Wear your hair

Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

By Felisha P. (Grade 12)

"You get a real self-satisfying feeling, to see what you can do with your own hands."

What better way to learn about hairdressing than to ask a hairdresser? I asked Myrna Giesbrecht - a full-time employee at "Hair's The Place" in Winkler - about her career as a hairdresser. Giesbrecht was happy to give me some general information about earning your way to a career in hairdressing.

First of all, everyone who is interested in a hairdressing career needs to know how to get a proper education as a hairdresser. There are two schools in Manitoba that most people decide between: Dominion City Vocational School, and Scientific Marvel in Winnipeg.

When I asked Giesbrecht which school was more preferable, she said both had their pros and cons. A student gets more hands-on experience at Marvel than at Dominion City, making it the biggest difference between the schools. Both programs teach the same criteria as outlined by the government. Besides just going to school and obtaining your license as a hairdresser, Giesbrecht stressed the importance of taking occasional updating courses "just to stay in style".

On average, hairdressers have between 10 and 15 clients per day, booking two hours off for perms and a half an hour for cuts.

When I asked Giesbrecht how long it takes to build up a steady clientele, she said that it usually takes 1 1/2 - 2 years. She mentioned that these would be big years for gathering valuable experience and self-confidence.

Besides working in the shop for a standard 50% commission, Giesbrecht is set up in her home for occasional cuts for family and friends. I asked her why she does not have her own business at home if she already has the required equipment. Giesbrecht replied, "My husband didn't like the idea of having strange men in the house." She also commented that by working for someone else, she does not have any overhead costs to take care of; it costs approximately $600.00 for used equipment such as a chair and sink, and $800.00 for starting supplies.

To end the series of questions I had for her, Giebracht strongly stated, "I've dreamed about hairdressing since I was five years old. I never wanted to be anything else. I really enjoy it."

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