TriPro's Kate Wright Responds To Shelley Fralic

Haven't read Fralic article? Click here.

Ms. Fralic,

Your article was shared with me on social media. I felt prompted to reply, to clarify the oddness of 1) my industry and 2) celebrity worship. 

Not everyone charges $150 for hair services.  Stylists at walk in chain salons, or just starting out in their career are typically earning maybe $8/hr plus tips. I have worked in salons where stylists are on food stamps (good stylists) and I've seen stylists paid six figures. There is huge disparity in pay in my industry. On top of which, we do not typically get health benefits, vacation pay, or sick leave. If I go on vacation, I earn nothing for the time I am gone. If my child is home sick, I earn nothing while I care for him. If someone decides to not show up...I earn nothing. 

I am one of those $150 for two hours stylists. Out of what is paid to the salon, it gets dwindled down to about $20 to $30 an hour. Do I think I am worth it?  14 years experience, dedication, and advanced training from world leaders, so...yes. 

Our training is as evolving as any other industry, ours just doesn't come from a university. We hold hands during illness, we listen during life crises. We are artists and helpers, chemists and architects and psychiatrists and coaches and confidants. 

I don't think this is a case of my guild vs. your guild. If pay were based on societal merit, celebs and athletes and politicians (don't get me started on politicians) would be paupers and teachers, nurses, farmers, hairdressers, police, etc, would finally be compensated appropriately. In the meantime, it is disheartening to see my profession looked down on just to provide comparison for yours. You can work on safety in the workplace and we can work on unfair labor practices that allow salons to sue the pants off stylists should we choose to change companies. 

Thank you for your time

Kate Wright, hairdresser.