This is a reply of mine to a thread over on Hairbrained.
Why the people who should be publishing good stuff aren’t:
#1. There really aren’t as many hairdressers who are really good, and very artistic, and professional, and intelligent as most people think there are.
Most just have one or two of those qualities (a great hairdresser but being unprofessional crosses you off the list, being professional but a crappy hairdresser crosses you off the list, etc…)
#2. With very few exceptions, the people who meet all the criteria in #1 are really busy, all the time.
#3. It takes more time and effort to put out good “hair stuff” into the ether than most people think.
You have to plan it, find models, or take the time to write something, either find a website up to your standards to publish on, or make your own – and that is like having a part time job. And the people who pass point #1 will get stuck here because of point #2.
Why you get a mountain of @#%$ when you google anything related to hair:
#1. Hairdressers don’t support good hair websites, magazines, or publications.
In one of the seminars I attended at NAHA last year, the speaker asked the crowd (of about 300) how many people knew about a bunch of popular hair websites (including hairbrained) – myself and 2 others raised their hand. That’s it.
#2. Hairdressers do support crap. BTC is what it is because hairdressers made it that way.
There aren’t any good trade publications because hairdressers keep supporting heavily endorsed magazines, or magazines published by salon supply companies.
#3. Hairdressers are greedy.
They have this mentality that if they break a sweat doing anything, boy they better get big bucks for it! If it takes actual effort to make something, they ain’t just giving it away – but they will give away vacuous crap dressed up as good material. Look at any other trade. Any one, and you’ll see websites and forums where the level of information being passed back and forth is at a much higher level than in our trade – and in those other trades, it’s done seemingly for the love of the trade.
The way a photographer lit that shot that he took for a magazine cover is an integral part of his ability to make money – but he’ll draw a diagram and explain in detail how he conceived and executed the shot, and share that information with other photographers freely. And that behavior results in a higher level of conversation within the trade, and elevates the skill of the trade as a whole.
When’s the last time you saw something really well put together, really useful, that you didn’t already know, that improved your skill as a hairstylist, given away for free?
Now ask yourself this: When’s the last time you saw something kind of ramshackle and poorly put together, moderately-to-not-very useful, that you did already know, that didn’t effect your skill as a hairstylist, given away for free? Or that you actually had to pay for?
That’s just about every hair related video I have ever seen on the internet, anywhere. In fact, Josh Flowers, DJ Muldoon are the only ones I can say have given away real content for love of the craft.
#4. Hairdressers aren’t on the inside of their own trade.
We’re outsiders – all the publications that are supposed to be “inside” the industry treat us like marks. There is no difference between how companies and publications treat Joe Schmoe on the street, and Joe the Hairstylist. They’re just selling their wares, but at least they’re honest about it when they’re selling to the hair muggles – when they’re selling to people within the industry, it’s more like a con game. They con hairdressers be telling them that they’re getting special information, treatment, recognition, etc.
And hairdressers eat it up for some reason. We aren’t going to get good magazines or websites until we stop feeding the ones that are just cleverly disguised merchandise catalogs.
#5. Hairdressers just don’t care.
I think this is the final nail in the coffin. Do you know how many people I’ve met that have ever bothered to look up anything hair related? (on the net, in a magazine, in a library, anything at all)
I can count the number on one hand. I’ve yet to meet a single stylist who has ever participated in the culture of hairstyling – by that I mean been active on a website like this one, read anything hair related, watched a dvd, read a book, or hell, even googled for hair stylist stuff. What does that say?
And it’s not because they don’t know it’s out there. On the contrary, anyone who’s met me most definitely knows it’s out there. They just don’t care. They’re satisfied with only being exposed to the limited range of things they see daily in their own salon, and maybe once a year doing a class taught by someone who’s from the same city they are in.
It’s a sad state of affairs.