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Today, MOBILESTYLES sat down with long-time PRO cosmetologist Jay for an exclusive interview. Jay not only discussed her experience as a beautician, but also her reasons for working with MOBILESTYLES!
First of all, who is Jay?
Jay: “Jay is a beauty professional. I have been doing hair for 35 years. I’m an L.A. native and I would say the beauty business is my passion. I have so much experience. I’ve owned two salons — full service salons — with all hair, skin, and nail services. And I’m currently working out of two salons — one is my own business in Brentwood, and I’m about to open up another shop over in the Calabasas area. I’m very, very busy and I enjoy being a part of MOBILESTYLES. I’m very cutting-edge. I like to stay modern and current, and that’s what I liked about MOBILESTYLES — it’s a technology-based company. I like adding that to my arsenal of jobs. I’m also a real estate agent. I’m one of those cosmetologists that can, pretty much across the board, do all the services.”
So, clients can really book with you for just about anything?
Jay: “Yes, and I wanna say that I’m a professional, so I’m always on-time, never late, and I like to use the best products. I’m a product junkie and I’m always looking for the latest and the greatest. I’m all about quality, so . . . for example, I’ll even show you. I have the most beautiful scissors — have you ever seen an Eiffel Tower scissor? Or clippers with a Buddha on it? I use the best products on my clients. I mean, look at these clippers! See these, the foil shaver? So beautiful — I use the best products. Even with the hair products I use, top-of-the-line. I like to try and get my clients' hair in really good condition, so that’s part of the reason I use good products. Because a lot of the clients that come to me, when they start with me, I assess the damage and then their hair is always in better quality after. My highlights, they also last a long time between services, they can go longer. I’m all about quality.”
You mentioned staying up to date on current trends, so what are those current trends that you’re interested in right now?
Jay: “Well, in business, I’m seeing a lot of technology, and I think that’s very exciting. I think there’s a lot of great products out there also that are great at keeping the hair healthy. And as far as with color, I love all the colors now. Lavender with silver, blue, the pinks, all the vibrant colors, the light chrome-y pastel colors, rose gold, I think that’s really exciting with hair.”
What’s your favorite service to provide?
Jay: “I like to do facials, actually. I love to do facials. A lot of clients tell me that I have healing hands and I pretty much knock everyone out. I make everybody sleep and sometimes people get very emotional. I’ve had some of the women cry. Yeah, I love to do facials, but I’m also really good with hair. So not only do I use really good products, but I’m also really big on education. So, even though . . . for example, like a bob — I’m not doing the same bob cut straight out of beauty school like 35 years ago. I’m always taking classes and continuing my education to find better ways of doing cuts or color, even with my highlights. So if I have a highlight appointment, I’ll even do some extra research to find other ways of doing it, faster or better color. I’m always constantly evolving and always trying to do my best.”
Is there an educational opportunity that you wish existed that currently doesn’t?
Jay: “Professionalism, I think. I see a lot of hairstylists that just make me cringe. Because, I feel like, they’re not that professional. And I think professionalism is VERY important because it is a business. It’s a business and I think it should be treated . . . you know, where we’re very ethical and we present ourselves well. I think all that is very important.”
What would you say inspired you to start working in the beauty and health industry to begin with?”
Jay: “Well, when I was a little girl, I was always interested in the beauty business. I used to grind rocks, like the rocks that look like chalk. I used to grind them into powder and say it was face powder. I used to get red rocks and grind them, and say it was blush. I used to pretend I had my own cosmetics company. So, I was always interested in the beauty business. And then when I was in high school, I started to tell the kids that I would cut their hair for $5-10, and I would do haircuts for some of the students at school. Then, during dinner, I told my father that I wanted to go to beauty school. But I told him I was interested in so many different things so I wasn’t sure, so he said if [I] wanted to do hair, to go ahead and pursue that and have a license, because it’s good to have things to fall back on. That’s one of the best advices he ever gave me. So, yeah, I went to beauty school and I’ve been doing it ever since. I can pretty much do haircuts in my sleep! I have scissors on me at all times. I have scissors in my purse, in my car, in my home, at my work — everywhere. Just in case.”
What are some unique qualities that you possess that would attract potential clients to book and appointment with you?
Jay: “I think a lot has to do with personality. You know what, when I’m working with a client. I’m always mindful that this is my client’s time and I always make it about my client. I’m interested in them, how they’re doing in their life, and sometimes, I see some hairstylists that go on and on and talk about themselves, but the moment my client walks in, I try to make sure they’re happier when they leave than when they first came in. So, I make it all about them. And I’m pretty thoughtful — sometimes I bring them a little treat or sometimes I have a sample for them that’s for their hair. And I really value the relationship I have with my clients, I do. A lot of them have been with me for many, many years, and some of my clients have been with me to the end — I’m talking hospice care. I’ve had clients that were dying — they’ve been with me that long. They were dying and their family called and would tell me to please go to the house, because my client is in hospice care. Now I feel like I’m going to be emotional . . . so, some of my clients, I’ve been with them literally until the end. So my clients, the relationship I have with them is a very special relationship, because I’ve seen them go through a birth of a child or their graduation, I’ve seen them go through divorce, I’ve seen them go through many things. And so, it’s not just a therapy session, but I think they see me as a friend. It’s also just very empowering I feel, this position that I’m in, when I’m not only touching their hair, but I think I touched their lives in some way. You know? Because it means a lot to them. The things my clients tell me? It really touches me.”
