50 Years of Francesco Group Hairdressing Salons


5 Steps to Success in the Hairdressing Industry with Heather Shaw

5 Steps to Success in the Hair Industry - Heather Shaw

30 April, 2019

5 Steps to Success in the Hairdressing Industry with Heather Shaw

5 Steps to Success


The wonderful thing about the hairdressing industry is that there are so many different avenues open to you. Once you have your initial qualification, the world is your oyster!

There are several different career opportunities available and you can tailor a career to suit what you love most! Travel the world as a Session Stylist or a Cruise Ship hairdresser, become a Salon Owner, work in TV or film as a stylist to the stars. But when you are running your day-to-day column in the salon, the more glamorous side of the industry can feel a million miles away.

Are you unsure of where to go next in your hairdressing career?

Are you becoming complacent but you’re not sure what to do about it? Then this may be the perfect time to hear some pearls of wisdom from an industry up-and-comer.

We spoke to Heather Shaw, who recently became Creative Director for Francesco Group. She has carved out a trailblazing career in the industry; in the past 10 years she has gone from Apprentice to company Creative Director, with a fair few accolades in-between; including winning Gold at the Wella TrendVision Awards in 2017, creating collections that graced the front cover of industry magazines and working with hairdressing legends, whilst part of the Wella Generation Now! team.

Heather shared her top tips for finding success in the industry with us.

Heather Shaw - Francesco Group Stafford Salon and Academy Manager

Heather Shaw, Francesco Group Stafford Salon & Academy Manager

Francesco Group



5 Steps to Success in the Hair Industry - Crayola Brights

   Whether you are a brand-new Apprentice or a Senior Stylist, always be open to learning new things. The hairdressing and beauty industry are growing every day and if you aren’t willing to learn new things, you will get left behind.

I often hear my Apprentices say to me “When will I learn everything?” and I always say to them “When I know everything, I’ll let you know”. Every day is a school day in our industry and it’s important to source your own education. Utilise Social Media and follow people who inspire you; if you see something you like, don’t be afraid to reach out to that person online and ask how they achieved the look they created. Thanks to the internet, there’s now so much knowledge at your fingertips, grasp it!
Make sure you are up to date with the latest trends, as clients can do their own research on their hair now and you need to be one step ahead of them to prove your worth and demonstrate why they need to trust the experts and not attempt at-home cuts & colours!

Challenge yourself and brush up on the areas that you feel are your weakest. I am known for my colour work within the industry, but I will spend a day once a month re-educating myself with cutting techniques to ensure that I continue to nurture that side of my creativity.

Francesco Group


Always Go Above and Beyond

5 Steps to Success in the Hair Industry - Heather Shaw

   For anyone that wants to step out of salon life and jump into the creative side of the hairdressing industry, it’s important to put yourself out there. Decide who inspires you in the industry, look at peers and people in your company who motivate you and offer to assist them. I have spent the last seven years making myself available to assist the Francesco Group Creative Team, whether that meant passing up grips or carrying bags; I was always the first person to offer and this was in my free time and unpaid. I would also stay late in the salon, if that meant getting some one-on-one time with a Senior Stylist or someone else I admired within my team, so I continued to grow. Even today, 10 years on from my training, if I was given any opportunity, I would take it. Don’t question money or your time, do things because you love them and take every opportunity you’re given. The rest will fall into place.   

Francesco Group


Time to Shine

5 Steps to Success in the Hair Industry - Heather Shaw

   Eventually the time will come when you feel confident in your skills, but you’re still eager to learn more; that is the time to look into industry competitions. Within the industry there are many opportunities to enter competitions and this is a great way to showcase your skills and start to network with like-minded people. Don’t worry about winning a competition, because you will get so much more from the experience of doing it. In 2017, I won the UK Gold award at the Wella TrendVision Awards and although this was a major career highlight for me, I still enjoyed the three previous years entering the competition, leading up to my win.

I gained so much from the people around me during that time and listening to every bit of advice I could was one of the key inspirations behind my winning look. When it is your time to shine, winning competitions can lead to amazing opportunities; it is a huge stepping stone in your career and addition to your resumé. My competition work has led to me working on the television programme Britain’s Next Top Model, working at London Fashion Week and I’ve also been able to work alongside amazing industry icons. Go for it!

Francesco Group


Be Remembered

5 Steps to Success in the Hair Industry - Heather Shaw

   The hair industry is massive and no matter what you’re doing and where you are, you need to be remembered. You need to make an impact! You don’t have to be the loudest voice in the room to be heard, but it is down to you to make an impression. You could be extra early that day, really polite, going above and beyond to assist and just doing everything you can to endear yourself to the people you are working with, making sure that they remember you. When I first started networking in the industry, I would wear a hat, even though people wouldn’t know my name, I had a separate identity from everyone else in the room, I was “the girl in the hat” and that small distinction made a difference. Wearing a hat was my thing, what’s yours?   

Francesco Group


Have Fun, You’re a Hairdresser

5 Steps to Success in the Hair Industry - Crayola Brights

   Hairdressing is a creative industry that is built on passion and you should embrace that. You have a super power, you can make people look and feel beautiful! That is such a gift and don’t take it for granted. We are working in a really fun industry and sometimes you just need to get back to your roots and remember why you’re doing what you’re doing! If you continue to love the job, it will love you back.   


Lead Image Credit: https://nl.pinterest.com/


Like this? Share it!

    Winners & Finalists