Assistant or Cleaner…or asking too much?

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missbusybee

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Hi all,

So I have a question as I’m new to the industry (28 year old career changer).

I have been working at a salon as an assistant alongside attending (self funded) college for 5 months now and they have not offered to trade test me/ asked me ti do anything that helps me upskill my TRADE.

I spend my days non- stop cleaning and prepping but never get any chance to blow dry/ apply colour/ foil/ hair up (all of which I’d be more than happy to get stuck in with as I’ve now passed my level 2). I accept my timings need work but how can I get better if I literally have next to no time to practice practice practice???

Is it the case that you are expected to clean for a few years before you’re trusted enough to handle hair…. All seems a bit backwards to me and I’m starting to loose the spark I first had when I started there, if I was to be really pessimistic I’d say they are possibly using me for cheap labour?

I should mention that when I signed up for the role I was told that during slow times I’d be able to practice on a block head, this isn’t the case as slow times never happen with us assistants there. When it’s slow they either send us home (unpaid) or text us at the beginning of the day saying don’t bother coming in today you can make the hours up….. it seems really one sided but I also know im chronically impatient by nature so am also trying (TRYING) to temper this with being reasonable.

I should also mention that the training they offered me as part of the package sounded great at first but in reality it has meant on top of my typical 6 day weeks (day job/ college and bar work in evenings) I have had to also source people to come in and pay for services with me (in order to pay the “teacher”…. I use the term teacher loosely as out of the stylists that also teach us only one of them is worth his weight in gold and I get great feedback from, a few are mediocre at best and the majority are happy to finish early/ don’t give any useful feedback (one literally writes N/A in the comment sections of the forms their supposed to fill out… seriously wtf is that about?!?!….and when you ask questions they act as if you’re questioning their authority (I’m not I’d just like a straight answer to a straight question).

Training is 2-3 hours per week (outside of working hours) which also doesn’t feel like long enough in return for the sacrifice I’m making to them of selling my time soooo cheaply to clean, just clean!

My other gripe is the other assistants there have been there aggggessss and don’t seem in any sort of hurry to progress which I find weird/scary because if I’m being measured against them I’m definitely going to look like an impatient problem child, cart horse race horse springs to mind :/


Ughhhh I just don’t know what to do, I know I’m not the full all singing all dancing package right now but I feel like this job is stealing my time and blocking me from being able to progress more quickly… it feels like soaking up all my hours on what is essentially a cleaning job is surely going to hold me back from progressing my hairdressing skills further yet most hair jobs require 1-2 years in a salon as an entry requirement, so should I suck it up and accept being a cleaner for a year and sacrifice valuable practice time?


Do any salons take assistants seriously or am I better off just growing a pair, renting a chair and building my own clients from scratch and learning the “hard way” as a lone wolf? Or is there annother option? This experience is making me not trust salons….. is what I’m describing standard industry practice?

Side notes:

-the owner talks a good talk about progressing and being committed but he takes no actual time to train his assistants, he delegates it to people that (apart from one) clearly don’t care/ have low standards for teaching.

-I also have to work a bar job around this “assisting (cleaning)” as I’m an adult with bills to pay and the assistant wage doesn’t even cover half of what I need to break even each month, the owner is aware of this but still doesn’t seem in any sort of hurry to get me up and running and earning.

Please help/ from what I’ve laid out do you think I’m doing something wrong here?

I’ve thought about straight up asking for the trade test but as the months have passed I’m now irritated that it hasn’t been offered and almost feel like I don’t want to make them money…… I’m starting to resent being there and also starting to think that the clients are a bit grumpy and not the type I actually want to be working in anyway. I’m just scared if I jump salons that the same thing happens again and it’s so exhausting.

In too if all the above I’d really like to get into session work and event hair (the salon doesn’t do either) so perhaps the writings in the wall…. Or should I just be grateful for any old exposure considering how I’m only level 2 qualified?

Thanks
Bee (bzzzzzzzzzz)
 

missbusybee

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Ps: sorry for my atrociously poor spellings and typos (I just read the post back) but it’s now 1:21am and I’m up at 6am for another fun filled day of cleaning woop woop

Looking forward to your thoughts/opinions/suggestions :)

Xox
 

CFBS

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Time to move on to somewhere new. You have your level 2 so you should be starting to build your own client list.
Apply to other salons and/or do level 3 as an apprenticeship there to get confident with level 2 skills and start to to learn the level 3 skills.
 

RosieR

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I am of the opinion that because you are older than the average salon junior your expectations are less "Go with the flow" ,but more like "I need to just get on and do it !"

Why not build your client list and you can be as slow as you like with your new clients. That will either work out well or force you to go solo. Or have your own clients say one evening a week if your boss will be happy with it.
Maybe look into event hair seriously.
You need to push for the level 3.

It is your life so only you know what is right and what you will accept.

I was once that salon junior ( beauty-not hair ) and I watched the "expert" therapist doing her craft. It was the best lesson for me and eventually the time came and time that I found my part in the salon. The experienced therapist moved over to teaching and therefore left the gap for me and that was my start.
 

missbusybee

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Thanks so much for the advice, idly has really helped xox
 

samm

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Thanks so much for the advice, idly has really helped xox
HIya if you can i would leave get another job that is better payed for 6 save as much as you can then go do a fast-track private course then hit the salon floor do it before you lose your spark I did it and it worked for me good hun do what makes ya happy
 

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