Stephanie Butler Tucker
Hair Stylist - Owner of mobile hair styling business
I was born/grew up in: Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
I now live in: Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
I completed my training/education at: Woodford Training Centre for Hairstyling and Aesthetics
Describe what you do at work.
I perform regular hair cutting that includes washing and coloring services as well as styling. While you might not think this is the case but I make use of science and math skills every day. Math skills come into play when cutting hair as it is important to pay attention to the angles required for different styles: straight, 45 ° and 90 °. Also, when mixing colors you need to do so in strict ratios of the color and developer otherwise the results will not look good.
Even a slight difference in ratios can mean the difference between a satisfied customer and an angry one! Also, because these substances are chemicals you need to handle them in a safe manner and to make sure that you dispose of them properly as well. A lot of the skills I learned in science class come into play when I’m handling chemicals. And because I am operating my own business I make use of math skills when I restock my inventory of chemicals, estimate requirements based on previous usage, and maintain by account books.
When I was a student I enjoyed:
How does your job affect people’s lives?
While it may not seem that important, a good haircut, coloring or styling can make people feel good about their self and this has a positive effect on them and the people around them. The service I provide has a great effect on elderly people who have difficulty getting out to a regular salon. In addition to providing them with regular salon services, I engage in conversation with them and can be one of their links to the outside world. It’s a great feeling to know you helped brighten someone’s day.
What motivates you in your career?
I always enjoyed meeting new people, interacting with them, and I enjoy providing great customer service. Being a hair stylist provided me with opportunity to do this. Whether you work in a salon or in a mobile business like mine, you get to meet lots of people and to talk with them. Over time, they become more than just “customers” and I look forward to seeing them. I really find the process of coloring and cutting hair to be very interesting. No two people are alike in their wants and needs and providing them with a service that makes them happy with their appearance is very satisfying. Operating a mobile hair styling service means I am constantly on the move so I don’t get chance to get bored! Also, because the hair styling industry keeps changing, with new techniques and materials emerging regularly, I really like the fact that I’m continuously learning new things.
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
Describe your career path to this career.
In school there were two careers that interested me: hair styling and firefighting. As I did not meet the physical requirements to be a firefighter, hair styling won out. During my training, in additional to learning the practical skills required to cut and treat hair, I had to take many courses that looked at the academic side of hair. We learned a great deal of the biology and chemistry of hair and hair treatments. We engaged in many activities or experiments to see how subtle changes in concentration or amounts of coloring and developer would affect the resulting hair color.
I completed a 9 month program followed by three weeks of On the Job Training. After completing I worked in a salon for a couple of years. While I enjoyed my time there I always wanted to own my own business so I took the leap and starting the business I currently operating. Business was slow at first and I was afraid it might not work out. However I’ve been lucky that some of my previous clients sought me out and then recommended my service to others and today I have a successful business.
What activities do you like to do outside of work?
I volunteer at a facility for mentally challenged individuals where I provide free hair cutting and styling services. I also volunteer with my parish to put together Christmas hampers for those less fortunate members of our community. In the summer I play softball in a mixed league.
What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?
Regardless of what career path you take, make sure you enjoy what you do. Be willing to keep on learning as you proceed in your career as there will always be something new to know and keeping abreast of what is happening in your industry helps set you apart.
Let’s Talk Science is grateful to Skills Canada Newfoundland and Labrador for connecting us with this individual.