Ijan Davies-Emrus, founder of Ocean Hairdressing and co-founder of the hairdressing education platform HUSTL.ED, shares his day-to-day routine as one of Cardiff’s most successful stylists.
In my time, I have been very fortunate to collaborate and build relationships globally, all thanks to my love of all things hair. So, here is a typical few days in the life of a professional hairdresser.
I work in my salon, Ocean, every day; however, I cut hair three days a week, which allows me time to work on other projects the remaining days and mentor my team to become as successful as they dare to dream. Nothing gives me more pleasure than helping someone to achieve their goals and realise their ambitions, it’s quite magical when you see someone with passion and talent reaching their goals after you’ve helped point them in the right direction.
Travel is a big part of working with the brand Joico, which is a global haircare brand. They are a perfect fit for me and have been for the last 12 years. I work closely with my area supplier, Salon Concepts, and with the headquarters in Europe based in Eindhoven, Holland. I work mainly throughout Europe in places like Italy, Germany, Poland, Marbella, Slovenia, Estonia, Austria, Norway and Finland but have also worked further afield in Taiwan, Malaysia, Australia and America.
I travel to deliver cutting seminars, business seminars and motivational talks; speaking about the insights that four decades working within the industry has taught me and also about the great mentors I have been lucky to work with over the last few decades.
A typical 24 hours when we are in full swing looks something like this…
I get up early usually woken by our children, who are aged 5, 7 and 11, who seem to have an in-built alarm clock at 6 am-6:30 am. I am not a fan of mornings… no matter how early I go to bed. Help get the kids sorted for school and out of the house by 8:25 am, often while checking for any important overnight emails (I work globally, so time zones are often a factor).
I get into work at 9 am/9:30 am, after spending the first hour answering emails or working on projects that might be pending before I hit the salon. If it’s a day of clients I usually see 8/10 clients a day and I’m pretty much fully booked every day for several weeks in advance. Not bad for the city’s most expensive stylist, even if I do say so myself; I must be doing something right!
If it’s not a client day, I will be focusing on training the team or one of the salon upcoming talents for a couple of hours; then it will be on meetings with suppliers or salespeople. These could be for new products or launches or something brand new for the team.
I love editorial hair photography and I usually have a few ideas I’m testing and playing around with, sometimes with professional photographers or make-up artists and sometimes with other hairdressers from all over Europe. This is fun and creative, and I love sharing and learning with other talented stylists.
At this level of hairdressing, in the UK, the work can be very London centric, so trains play a big part in what I do. I love the journey and find it’s where I can often be most productive and get some really good ideas and inspiration.
Equally, I could be at an airport on my way to deliver a cutting seminar or doing a show for a product launch; these are booked months in advance and the prep work takes weeks to get everything in place, ready to hit the ground running on arrival.
I then head straight to the prep area, where I meet the models for the first time and start casting who will be suitable for what looks we have planned for the show. Once the prep is done, we rehearse ready for show day, which is usually the following day. Show days are stressful but fun all at the same time.
Time to pack up all the equipment and either get a late flight home or get to a hotel and get a few hours of sleep before getting an early flight; so, I can be back in the salon that day or be doing the school run if I’m back in time.
I often collaborate with Paul in the evenings, at the salon or from home, to participate in our live online seminars for our private education clients who have signed up to the HUSTL.ED education platform. Our aim is to educate and inspire the next generation of school leavers to consider and choose hairdressing as a truly professional, vibrant, skilful career option and not for people who are only “good with their hands”. The sky is absolutely the limit and like any profession, you will get out what you put in.
Then the whole process starts again.
I couldn’t imagine living a life without hairdressing; I love it more now than I ever have before. I’m so lucky to have worked so hard and been blessed with so many experiences, all through my love of people and hair!
For more information, follow Ijan on Instagram @ijandaviesemrusjoico_