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  • Writer's pictureEmma Ward

How Becoming a Hairstylist Changed My Confidence

Today I want to tackle a tricky topic for many of us; confidence.

I’ve always dealt with low confidence and self esteem issues. While that really isn't uncommon, it's sad that most of us deal with that. Mine tended to manifest in two key ways: body issues, and worrying that I was too weird to fit in. While I've now found love for my curves and padding, I've struggled with my shape and weight for a long time. I take up a lot of space, in many ways. The other is my personality. I laugh loud and often, I love color and weird patterns, and I always have bright colored hair.

I spent a few years after high school in a rut. I stopped coloring my hair, I put away the bright clothing, and I spent years trying to diet my problems away. I was miserable while trying to convince myself that I was working towards a better version of myself, a more acceptable one. I can't tell you what moment helped me get out of it, but I do know that it started shortly after I started hair school.

I became a hairdresser because it felt really incredible to make other people feel good about themselves. That little hair-flip and smile people have when they leave my chair feeds my soul! The joy of bringing that to people

When I started working with models and photographers, I was worried I would feel even worse while being around all these gorgeous confident women. Then I realized, these were normal women that would see in the street. They’re fierce but also flawed, just like all of us. We’re all human, and we’re all incredible in our own ways. It was a humbling and confidence building experience for me. I full-heartedly believe that every person can look drop-dead-gorgeous. Especially when flocked by a full glam squad and professional photographer.


“Change the voices, in your head, make them like you instead” - Pink


What makes you feel like a 10? What sparks that fire inside of you?

Mine comes heavily from my job, like I said, making people feel their best also brings out the best in me. I consider it a privilege that I get to be apart of what makes people more confident. A few years into the industry, I started to get my sparkle back. I put the red back in my hair, I tossed aside my plain clothes, and I finally let my freak-flag fly. Now I don't flinch when someone asks to take my photo. I'm not terrified of being in front of a camera. I get to wear loud patterns and bright colors to work where I get to make other people feel like their most beautiful selves.

A lot of clients share their stories with me, they grant me a glimpse into their lives. Their pain, their joy, their struggles, all of it. It's not a privilege that I take lightly, being let into someone's world is a magical thing. When I get to help someone, even if it's just a little bit, it helps me too.

I wanted to take a moment to say thank you. Thank you to each of my clients to whom I've had the joy of providing services for. Each of you who shares your story, your trust, and your time with me. You have so many choices when it comes to choosing a stylist, and I'm thankful that you allowed me to provide for you. I'm so glad you chose to spend that time with me. I want to say thank you to all of the fabulous models and vendors I've worked with. It's been such a ride, stepping into the world of fashion, and I've really enjoyed the process. The best part about runways and photo shoots is definitely the people involved. Sharing ideas and creativity with other artists help to keep my mind sharp and rolling.

Photos by Leesa Watson of LW Imaging

Progress and healing aren't instant or linear. I still struggle with my perspective of my body, but it keeps getting easier and easier. Sometimes I still worry that I take up too much space, but I've learned to speak to myself in a kinder way. I'm learning to love every part of me, and doing hair has played such a huge role in that process. From the bottom of my heart, Thank you. - Emma

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