Clayde Baumann is the current BHA British Colour Technician of the Year and is also the Global Colour Director at D&J Ambrose and a Wella Top Creative Artist.
We asked him to share how he has been feeling and coping during the current pandemic in the hope that it will resonate with and inspire other hairdressers out there.
What can anyone possibly say that hasn’t already been said in the situation we find ourselves in?
It would be disingenuous and I would be remiss to not admit moments of despair and sorrow but I’m going to go with the one that I feel will leave you feeling motivated and inspired to push through this very difficult time that we find ourselves in.
I’m certain I’m not the only one sitting here thinking: ‘If you’d told me in November ’19 that the silly SARS look-alike that was surreptitiously creeping west was going to cripple the world economy and our industry, I wouldn’t have believed you.’ Yet here we are and as I said before, when we hit first lockdown, the realisation of it left me in a state of despair, paralysed with indecision and a feel of helplessness. It’s important to share that with you so that you know it’s perfectly normal to feel in a state of limbo, like a headless chicken.
I know from my 21 years in the industry, that hairdressers the world over are in a dire state for one important reason: We honestly LOVE what we do.
It knits the very fibres of who we are together and to keep us at home doesn’t just deny us work or a full salary… it really is so much more than that.
We tick every single essential box for thriving in life while we are work. It’s our social connection, it’s our creative outlet, it’s potentially the only exercise some of us get, it’s a job that requires a large amount of mindfulness and empathy, huge shoulders and a big heart. It’s no wonder that we find ourselves bereft of purpose. Right?
Wrong! It’s time to snap out of it.
I am sure that there are some you who feel that you’re strong and you’re thriving: that’s excellent news. Take it and play it forward. There are fellow hairdressers out there who need you. Yes, stay at home but reach out on the amazing technology we have and make difference to someone else’s life.
However if you are feeling low, I wanted to share some methods of thought and ways to enrich your day so that you feel a little stronger.
As I said, we as hairdressers do a lot of our daily LIVING at work so it’s important to find a way to do some of that whilst we aren’t working so that we can stay motivated and positive, working toward the day that we can reopen doors.
I’ve broken it down into the three things I think hairdressers need to stimulate themselves during a working day. They are the 3 H’s; The Head, the Heart and the Hands.
Keeping your head in the right place is a best place to start. Starting with positive thought will get you into action. I still sometimes struggle to get into the right headspace on my own. Here are some channels I use to get back in:
The ability and permission to connect emotionally to the people we work with and provide services to, is what separates us from a lot of conventional workplaces so how do we stay on top of keeping this rare quality and prevent ourselves from becoming emotionally disconnected.
Most importantly do not forget that YOU ARE A HAIRDRESSER and you’re in the country that birthed the father of modern-day hairdressing. Keep those hands skilled!
I’d suggest taking this checklist and maybe trying to take at least one activity out of each section day and try it. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit.
I challenge you to beat this pandemic in your head, your heart and your hands and emerge from this a stronger, better person and hairdresser. I wish you all a very awesome 2021. Don’t wait for it to be great. Make it great.