Describe the experience that you provide to your clients from start to finish.
Jay: “The first thing that I’ll do is, when they tell me what they want, I try to be a very good listener. When I’m doing a haircut, for instance, I feel like we’re doing the haircut together. So, I really pay attention to what they want. If they have visual they want to show me, that’s even better. I have clients that show me pictures of anime, cartoons . . . that’s how they want their hair cut, how they want it colored, and they tell me I’m really good at emulating even cartoons. Another thing, too, is during that process when I’m cutting their hair, I’ll show them a mirror to see how they like how it’s shaping and how it’s coming along. Then they tell me they love it, but a little shorter here or a little more layered here, so I feel like it’s a good collaboration. I’m really good at listening to my clients. If they say they don’t want it cut too much, just a little? I listen. I’d rather cut too little than cut too much anyway. I’ve had it happen to me — I’ve had my hair cut and the guy gave me a flat top. I looked like I was going into the army, so that kinda traumatized me. So I never cut too much. I’m a very, very good listener. I feel very honored to do what I do, you know? I mean I take my job very, very seriously. I manage some salons in Beverly Hills, like I said, I have so much experience in this business. And even my clientele that I have, it’s a high-end clientele. So I’m in the situation where I just have to do my best. I do my best for everybody.”
How would you say that your experience working for an on-demand service like MOBILESTYLES differs from working in a traditional salon?
Jay: “I like the convenience of it — that I can work when I have time, I can swipe that I’m available, and I can also pick and choose if it’s too far — you know, I don’t have to do it, so I like that. And when I get paid, also I wanna add that with MOBILESTYLES, the whole payment process is pretty efficient. I don’t have to keep calling because a payment is late — you guys are on it. And then the booking department, they’re also really good with following up. They’re good about touching base . . . and it’s good to have that support.”
How has the beauty industry changed since you began working? You said you’ve been doing this for about 35 years?
Jay: “Yes, I’ve been doing this for a long time, which just makes me feel old. But, I’ve seen a change in the way that . . . I feel like it’s become more respectable now than it was back then. Because, like I said, when you’re a professional, then you raise the game. So I think that makes a big difference.”
What do you like and dislike the most about being a beautician?
Jay: “I think for a lot of people, there’s a lot of talented hairstylists out there, but I think it’s hard for some people to make money. I think I would suggest that people always try to do their best and continue their education, so they can raise their prices and work at a higher level. Because it’s a tough business. You know, we’re on our feet for nine hours a day. I pretty much work on all the holidays, I mean, when I owned my business, I was working seven days a week. I worked on Mother’s Day, I worked on New Year’s, I worked on all the holidays. You know, it’s tough. But the good thing about it is that you can always get a job. I tell people that want to go into this business, because I’ve also mentored people, I tell them that the good thing about this, is no matter where you go, you can always get a job. But making money is not that easy. You have to be able to provide the best service, that way you can accumulate more clients . . . that helps.”
From who or where do you get your inspiration from for your looks?
Jay: “For the looks? You know, just from pop culture. From music or from social media, from some of the show that you see . . . some of the popular shows give me some ideas. With magazines, staying current.”
Who has impacted you most in your career and how?
Jay: “I think it’s always important to have a mentor. Somebody that you admire their work. There [are] certain stylists, like Robert Cromeans or Dan Gregory. I like Frédéric Fekkai — he’s a legend. So, there [are] certain stylists I’m always brushing up to see what they’re doing and just to always broaden my horizons — to get ideas from some other experts.”
What is one beauty service that everyone needs to try and why?
Jay: “A deep conditioning treatment. I do a deep conditioning treatment because a lot of the people that do color or even just being outside with the sun, people sometimes blow dry their hair so much that I see a lot of people . . . their hair is damaged. And I think everyone should get a deep conditioning treatment. Everybody should use good quality shampoo and conditioner, so that their hair is not dry, damaged. So that it’s shiny.”
Are there any products you recommend that you think could be good quality? Is there a drugstore brand that is easy for people to pick up?
Jay: “NO, not drugstore brands. No, professional products only. Get it from a professional.”
What are three beauty dos and don’ts?
