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"I Am a Hairstylist, Because..."


At Salon Services PRO, we have been honoring the dedication and passion that fuel these professionals in their craft for over 40 years, and it has been a joy to do so. Join us as we delve into the heartfelt stories of your fellow hairstylists, uncovering the core reasons behind their why.

Cass Hess

As a hairstylist with over a decade of experience, my journey behind the chair has been nothing short of transformative. From the moment I touched a pair of shears, my color brush, a comb, I knew I had found my calling.

Specializing in hair extensions has become my forte, and it's a niche I've grown to adore. There's something truly magical about the way extensions have the power to completely transform a woman's appearance and, more importantly, her confidence. For many of my clients, particularly those struggling with hair loss, extensions are more than just a cosmetic enhancement—they're a lifeline, restoring not only their hair but also their self-assurance and sense of femininity.

Being able to witness this profound impact firsthand is what fuels my dedication to my craft each day. There's no greater satisfaction than seeing a client leave my chair with a radiant smile, knowing that I've helped them feel beautiful and empowered.

Throughout my career, I've been fortunate to have had incredible mentors who have guided and inspired me every step of the way. Their wisdom and expertise have not only shaped my skills but also instilled in me a deep passion for the art of hair and the need and importance to further my education.

As someone who has benefited greatly from the guidance of mentors, I am deeply committed to paying it forward. I find immense joy in mentoring and teaching aspiring stylists, sharing my knowledge and experience with the next generation of hairstylists.

Whether it's demonstrating the latest techniques in hair extension application or providing advice on building a successful clientele, I strive to inspire new and seasoned stylists with the tools they need to thrive in this industry. Seeing them grow and flourish under my guidance is incredibly rewarding and reinforces my belief in the importance of mentorship and community within the hairstyling industry.

Currently, I mentor my daughter, who recently graduated from cosmetology school. Together, we operate a salon suite in Colorado Springs, where she assists me part-time while I guide her to build her confidence, clientele and can support her dreams and goals.

My ambitions don't end there. Inspired by my own journey, I am working towards establishing a mentoring salon—a sanctuary where new and seasoned stylists alike can come together to learn, grow, mentor, and inspire one another. This innovative program will offer a tiered approach for clients, allowing them to choose between working with newer stylists eager to hone their craft or seasoned professionals with years of experience.

At the heart of this endeavor lies a commitment to provide education and excellence. Through ongoing mentorship and professional development, the goal is to elevate the standards of hairstyling while providing clients with an unparalleled level of service and care. Together, we will create a community where passion thrives, creativity flourishes, and dreams take flight.

Hairstyling isn't just a job for me—it's a calling, a passion, and a privilege. It's about so much more than cutting and coloring hair; it's about connecting with people, boosting their confidence, and making a positive impact on their lives. And for that, I am endlessly grateful.

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Megan Weese

I became a hairstylist because I find satisfaction in the opportunity to help people feel beautiful on a daily basis. It's not just a job to me; it's a source of personal fulfillment that fuels my passion for the craft. Being able to contribute to someone's confidence and self-esteem is incredibly rewarding, and I take pride in knowing that my skills can make a positive impact in their lives.

One of the most rewarding parts of being a hairstylist is the creative freedom it offers. Each client is a unique canvas, allowing me to experiment with different styles, colors, and techniques to enhance their natural beauty. Whether it's a classic cut or a bold new look with hair extensions, I love the challenge of bringing their vision to life and seeing the joy it brings them.

As a hairstylist, I'm on a continuous journey of learning and growth. I'm always eager to expand my skillset and stay updated on the latest trends and innovations in the industry. Taking new classes and workshops not only sharpens my abilities but also keeps me inspired and motivated to push the boundaries of my creativity.

Beyond the technical aspects, I firmly believe in the transformative power of feeling good about yourself. When we feel confident and comfortable in our own skin, it positively impacts every aspect of our lives – from personal relationships to professional goals. As a hairstylist, I have the privilege of contributing to this sense of well-being in my clients, and it's incredibly fulfilling to witness the boost in their self-confidence after a visit to the salon.

In essence, being a hairstylist is more than just a career choice for me; it's a calling that allows me to combine my passion for creativity with my desire to make a meaningful difference in people's lives. Through the art of hairstyling, I strive to empower others to feel their best, knowing that a little confidence can go a long way in achieving personal and professional success.

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Eileen Kantor

I am a Hairstylist because... Well, now I would say it is in my blood. Back when I started, I would say it is because I wanted to be an artist, just not a starving one.

My story dates all the way back to when I was a baby. My mother was a hairstylist for over 30 years. 19 of the years she spent behind the chair were when I was still living in my childhood home. She had a studio in my childhood home that reminds me of the movie “Steel Magnolias”, except if the backdrop to the movie were in the suburbs of Chicago. She didn’t think a lot about her schedule other than to make it work around the schedule of myself and my 3 brothers. She worked early mornings and late nights. She went on site. She was a master of color and updos.

