As a hairdresser you work when others don’t: Early mornings, late evenings, no free Saturdays – flexibility is key!

With motherhood being a full-time-job in itself, combining the two can be stressful – but it also has its perks! NATULIQUE Master educator Ruby and her mother Sonia work together in Ruby’s salon in London. We spoke to them about hairdressing, motherhood and childhood memories from the salon. What a power-duo!

Sonia, how did you manage to be a parent and salon owner at the same time? Which challenges did you face?

Sonia: “Being a parent and working any job is difficult. Being a hairdresser, salon owner and mother had both advantages and challenges. When my children were very young I could just bring them to the salon. If I was busy, I was always lucky enough to be surrounded by a great team. Of course, I had to cut my hours down, but I always found loyal clients who would find a way to see me at different hours. Unfortunately I never really got to spend many Saturdays with my children, as it is our busiest day of the week. But this just made our Sundays a proper family day. For me, the biggest challenge of being a hairdresser with young children was to be away from them for long periods of time in the days. However, I always made the time to see them and booked the time off for important things happening in their lives.”

How did it make you feel to see Ruby stepping into your shoes and following the same career path?

Sonia: I am incredibly proud of Ruby. Not only is she amazing at what she does, but she is so creative and we both learn from each other which is a really nice work environment to be in. It makes me so happy to see what kind of person she has shaped in to, and I love being able to see her grow even more and being able to work with her. She is not only an amazing hairdresser but also runs a successful salon in London  – with the amount of competition around this is something extraordinary.”

Today you are both working together. What is it like to work with your daughter?

Sonia: It is lovely to work with Ruby! We are lucky to see each other as much as we do. There are times when we may get a little annoyed at each other as we all do in life, but we both wouldn’t want our work life any different. I feel like a lot of our clients come, not only because of the work and products we use but because of the family dynamic of the shop. It gives a very nice atmosphere for clients which keeps people coming back for more.”

Ruby: I love working with my mum. I learn from her still, and I think a lot of my growth and development as a hairdresser has come down to her. There are times when I want to kill her, but isn’t that just like every mother-daughter relationship! Haha ;-) I am lucky enough to see my mum pretty much every day!” 

Ruby, what was it like to grow up with a hairdresser as a mother?

Ruby: “Well, first of all, I was always going to school with amazing plaits and hair dos, so I had the best hair at school! Sometimes it was hard, as my mum had to work long hours at times, but we always had that understanding. My mum made time for charity events at school and would cut and colour hair of teachers of mine, which I found very cool, as these were people I looked up to. Both my parents were hairdressers actually, so I have been around the industry from a very young age. They would let me work as a Saturday helper in my teens, so I was earning (very little) money while none of my other friends was.

Did your mum’s profession influence your own career choices?

Ruby: “Being around successful and creative parents, and my mum being as outgoing as she is, I always knew I wanted to be involved with the public in my career. I could never have imagined myself sitting at an office desk all day long. Hairdressing is probably one of the few jobs where you meet people from all walks of life every day. I also was always fascinated with the before and after of people once they had their hair done, and how much hair could transform a person. I like working in a job which transforms people and additionally makes them really happy. Something as small as covering grey hair can make someone who is very low and upset feel much better and that is something I really enjoy doing and was something which always pushed me towards hairdressing.”

What is your favourite childhood memory from your mother’s salon?

Ruby: Growing up being in a salon all the time, I developed an obsession with sweeping up hair. I would have to sweep every hair on the salon floor again and again until I felt satisfied. I could always remember myself constantly sweeping the shop for hours until I had to go home! When I would walk from school to the salon after school, I would always complain about waiting for my mum to go home. Then I would always get 50p to get to go to the local sweet shop and treat myself. I ended up complaining all the time purely for sweets, but secretly I really enjoyed being there. ;-) Of course, I also remember the various hair cuts and trends I got my mum to do on me. Some of them were horrific – today I question why she even did it on me – and some I still like to this day.”

Ruby, what do you want to tell your Mum this Mother’s Day?

Ruby: I want to thank her for everything she has ever done for me. I want to tell her how amazing she is not only as a mother but as a mentor and as a friend. She has inspired me to do and try so many things and I know without her what I do today would not be the same. She conquers life head-on, and has taught me some of the very important lessons in life.”