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For Gillian Ford, her profession – hairdressing – is her zest for life! A career of high skill and expertise, Go Hustle chats finds out why being a stylist actually gets you closer to a client than most corporates…

Your hair is your crown and your glory

Gillian has been in the hair and beauty business for 41 years, and she’s passionate about making women feel seen and valued. “It’s the inner beauty of the soul and spirit which we, as hair therapists, can activate,” she says. She plays health advisor too! “[We advise] clients to take care of their bodies,” she enthuses, “for example: drink lots of water, detox the colon, take minerals and vitamins.”

Getting into hairdressing means having a long-term vision…

The starting salary of a hairstylist might not be fantastic, but there are great growth opportunities for those with a long-term vision. So, what do you need to get into the industry? You’ll need a grade 10 to grade 12 school certificate, commitment, enthusiasm, honesty, and the ability to work as part of a team, says Gillian. “There are internships available,” she says. It’s worth looking into SETA training, and gaining employment in a well-established hair salon, she adds.

READ MORE: Here’s What You Need To Know About The Image Consulting Industry

On overcoming hardships in the industry…

“I had cash flow problems due to being inexperienced in handling money,” says Gillian. She overcame this through discipline, and taking courses in self-discovery. “I did life courses, like the Enneagram and Dale Carnegie,” she says.

The leadership lessons she’s learnt along the way

1/ “Learn to love yourself and let it spread.”

2/ “Do all things with passion.”

3/ “Be a great listener, and appreciate all who enter your business.”

4/ “Be a good, clean, honest person – be well-groomed and well-spoken.”

5/ “Have the desire to learn.”

6/ “Never to be too proud to help in any way – even a peacock has to come down for its food.”

The art of self-care

Gillian says self-care is being of sound mind. It’s about generating feelings of peace and joy. “When you practise self-respect and love yourself, you appreciate with gratitude who you are.”

For advice on mentorship…

“Connect with me via social media,” says Gillian. Alternatively, Gillian can help with one-on-one or group training. Salon social handles: bergincia3 (Instagram), Bergincia Replenish (Facebook), Bergincia Replenish Bio Formula (Facebook Page).

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