Back in 2001, when my husband and I were still dating, we moved to Colorado. I had been working my way through my associate degree when I realized that I didn't give a flying fluff about Anatomy and Physiology and wanted to tap back into the desire to be an artist, a dream I had always had as a young child. When lamenting to my mother about what to do with my life, she suggested that I “go for the legacy” and go to school to be a cosmetologist. She had a talk with me which I can break down to: you may not paint canvas, but you will paint hair. She also said that even if I didn’t stay a stylist, it was a skill that I will always have and that it will help pay for whatever it was that I wanted to do next. On that advice, I decided to start beauty school. Like my mother, I also loved updo’s and excelled at them. Unlike my mother, I fell in love with cutting. I worked my way up from getting my license to working at a chain salon, then a college salon, then a couple of high-end salons. I have been on multiple education and editorial teams. I have contributed to multiple publications both local and national. I decided to open my own salon, Kantor & Company, in 2017. Following shortly after, in 2021, I opened a boutique apprenticeship style academy where I train hair stylists in the renaissance method of learning, mentor/mentee.

My current goal is to lean more into being a tradeswoman, by teaching the future stylists of the Southwest my passion for the basics of coloring and cutting hair. I want to eliminate the old way of teaching, where we go to school and then have an apprenticeship. I believe we need to merge these two separate learning activities into one, working the apprenticeship while we are in school. This makes the career way more exciting and will weed out people who don’t love caring for others. In addition, this will eliminate student loan debt as the student is paid for their on the job learning hours, which will offset their tuition for their theory, or what we call in the apprenticeship program, related instruction.

Now that I have been at this job for half of my life, 21 years, the desire to care for others has outweighed my desire for the avant-garde. It is what I think of now as being “in my blood”. When my mother passed away in 2009 from color cancer, the line of people to pay their respects wrapped around my family's church. She cared deeply for people and helped them to be seen and to love themselves. This spirit has moved me to want to share it with others. It is one of the oldest professions and one that I have become quite proud of over the course of my career. From now until the day I go, I will be pushing for the artists, philosophers, caregivers, side hustle chemists/physicists to go to hair school! We can change the world with the right people behind the chair!

If you would like information about how to become a professional mentor in our Apprenticeship program and help a future stylist to get their on the job learning hours, please reach out to us at the salon: www.kantorandcompany.com. For salons outside of Boulder, CO we are licensed to do a portion of a student’s education remotely.

If you would like to hear more about my business and the its philosophy. please check out my podcast on Spotify or Apple music: @smallbizhappyhour

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Shannon Shepherd

I’m a hairstylist because my clients saved me.

Being behind the chair means I get to make women from all different walks of life feel beautiful and confident. Whether it’s enhancing their color or just creating a relaxing experience, I strive for a result that makes them leave my chair feeling happy and confident.

But what they don’t know is while I am helping them, they are helping me. My clients give me purpose. They give me something to look forward to, every day.

I’ve been a hairstylist for 8 years. Two years ago I moved to SLC from Dallas. I “started over” in a new city. I struggled for a while. I didn’t even have a bed to sleep on for longer than I would like to admit. Slowly, clients found me. They returned and told their friends about me. As hairstylists we always ask our clients to send us referrals because it helps us grow. But it’s so much deeper than that. My clients saved me. Whatever is going on outside of the salon doesn’t matter when I’m behind the chair. Because no matter what I’m going to get to create for the day and make other women feel their best. That’s my purpose. That’s why I’m a hairstylist.

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Austyn Tittle

I am a hairstylist because this is the best job in the world. Starting when I was young, I spent much time at the salon. A good family friend was our family’s hair stylist, and she was someone I looked up to the most. At that impressionable age, this industry seemed to be filled with beautiful, happy, active people. There was laughter, great fashion, music, and uplifting vibes. I knew that is the kind of environment I wanted to be in.

Fast forward many years, botched barbie heads, and every color of box dye I could get my hands on, and I was finally in beauty school. I won’t lie to you; beauty school was not easy, but I knew if I could make it through those 1600 hours that huge, magical doors would open to an industry where whatever you want could be yours. This industry is unique in that way. If what you want is the world, that can be yours. Likewise, if what you want is a steady, stable career that is recession proof, you’ve got it. For a gal like me, a career where there is no ceiling and I can carve my own path, while meeting inspirational and wonderful people along the way, was a match made in the hair heavens.

I have been behind the chair for 8 years now, mostly spent as a booth renter, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I have met people that have become my closest friends, confidants, and cheerleaders. My creativity has grown beyond my beloved client’s beautiful locks and is now growing into an education brand (and other exciting ideas). I love connecting with fellow hairstylists, learning what they can teach me, and teaching them what I have to offer. This industry has the power to be so supportive of one another and together, we can all get everything we want out of the hard work we are putting in. It is my intention to connect with as many people as I can to create a support network to get all that we want out of this career.

My home base is in Bellingham, Washington at Honey Salon. Our little beehive consists of twenty-something stylists on two floors of a historical building overlooking Bellingham Bay. I am a dimensional color specialist; my focus being foiling. I am a self-proclaimed foiling queen. I develop and teach my own techniques in small group classes so be sure to keep an eye out for upcoming classes.

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Our industry is built upon so many beautiful and strong stories. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the hairstylists who elevate our industry. Thank you for allowing us to witness how you reshape our industry and world. Your unwavering commitment to your craft inspires us all. We remain dedicated to supporting hairstylists with the tools and resources you need to thrive. Together, let us continue to celebrate and uplift our community. Thank YOU.