Be Inspired Series
JL MORRISON HAIRDRESSING
Curtis studied to NVQ level and then attended the Wella Academy in Dublin
What does your job entail?
My job is the best! I work as a stylist at JL Morrison Hairdressing in Belfast and I really enjoy making people feel fabulous everyday.
My working day varies from being in the salon working with clients, to going on location for photo shoots and competitions.
I recently won a prize in the Wella Trend Colour Vision competition which was held in Belfast and will use the prize to fund further technical training courses.
Then I’m off to London for the British Hairdressing Awards, as the owner John and creative director Carolyn are Northern Ireland finalists for the third time, so there is lots going on at the moment to keep me occupied.
The awards are a really glitzy affair and it’s just brilliant being part of something that ceIebrates the best of the industry. I love that every day is different and this keeps me stimulated and excited for the day ahead.
Is it 9 to 5?
NEVER!! Some days I could be in from 7.30am to do bridal parties, other days I’m not leaving until 9pm or 10pm depending on competitions or photo shoots that are happening. I also have a bad habit of fixing people’s hair when I’m out and about, this means I’m at work 24/7.
How did you get into this line of work?
After working for three years at Marie Curie Cancer Hospice, it made me appreciate how nice it was to make people feel good about themselves. I’ve always had an artistic side and knew that hairdressing would be a good outlet for my creativity.
Outline your career to date?
Currently being part of the JL Morrison creative art team involves lots of hands on work with photo shoots and seminars. Working here has given me lots of fabulous opportunities, one was being chosen to work with the BBC, and then mentoring young hairdressing students as they created different looks for photo shoots.
I love being able to share my experiences and passion for hairdressing with others and I also love to learn so I try to go on as many courses as possible.
Tell us about your qualifications/training.
After attending college to achieve NVQ, I then went on to gain further qualifications from the Wella Academy in Dublin. I got the opportunity to work with the hairdressing legend Patrick Cameron. I take courses all the time to continually further my knowledge and skills.
What qualities are required for your job – personal and professional?
I am required to be a good listener and need to be able interpret people’s needs. I have to be approachable and instantly make people feel comfortable around me. It’s true what they say - people do tell their hairdresser everything so I have to be able to keep a secret or two.
What is the best advice you ever received?
A school teacher once advised me to take every opportunity that came my way and never shy away from a challenge. She also said that if you don’t like something, then change it and if you don’t change it, then change your attitude towards it. At the time I thought she was a bit crazy, but in hindsight that’s probably the best advice she could have given to me.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
When I manage to get some spare time, I enjoy eating out with friends over a few glasses of wine then hitting the town for a dance!. I love going to QFT where they always have a quirky range of films to watch. In my spare time I also try to keep fit by running in the evenings. I also enjoy going to hair shows to get new ideas to try out on my clients.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?
When I was six-years-old I almost died. I’d been in the garden making mud pies and stupidly drank some muddy water. I was sent to hospital and my parents were told I had salmonella. I spent the next three weeks in hospital recovering. Now the only mud pie I eat is a Mississippi and it’s covered in chocolate!
Who has inspired you most in your life?
My inspiration comes from so many different people. My colleagues inspire me everyday to continue to be a great hairdresser. I also get inspired from the music and fashion industry as fashion houses are always first to create the up and coming looks.
As far as hairdressers go, I consider Robert Lobetta to be one of the best and I had the honour of meeting him in Wella’s International Trend Vision Awards last year in Paris. His work continues to amaze me.