On the surface, I may appear to be the perfect person to work as a hairdresser. I love being creative with my hair, changing the colour more frequently than Australia changes Prime Ministers, looking put together no matter where I go by dressing nicely and almost never having my hair un-styled. It wasn’t my first choice though—throughout high school I thought that the only pathway for me was to do my ATAR, get a good score, and go to university. Most people think the same thing, since it’s the way many high schools are set up. I stressed and stressed about this choice, chopping and changing subjects trying to find something that I actually enjoyed doing. It wasn’t until I had graduated, while still achieving a high ATAR, that something in my mind just snapped and I thought, ‘I don’t want to have to go through this again with uni, I need to find something that I actually enjoy’.

Fast forward to a year out of school: I was working in retail while trying to figure out what I really wanted to do. Initially, the idea of becoming a hairdresser wasn’t actually my own—it was my mum who mentioned it as I have been doing her and my sister’s hair for years. She insisted that I try working in a salon for our family friend in Perth, just to see if I’d enjoy it. It was the best and most eye-opening three weeks I had ever experienced, and that cemented the idea of studying hair in my mind. However, I didn’t want to simply work in a salon forever—my goal was to make something more of this career that I had now chosen.

It was this idea of growing my career that made me decide to move to Melbourne, where I knew it would be much easier to break into the industry and make a name for myself. I found a salon that I knew would help me with this goal, because the owner was really involved with things outside of the salon, such as colour competitions, training courses, and expos. This is where my journey at The Masters started: my boss told me she was sending me here for my training since every apprentice she has had come out of this school has been trained so well.

The first half of the year was quite straight forward. Completing units and learning all the skills that I would need was always the best part of the week. Coming in every Tuesday was my favourite way to start the week; it helped break up the usual work week and gave me the opportunity to meet new people in a city that I had only just moved to. It wasn’t like high school, with mundane classes that I didn’t care about—it was actually filled with awesome trainers who made the content interesting to absorb and who didn’t mind a bit of joking around and having fun.

However, it was the second half of the year that really made me fall in love with The Masters and getting involved in extracurriculars. With the help of the trainers and staff here, I got myself involved in events outside of my regular course work. I was encouraged to sign myself up to assist in tons of amazing events, such as hair shoots for the school, where I got the chance to show off my skills to students and staff from other courses like makeup and fashion. Being able to see my work in professional photos and videos has fuelled me to go further with my passion for hair.

From the excitement that has been my first year at The Masters, I can only look forward to what is to come in the next two that I will be here. It has pushed me to become part of so much more—from the T.M. Edit, where I can share my ideas and experiences and gain a better understanding of the industry as a whole, to expanding my industry opportunities by including myself in the T.M. Elite, a team of dedicated students who work closely with The Masters on events like Fashion Week, promo shoots, and other big projects.

For someone who didn’t even realise how passionate I was about hair, The Masters has really encouraged me to explore opportunities and involve myself in an industry and a career that I absolutely love. I haven’t regretted a single part of taking this journey, which has led me across the country to pursue so much more than I ever thought I was capable of.

Written by Taylor Laine