top of all the trends, techniques and latest products?
Instagram is such a big part of the hair industry now, and is the base of so many trends – as a hairdresser, you never stop learning, the hair world never stops evolving and I think that’s what is so fun about it!
For me personally I think observing social media and putting my own personality into the style is how I keep up. It’s important to stay on top of trends but also to keep your originality while doing it.
Do you like to experiment with your own hair color?
When I started hair school, I had long black hair. I would let my teacher use my hair for cutting demos and let my classmates lighten my hair. Which was really different for me because up until that point no one had touched my hair except me. Joining this industry made me much more open to trying to trying new things. Although, I wouldn’t say I’m very daring. I really admire people that can rock funky shades or frequently new edgy haircuts.
Change is scary and it takes confidence!
What is your definition of beauty?
Beauty is a feeling.
There are so many ways to define it. Beauty is more related to the mind and not the body. To truly appreciate beauty, you need to have a beautiful mind. I think only small minded people see it as physical.
What is the best thing about going into work every day and being behind the chair?
I love the fact that my job makes me feel like I am working without working. I think the greatest thing about working in the beauty industry is watching your client transform. At the end of some services, you can see their confidence skyrocket and they exude happiness.
Most of my clients are laid back – they come in with an idea and we try customize the look to them. But even the clients who prefer a specific cut, color or style provide me with the opportunity to be creative and sharpen my skills.
Do you have a daily beauty routine?
Lately my daily routine has been very minimal! I like to keep it simple because I don’t function well in the morning – so less is more! I always start cleanse and moisturize when I wake up because good makeup starts with good skin. It’s very important to have a good skincare routine and take care of your canvas! As for my hair, I like to keep it very simple as well – it’s either a pony or some loose waves!
What are some of your hair and make-up must haves?
I like to switch up my routine, I love trying new products but as of right now these are my current favorites!
- Strength Cure Best Blonde Miracle Filler
- Kérastase Nutritive Crème Magistral
- Pureology Soft Finish Hairspray
- Lumino Contrast Styling Serum
- Moisturizer: Mario Badescu Buttermilk Moisturizer
- Facial Oil: MAC Prep & Prime
- Primer: Bobbi Brown Face Base
- Concealer: Born This Way Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer
- Blush: Revlon Cream blush in ‘Pinched’
- Highlighter: Mac Soft & Gentle
- Brows: Charlotte Tillbury Legendary Brows
- Facial Spray: Mario Badescu Rose Water or Mac Fix +
How would you describe your personal style?
I think my style is a mix of classic and trendy. I love staying up to date with trends but I also don’t like to stray too far from my comfort zone, I keep it practical!
What is your favorite way to pamper yourself?
I don’t know that I really pamper myself too much – I probably should do it more often than I do. I think that I’m like, an introverted extrovert. After a long day at the salon, I definitely just want to come home, order pizza, sit with my cat and boyfriend and just watch a movie. It may not sound like much but that’s how I unwind!
Finally, what three words describe you best?
I had a hard time with this one! So I took a vote with some family members and let them decide: Honest, loyal and kind.