Jay: “Beauty dos and don’ts. Beauty do: always use conditioner. I’m surprised that people don’t always use conditioner. I touch their hair and I can tell right away. I would say a “don’t” would be don’t have the same hairstyle for years. Once in a while, change it up! YOLO. You only live once, change it up. My mom drives me crazy, she’s like . . . I gave her this really good haircut and she loved it and now she will not break away from this haircut. She needs . . . it drives me crazy! But change it up, have fun, try something new! It grows, you can always go back to it.”
What is beauty for you?”
Jay: “Beauty is . . . beauty is improvement. Beauty is transformation. Beauty is, it’s growth. It’s doing better, looking better . . . inside and out.”
What keeps you inspired today?
Jay: “Lately, it’s been music. You know, I like to listen to fashion show music and it just really gets me in the mood. Some days, I have . . . like, on Sunday, I have four people coming in at the same time. And so I need to get amped up and I listen to this fashion show music and it just really gets me in the mood. It’s funny because I actually have a little bit of a cult following. I have these girls and I just recently found this out. I’ve been doing their hair for maybe 15 years or so, and they just told . . . they’re a clique, they’re friends. They just told me not too long ago, one of the girls told me, that they have different chats amongst themselves. They’re little rooms, they’re organized, and they have one just for me. Like, hair. What I did, what I’m going to do the next time, because every time I do their hair, we talk about what we’re going to do the next time. And they get really excited and they chat about that. So they talk about hair, what I did, and what we’re going to do next, and they’re really excited about it. And they share photos and they get really excited. I didn’t know that! Another thing too is, like for example, one of my clients, there’s a certain hair product that I need. I cannot find it online, none of the stores carry it. I found a place that has it, all the way in Calabasas, it’s like 45 minutes from where I am. As soon as I hang up the Zoom interview with you, I’m going to drive all the way out there to get this product, for her hair. I go above and beyond for my clients.
What advice would you give to an aspiring PRO?
Jay: “I’d just tell them just to be thorough. To be thorough and to be very meticulous. Do everything perfect. I’ve mentored some aspiring students in school and I just tell them to breathe, eat, sleep the exam. Like everything about it. Study, study, study. And even once they become licensed, to just really immerse yourself. It’s very important to immerse yourself in everything in the business. Know everything about . . . keep learning. Education is very important, and always do your best. Don’t take it for granted. Do not take your license for granted.”
Where do you see yourself in five years, as a PRO?
Jay: “I’ve done everything in this industry. In five years? Probably . . . I don’t see myself slowing down. I think I will be growing old with my clients.”
What’s the biggest lesson that you’ve learned as a PRO?
Jay: “That it’s important to listen. It’s very important to listen. Listen to your clients. I have some clients that when they come to my chair, they’re certain people . . . you know, I have this connection with some of my clients and we are literally crying because we’re laughing so much, we’re crying. And we’re talking about something that’s so touching, that’s sad and we’re crying. We get really emotional sometimes. It’s very beautiful. We have some very meaningful conversations.
Are there any beauty myths that you’ve learned about and debunked?
Jay: “No, I don’t think so. I mean, there’s one that might be controversial if say it. I don’t think I believe in natural beauty. I’m not so sure. I mean, if there was natural beauty, I wouldn’t be in business. I think everyone can use some type of enhancement. And whether it be a trim to keep it healthy, or, you know. Color, or makeup, little lip liner. I think there’s alway room for improvement in some way, shape, or form.”
How do you relax and destress between your appointments?
Jay: “I like to meditate. I need to take a moment to just close my eyes and just breathe. Breathe and drink water. So you know that hairstylist’s diet? Have you heard about the hairstylist’s diet? It’s very real to me, the hairstylist’s diet. Where you are standing on your feet for nine hours, you don’t eat or you don’t drink anything, because then you have to go to the restroom so . . . you know, you’re just so busy and then after, you consume 1,400 calories in four minutes flat. So, I’m on my feet and I’m working, working, working . . . I have back to back appointments and I’m starving at the end of the day. And then I eat. I gouge myself after.”
Let’s say if you had to sell yourself in one sentence, how would you self yourself to potential clients?
Jay: “That I take my job very seriously. I take my job very seriously and so, I do my best. I do my best.”
Lastly, what is your favorite part about working for MOBILESTYLES?
Jay: “The convenience, that would be my favorite. It’s very, very convenient. I like how there’s so many services on there and we can put our prices, we can swipe when we’re available, and we have the support of the booking department. I just like that it’s an app on my phone, it’s doing business on my phone. I think I joined MOBILESTYLES when you guys first started. And I really like it. I’m glad I did. I’m glad I joined.”
MOBILESTYLES appreciates Jay taking the time to sit down and share her experience in the industry and with MOBILESTYLES! Ready to book your next hair appointment with Jay in Los Angeles, CA? Download the app today and book Jay or another one of our talented PROs in your area.
If you’re a beauty professional like Jay, join the MOBILESTYLES family and start booking appointments today!