Stylist Blog Feature-August

Marissa Ryan- Stylist
Sky Salon
Boston, MA
IG- @theholistichair

Marissa is a lived in color specialist that works out of Boston, Massachusetts. She has been in the industry for 6 years, and loves how hair styling has evolved over the last year few years. Her favorite part about her job is transforming peoples look while making them laugh with her witty personality. Her favorite techniques are balayage and high impact foiling. Outside of the salon she loves the mountains, cooking, and being with her family, friends, and her new puppy.

As always, we hope this interview will motivate you, inspire you, and encourage you, to continue to share your love and passion for the beauty industry. Be sure to follow Marissa on Instagram and check out more of her beautiful work! Enjoy! #stylistssupportingstylists


1. What is one piece of advice you give to a new stylist just coming out of school?
Find a mentor. This was a game changer for me. I started out working at a very high end salon shampooing, and while that was great I did not feel like I was getting anywhere. When I took the plunge to move out of state I found a salon that had me working one on one with the owner. She gave me the confidence I needed, and taught me so many things I would have never learned if I did not shadow her. It was one of the best decisions I have made in my career.

2. What would you tell new stylists to look for when choosing their first salon home?
Find your tribe. When I was in beauty school, I looked around for the most high end salon I could find. I ended up in a huge salon with 30 stylists, I hated every minute of it. It was over crowded, toxic, and a very hostile environment. Everyone was out to get each other, and no one supported each other. When I moved from Philadelphia to Boston a few years ago, I knew that I did not want to work in a salon with a lot of people. I found a tiny salon that used non toxic products, plants everywhere, and the sweetest owner. I knew I found my tribe, and I have been more than happy since. The best advice I can give for someone looking for a salon home is to find somewhere that excites you. Find a place where when you walk in you feel like everyone is going to build you up, and if you are in a salon now that you feel stuck in. GET OUT. It will be the best decision I promise.

3. What is your why? Why did you choose this industry? What drives you besides your passion and love for hair?
Honestly, I had no clue what I was doing with my life. I was pretty lost after high school. I knew from a very young age that college was not for me. I was working in retail when I decided that I wanted to go to fashion school, long story short I did not get into where I wanted to go. I felt even more lost after that. One day I was sitting on my couch with my parents and my dad goes " Marissa you should go to hair school you would be great at that " I shrugged it off, but he was persistent. My dad was an artist by trade so he thought I would do well. I am so glad that I took my dads advice that day and enrolled in beauty school. I absolutely love my career it is so much fun! As cliche as it is, I love to make people feel beautiful. There is nothing like turning around your chair and seeing that smile on peoples faces. Its such an unbelievable feeling.

4. How often are you posting on social media to attract new clients? How important is this in our business?
EVERY.SINGLE.DAY... sometimes multiple times a day. You have to make it a priority. This is so important, because you want to attract clients that vibe with you. This way you are creating hair that you are truly passionate about. Creating a page that showcases your specialities and personality makes it a lot easier for future clients to find you. The more you post the more visible you are to the Instagram hair world, and in turn your dream clients will start flooding in.

5. What is the biggest challenge you face in being a stylist?
Consultations!!! This was a challenge that had, but I have been able to improve on with continuing education. During my early years behind the chair my consultation was seriously lacking. I would ask a few questions, and then start doing their hair. After a few clients not getting what they wanted I knew I had to take a step back and reevaluate. Going forward I ask a TON of questions. I even ask the same questions twice but phrasing them differently to see if the answer is the different. If they do I know that I need to elaborate more on that topic. I also make sure I am very clear on what I can and cannot do in one session. This method has given me a lot of success behind the chair.

6. Is there anything stylists can do to better prepare for working behind the chair?
Practice, practice, practice. Do not just watch someone, and think you get it. Actually do it, and do it over and over again. Buy mannequins and try out that new technique that you learned. Each time you do it you will get better, and it will come easier for you. I also think it is really important to ask WHY. I think that it’s important to not just know the answer, but to know how and why you got it.

7. What is the one piece of advice you would give stylists that are feeling discouraged?
Do not give up. This industry is hard. Keep moving forward though and be proud of what you have accomplished. If you feel like you need a break TAKE ONE! If you feel like your salon is holding you back... LEAVE! And find somewhere better suited for you. The only way things will get better is if you make a change.

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