It's Getting Real in 2019
By: Ali Davidson
(This article originally appeared in Stylist & Salon Newspapers January 2019.)
Moving into 2019, I’ve never been more excited about the direction of our industry. There’s a clear movement toward something that will actually elevate our industry in every possible way. This elusive something has been talked about and exists in some pockets of the hair world, but not nearly enough. However I know 2019 will finally be the tipping point at which we can all partake. I’m talking about community. Real, meaningful community among hairstylists beyond Instagram likes, cool kids’ clubs, and brand cliques. The real deal is taking over this year.
How many hairstylist friends do you have outside of your salon or salon suite building? I’m not talking about hair pros you follow and like on Instagram with an occasional comment exchange. (Though that is nice too.) Who can you sit down with to discuss marketing ideas, state board changes, cutting techniques, and front desk best practices? Who can you call when you’re out of 4N with back-to-back clients, concluding with 4N Suzy? Who will really, like really, understand your crazy client stories and behind-the-chair pet peeves when you share at happy hour?
If you aren’t friends—real life friends—with the other hair professionals in your town, you are missing out!
Social media has done wonders to bring our industry together. We’ve been able to interact with fellow professionals around the world who we may never have seen before. We’re able to chat in a non-threatening environment behind the safety of our phone screens. We’ve been reminded how much we like each other, how much we relate to each other, how much we appreciate each other. 2019 is the year we turn the keyboard banter into real talk with real connection and real community.
In 2019, hairstylists working behind the chair from California to New York, North Dakota to Texas, are forming real-life support networks with fellow stylists in their town. Because superheroes don’t compete with each other, they work together. They understand each other, have each other’s backs, and only win when they’re on the same side. Ya dig? So how are these hairstylists getting together? Thanks for asking, friend. It’s never been easier!
Hair pros are coming together, forming real community, at AHP Roots. Roots are groups of hair professionals who get together once a month to learn from each other, lean on each other, and grow with each other. Each month AHP Root groups get together to explore a topic pertinent to hair professionals, such as marketing, hair color, or customer service. Associated Hair Professionals (AHP) provides topic discussion guides and all the tools and resources necessary to bring everyone together. (Check out this month’s #Goals topic and free resources.) These are smaller, more intimate face-to-face gatherings with real talk, creating real connections among Root members, and real community in the hair industry.
Every hair professional is invited to get involved with the AHP Root gatherings in their town! They are product-neutral and completely free. There’s no judgement, no competition, and no ego allowed. This is for real hairstylists and barbers ready for real talk, real connection, and real community. Find an AHP Root meeting close to you by using the Root Finder. If there isn’t one close to you, shoot me an email and I’ll get you everything you need plus all the support you need to start your own AHP Root!
In business, people say change must start at the top and trickle down for real progress to be made. But the hair industry, as you well know, isn’t made up of average business people. Hair professionals are business people with flair! AHP firmly believes the hairstylists and barbers working behind the chair—the ones AHP exists to support—are the root of our industry and together we have the power to change and shape the hair industry into its best self. At its best, it will be known for the community and camaraderie among hair professionals. That kind of richness must come from the roots. AHP Roots are going to change our industry by bringing hair professionals together for real talk, real connection, and real community—a real root boost is in store for 2019 and beyond!