Dear Cosmo Students, newly licensed professionals and anyone who has ever in his or her life looked up to someone:
Your mentors WILL disappoint you. It’s inevitable.
I don’t say this to have you refrain from being mentored, looking up to someone or having those #HairHeros in your life, because lord knows I still have a few I keep in my back pocket. I say this to make sure you have a healthy outlook, not only on this industry, but also on life.
Your mentors may not be just the people that teach you in school, or at your fancy new salon, but may be the hairdresser you’ve followed on Instagram since day one or the barber who opened your eyes to men’s grooming. Maybe it’s the person who made you think… “Yea, I could totally pull off that crazy vivids look” or the one that does those amazing braided updo’s. Whomever they are… guess what?! They’re human.
As humans were not perfect and will one day fail at the standards we are held to in the eyes of someone that looks up to us.
Your mentors will disappoint you because they can’t be everything you want them to be. I wanted someone who slept, ate and breathed the industry, but once I got to know him or her, they didn’t. They had lives and enjoyed things that weren’t surrounded by hair. They had families, and mortgages and history that weren’t always pretty. They had scares on their fingers from the effort they had put forth before I deemed them my mentor, they had sleepless nights from bad client experiences and empty bank accounts from having to pay their own way to Fashion week, photo shoots or countless educational classes to better themselves.
You’ll be disappointed because the smiling face you see on a stage or an Instagram photo may not be the smiling face you get to know once they let you into their lives. Your mentor may let down their walls and show you a real person and real people aren’t always what we have created in our minds. We’ve held them on a pedestal and thought, “WOW… they’re so amazing and someday I’m going to be like them”.
I’m telling you your mentors will disappoint you not because of who they are… but because of who you want them to be.
The only way to not be disappointed is not to NOT have a mentor or a Hair Hero or someone to hold your hand through this scary world of become the amazing hairdresser or beauty professional you’re meant to be, but to tell you to hold yourself to your own standards. To have a reason to love this industry because of the diversity within it and to only push yourself to be better than YOU were the day before.
Don’t let your mentors disappoint you, just let them teach you and you will find your way. One day, out of the blue , you will be someone’s mentor and because of you, they will have kept going and because of you they will succeed.
Hair Nerd Annie