When asked what advice she’d offer to those hoping to succeed in the competitive hair industry, Sally Brooks’ answer was simple: “Never stop learning.”
With a career spanning over 25 years, the 2017 Hairdresser of the Year knows her stuff. “Education, education, education,” she said. “Learn as much as you can. Work hard, respect your industry and your fellow hairdressers and always work with people that are better than you – it will challenge you to do better.”
When she’s not transforming hair at her London based salon, Brooks and Brooks, Sally can be found working on a photoshoot, designing a show or delivering training. It’s this variety that provides her with the most enjoyment.
“The diversity of each day is what I enjoy the most,” she said. “Working in the salon means dealing with different people and new challenges every day, while working on a photoshoot is different, as is educating and designing shows.”
As three-time winner of the London Hairdresser of the Year award, Sally’s skill and creativity has gained national recognition however, her success is the result of years of hard work and challenges. “Opening a salon in London was a huge challenge but we just got on with it.
“Believing in yourself and being brave enough to not follow the crowd is something I really believe in.”
Despite this confidence and a clear love of all things hair, Sally’s original plan was to venture into the beauty industry.
“I really wanted to be a make-up artist for the theatre when I left school and I did this for a while. I stumbled into hairdressing when I moved to London and, as soon as I picked up my scissors, I knew this was the career for me.”
A quarter of a century later and Sally Brooks is a name you’ve most likely heard of. With a number of prestigious awards under her belt and an established London salon with her name above the door, it’s hard to believe they’d be any drawbacks to her world.
“I think hairdressing is still regarded as a lower rate job than a lot of other professions but I think we’ll have the last laugh.
“Not only are hairdressers some of the happiest people but robots can’t ever do what we do! You get out what you put in – you can earn good money and have an amazing career but you have to work hard.”
So, education, hard work and a challenge. This seems to be Sally’s recipe for success. But would she have done anything differently?
“Success is different to different people. I am really happy with what I’ve done and the choices I have made.
“I think a balance of work, life, family and friends is more important than a lot of things. I’ve achieved all of this while still being respected in the industry. What more could I ask for?”
Find out more about Sally and the Brooks and Brooks team over on their website.
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Image credit: @brookshair/@hairdressingnews