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Tools of the trade: Social media helping stylists make a name for themselves

By Riley Chervinski

In an industry as visual as hairstyling, it’s important to showcase your work as a stylist. But in today’s digital age, forget about hauling around a huge portfolio to every salon in the city. Social media lets you reach a large audience with a single Instagram or Facebook account—and for some salons, it’s even required.

Chelsea Marinelli, owner of Prep Hair on Corydon Avenue, says she doesn’t hire stylists at her salon without doing a social media check first.

“If they don’t have an Instagram [account], they’re not coming in. Instagram is so important for the hair world, and if they don’t have that focus, then I would 99 per cent not call them,” she said.

And she should know — her salon has over 5,000 followers, while each individual stylist has a few hundred. Marinelli says a lot of the salon’s business comes from these Instagram accounts where stylists post hair transformations, funky braids, creative cuts, and new products. She recommends her stylists keep their accounts public (so anyone can view them) and separate from their personal accounts.

6-1Brittany Goncalves, a recent grad from MC College’s nine-month hairstyling program, says schools are even starting to incorporate social media into the curriculum.

“They spoke a lot about social media and how it can benefit our career in a much quicker way—by getting your name out there as much as you can to start building that clientele that every stylist needs and wants,” said Goncalves.

Since graduating, Goncalves has started an apprenticeship at Shear Style Hair Studio on Dakota, and uses both Facebook and Instagram to showcase her work. She finds Instagram is targeted to a younger clientele, while Facebook allows her to connect with an older demographic.

“Social media and my career go hand in hand. I honestly don’t know how people built a full clientele without social media; it does all the work for you. Hashtags are also huge on Instagram for stylists—I like to hashtag #WinnipegStylist, so if any locals are looking for a stylist, they can see my pictures,” Goncalves explained.

At The Salon Professional Academy Winnipeg, social media is strongly encouraged. The school supplies students with iPads and encourages them to snap, post, filter, and publish their work. If they have client openings, they should be posting about it online.

“Obviously students don’t have the money to pay for a ton of advertising. [Social media] gives them the skills to advertise without having to spend a ton of money,” said Stephanie Dzikowicz, director of admissions.
And like any industry where social media is a tool of the trade, Dzikowicz reminds students to always be selective and professional when posting online.