Laura’s passion for the beauty industry started early and with the help of an amazing teacher, it all came together guiding her to the coolest job in the world.
Colorist and Hair Artist
Studio Youforia | Ottawa ON
(Update: Following the closure of the Dalhousie location of Texture Hair Salon, Laura is now the owner of her own studio.)
What drew you to a career in the beauty industry?
I’ve always admired the beauty industry and drove my Mother crazy when I was little with how I wanted my hair, make up and what I wanted to wear.
I love the freedom to be who you are and help others find themselves and feel comfortable with who they see in the mirror. It’s the coolest job in the world, and I’m happy to be a part of it!
Where did you study?
How did you get your start in the industry?
I had an amazing teacher in high school for co-op named Ms. Gallivan that made the suggestion. She even found me a program for my second year of co-op to get me ahead. I started co-op at a hair salon at 15 and fell in love my first day at a small shop.
To have a successful and long career as a Stylist, you need to have the technical ability, knowledge, passion and people skills. That’s a tall order on top of the fact that this is a profession that is constantly evolving. How do you stay on top of all the latest trends, techniques and products?
Well, social media has made it very easy for people in the industry. I spend many hours watching stuff on YouTube and Instagram. I’m also in several groups on Facebook for formulas and techniques and get myself involved with answering questions other stylists may have asked on them. Even reading some answers helps me think in another direction. I also work with quite a few extremely talented stylists that I learn from daily.
Social media has taken over – people have the latest hair styles from the runways, models and celebrities at their fingertips. Do you find that this creates unrealistic expectations for clients?
Absolutely. Although I do find with so many stylists expressing how complicated some styles can be online, that clients are starting to see it and get a little more understanding to the fact that some things aren’t possible in one session. It is our job to make sure that a client understands 100% what is achievable to eliminate disappointment.
Recently, Texture Hair Salon went through a face lift, it has more of a street art vibe. I think this new look fits the salon culture perfectly. It’s capitalizing on a trend and turning it into a massive marketing opportunity.
It’s very artistic with lots of expression, it speaks to the atmosphere very well. We are all excited to see it all done.
How important is it for a stylist and salon to have a strong brand?
Extremely important, we aren’t just selling our services and products, we sell our personality and the things we do, wear and see. Branding who you are attracts the crowd you need to be successful.
“A woman who cuts her hair, is about to change her life”
I love this quote. Hair is such a big part of a person’s personal style. Everyone I know loves the feeling when they step out of the salon.
What is the best part of being a hair stylist?
Being able to explore the world through others, I hear so many stories in a day of people’s lives and it makes each day and client special. It’s also really exciting to be a part of so many people’s special occasions like weddings or graduations.
It’s really a beautiful thing.
When we chatted you mentioned you wanted to start doing more editorial work. How was your experience competing in the Trend Vision Awards?
A big eye opener!
I was able to push myself to think differently and got to witness many talented stylists create beautiful work. I also got to learn from some of the top stylists from Wella to create a look. It was truly an amazing learning experience. I’ll be able to push myself harder for the next Trend Vision.
As an artist – where do you draw your inspiration from?
In my head, I usually start with one piece of a focus point then come up with the rest on the spot. I really let my hands guide my craft.
Do you have a daily beauty routine?
Absolutely, routine is key for me especially since I have a toddler at home. I have to make time to get all my beauty routines in, so I can feel confident with myself to take on the day.
What are some of your hair and make-up must haves?
For hair I always have my EIMI Dry Shampoo and my Wella Professionals LuxeOil. Since I colour my hair, both are extremely important to keep it healthy. I change my shampoo each season to help my hair not get too dry in the winter and not too oily in the summer.
For make-up I always carry a M.A.C. lipstick, I have many shades but love all my nude shades. I use a tinted moisturizer or a light coverage foundation since I have sensitive skin, anything too heavy seems to make me breakout. With contouring becoming huge now I can’t stand not having my contour kit or my lashes. I find they are statements in my make up.
How would you describe your personal style?
I would have to say chic with an edge. I wear lots of neutral colours like black, white and grey, that are trendy. I also love my leather blazers and things with bold statements. And I have to have on a pair of heels.
What is your favorite way to pamper yourself?
Having my nails done.
Finally – what three words describe you best?
Positive, energetic and genuine.