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Hairstylist shares the secrets about her job (and why it's harder than you think)

Here's what people don't realize about hairstylists and their job.
by Bryanna Cappadona / / Source: TODAY
Hair stylist Tiffany Daniels
Hairstylists make it look easy. It's not.Tiffany Daniels / Instagram @tiffanycathleen / Tiffany Daniels / Instagram @tiffanycathleen

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For professionals in the beauty industry, Instagram is a powerful tool for connecting with clients, sharing the latest trends and showing off their gorgeous work.

Users can find all of this on Tiffany Daniels' profile — but recently, the Washington state-based hairstylist used the platform for something new: to share a powerful message about her industry and the hardworking people who are in it.

Daniels, who works at Studio B salon in Olympia, Washington, penned an honest note to her 3,000-plus followers last week. Her goal? To pull back the curtain that often shields what really happens between those before-and-after transformation photos and change conversations about how "easy" it supposedly is to be a hairstylist.

Morning thoughts: hairdressers don’t always have the best reputation. To some, it’s a job that anybody can do; a profession reserved for those without “real” career prospects. Every time I hear someone say, “anybody can do hair,” or that it’s an “easy job,” my heart sinks. While it’s true that working in this field can be fun, it also takes a lot of hard work and dedication. To be truly skilled as a hairstylist, one must have an understanding of biology, chemistry, math (SO MUCH MATH!), art and psychology. Day in and day out, we create custom, specialized pieces for each and every person in our chair, while simultaneously listening to the intimate details of their lives. We celebrate with them, we cry with them, we share an experience. We do this all while wielding our shears, clippers, combs and color brushes - the tangible tools of our trade. We work long hours on our feet, often without breaks; we miss weekends with friends and family; we go home every night covered in hair and color stains; and our bodies bear the scars of this profession, both seen and unseen. Cuts, burns, achy joints, back and foot problems, dermatitis, UTIs, anxiety and depression are common afflictions. Despite it all, we show up every morning with a smile on our face and a wish in our heart: to make everyone the best version of themselves, not only on the outside, but the inside too. That is what keeps us going, every single day. It’s not an easy job, but it’s ours. All we’re asking for is some respect. ❤️❤️❤️ With that having been said, I’ll talk about my process: I lifted her new growth low and slow with lightener and @trionicshaircare Actuator, with @olaplex. This was treated as a virgin application. Her peachy tone was created by custom mixing different @pulpriothair Neons in a base of #Olaplex Step 2 for a sheer, vibrant effect. . . . #btconeshot_curls18 #btconeshot_vibrant18 #btconeshot_colortransformation18 #btconeshot_unconventionalcolor18 #btconeshot_boblob18 #btconeshot_festival18 #btcpics #olaplexeveryservice #trionicshaircare #makeover #transformationtuesday #beforeandafter #transformation #pulpriot #pulpriothair #iamavisualartist #iamalicensedprofessional

A post shared by Olympia, WA Colorist (@tiffanycathleen) on

"While it’s true that working in this field can be fun, it also takes a lot of hard work and dedication," Daniels wrote on Instagram, paired with a dramatic before-and-after hair transformation picture. "Cuts, burns, achy joints, back and foot problems, dermatitis, UTIs, anxiety and depression are common afflictions. Despite it all, we show up every morning with a smile on our face and a wish in our heart: to make everyone the best version of themselves, not only on the outside, but the inside too."

For Daniels, this message was a conversation she'd been having with her colleagues for quite some time.

"I'm very fortunate in that I have some amazing clients that really do appreciate everything that I do," Daniels told TODAY Style. "But I've seen through other people that they just get cut down so much, be it through people's unrealistic expectations or hearing a lot of people say, 'Well, why would you go to the salon? Anyone can do hair.' And I think that there's a really big misconception about us as a field."

As for the cause of such misconceptions, Daniels said social media is partially to blame. While it serves as an excellent place to network and share creative projects, she believes "those 60-second videos or just those side-by-side before-and-after pictures" can be deceiving in terms of the time, money and labor that goes into each head of hair.

"All that I'm really trying to do is bring to light some of the realities of undergoing a transformation," she said.

And hiding those harsh realities is often part of the job.

"Sometimes, as the ones that are doing the pampering — we are happy to do that, it's what we do — we don't let on to the hard parts and we don't necessarily lead on to the part where our wrists are killing us or we haven't eaten all day," she added. "We (don't) want to bother anyone with our problems — we want to make people feel good!"

Several beauty industry pros have shared Daniels' words or reached out to say how much her message resonated with them. While that means a lot to her, she hopes to convey to those outside of the beauty community that hairstylists are unequivocally dedicated to their work.

"That love and happiness that we have for our craft almost makes it seem like a hobby and undermines it to a point," Daniels said. "Yes, we make it look easy and we make it look fun, but it's also something we take very seriously and put our heart and soul into every single day."

In other words, don't forget to hug your hairstylist.

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