How did you get your start in the industry?
I got interested in hair after I had gotten a lot of bad haircuts. I always had an idea of how I wanted it to look at an early age, but it never turned out that way. So I started cutting my own hair. One thing led to another and all through high school into my first year of college I cut my friends’ hair, then friends of friends hair, I guess I was a good copy cat. Someone would show me a picture, and I would think, “okay, that doesn’t look so hard, I can do that.” At this point I was trying to figure out what to study in college, then one day, someone asked me, “why don’t you do this?” For some reason the thought never occurred to me, I felt like I had to choose more of a stable desk job and hair was just a hobby. At then it clicked, I realized that this was a career path that I could really enjoy and be passionate about. I immediately called my parents and told them I was leaving college to pursue hair seriously, I don’t think they were surprised at all.
Did you have any mentors along the way?
I went to the Vidal Sassoon Academy and I had a teacher named Tracy. She was incredible. I will never forget something she told me: “10% of people will come to you because you are good at what you do. The other 90% will come to you because they like you. So be sure to maintain your integrity, kindness, and humbleness.” I’ve never forgotten that because I think with so many talented people in this industry, you can find a great haircut a lot of places, but a lot of people will come to you because they want to share that experience with YOU.
Is that the advice you would give to someone new in the industry?
Yes, but also my #1 advice would be to say yes to everything in the beginning. Don’t let your ego get in the way. Think of every chance to do hair as an opportunity to grow and be creative. You never know what one job or client could lead to. It’s a hard career to fight through, and there are so many different paths you can take in the hair world, but by maintaining connections, friendships, and talents you acquire along the way, you can merge everything together into something very successful and fulfilling.
Did you have a big break in your career?
My big break was years ago when I was first working at a salon in West Hollywood. A crew came in and said they were working on a reality show called The Hills. It was just starting out, and they said there was this girl, Lauren, that they wanted a younger hairdresser to do her hair that she could relate to. They asked if I would be interested in doing it, and since I had the mentality to say yes to everything, I said sure! It ended up being Lauren Conrad, who became a well known personality especially for her style, and I was lucky enough to have that exposure and experience because of her pretty early on in my career.
What was your biggest career challenge and how did you overcome it?
I think it was learning to take more time for me and not spreading myself too thin. I’m lucky enough and so grateful that I love what I do, but I had to learn how to really appreciate and accept a day off to make time for the people I love.
What are your go to favorite products?
The products that I’m always coveting are:
1. Batiste Dry Shampoo for an instant hair refresher or root booster
2. L’Oreal Elnett for the perfect brushable and touchable hairspray
3. R&Co Chiffon Mousse for major body
5. Ecotools Full Volume Styler hairbrush for an amazing blowout
6. Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Oil for dry ends
Do you have a signature look that you’ve become known for?
I love catering to my clients personal style. Creating styles that will be realistic for them to maintain. I love giving people easy, effortless hair. Hair that can be easily tamed. Beauty is an amazing thing, but embracing your natural beauty is the answer to a lot of people’s problems. Most people don’t want to spend the extra 30 minutes tackling a haircut that isn’t realistic for their lifestyle. A thorough consultation is always a good idea to have a realistic grasp on how high maintenance the cut should be.
What is your beauty and hair philosophy?
To remember that hair and beauty is something to experiment with. It’s not permanent, it won’t last forever, it’s not like a tattoo. I think people should have fun with it more, take risks, and embrace change.
What is the next chapter for you?
I would love to possibly do a collaboration with a line and to travel to different countries to learn different beauty routines, trends and tricks. I just want to continue to learn, grow and stay inspired.
Be sure to follow Christine Symonds on Instagram for more #manespiration.