For some, a calling to hairstyling comes from inspiration from celebrities. For others, like Nayeon (Nina) Park, it was all around her from when she was young. Nina was born and raised in Seoul, Korea. Her mother used to cut hair when she was young. And her best friend’s mom was a hairstylist for Hollywood movies and TV shows. So from a very young age, she was already familiar with the salon setting.
Nina originally came to Vancouver in 2013 to study English. She loved the city with its geography and its relaxed atmosphere. So she told herself she’d come back. And in 2016, after university in Korea, she did. This time, she had her sights set at hairstyling.
Thanks to the recommendation of her local friends, she enrolled in the Hair Art Design Program at the John Casablancas Institute (JCI). And after five months in the program, she knew she made the right decision. Nina says, “When new clients ask about me, I just tell them that I’m a Hair Program student at JCI. People tend to assume that I must be talented based on my schooling alone.” It also helps her when she’s advertising her services to international clients due to being able to speak a second language .
Besides her mom and best friend’s mom, Nina credits K-Pop with being a huge inspiration. She’s a huge fan and can spend hours on YouTube researching. In fact, she claims her best research comes from her online research. But when it comes to creating hairstyles for clients, Nina she sticks to enhancing her subject’s inherent beauty. The K-Pop aspect reflects her work when she tries to reflect a more youthful and endearing look. And for hair, this translates to smaller curls, fewer layers, and bold colors.
When she’s not at school, she’s doing her apprenticeship at Salon Era. She’s very grateful to the senior stylists and their coaching despite their busy schedules. And as for Nina’s advice for those who want to pursue a career in hairstyling? “Some clients walk in with a clear idea of what they want, while others have no clue. Ultimately, they’ve chosen you specifically for your guidance and expertise. You need to have great listening skills, an ability to connect with people and a strong sense of style!”
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