Darcie Harvey hairdressing


23 | Home: London

I love working in hair because… I love making people feel good! As a hairdresser you’re the highlight of someone’s day, you’re their ‘treat’ to themselves, you can change someone’s life in a big way and that is by giving someone confidence because they look great. Look good, feel good. It’s also all about giving back – one of the favourite parts of my job is training the apprentices, opening their eyes to other avenues in hair. It’s such a creative profession, it’s fun to show a new apprentice that they might one day be able to work on a photoshoot or fashion show. There are endless possibilities.

Darcie Harvey hairdressing

My route into this world was… Well, I knew I didn’t want to go to uni, and I’d read that statistically hairdressers are the happiest employees. And I thought to myself, Sweet, all I want to be is happy, so that sounds good! My hairdresser had a sports car and she was 24 so it seemed like a pretty good job to me.

I started working as a Saturday girl in a salon near me in Beckenham, and then I’d go in after school to help out when I could. The salon was sweet but I wanted to do my apprenticeship somewhere more creative, with a more varied clientele. I looked up all the best salons in London, went on a crazy amount of trial days, got job offers at all of them but I loved the vibe in Brooks & Brooks. The manager at the time was a goth, there were girly girls from Essex, there were quite hipster looking people – it seemed no matter who you were, you could fit in in this salon.

My current job is… I’m an advanced stylist at Brooks & Brooks. I’ve been there since July 2014.
The most important piece of advice has been… Shut up and listen! This has actually been the best piece of advice I’ve been given, multiple times… and I still sometimes find it hard to put into practice.

If only my parents knew that hairdressing… Would make me super-confident. When I first told my mum I wanted to go into hairdressing I think she was worried. I’d always been bullied at school and was an awkward kid, so to go into an environment with very confident people was a concern of hers. But now I can speak on stage at hair events. I still get nervous but my 18-year-old self would never have thought I could fake confidence the way I do now.

Darcie Harvey hairdressing

My mentors are... Emma Hansford, the head of education at Brooks & Brooks, probably the best haircutter you’ll ever meet. Secondly, Marlon Hawkins. He’s taught me all my session and editorial skills, given me endless assisting opportunities and is always there when I need advice on a creative project. He’s like a walking book of knowledge.

You’re working with a lot of people every day. Always remember that… Everybody has ‘one of those days’ from time to time. Have a thick skin and don’t take things personally – it’s probably not you, they’re probably just having a bad day.
It’s never too late to become a hairdresser because… Our eldest assistant is in her late 40s! She always wanted to be a hairdresser, but ended up in an office job. She emailed Sally Brooks, asking if we did any courses… and Sally offered her a job as a part time receptionist/assistant!

Working in hairdressing makes me feel… Really excited because you’re forever learning new things and taking on new challenges – no two days are the same. It’s very rewarding when you nail a new technique, or make that fussy new client happy, or get optioned by a hair hero to assist at Fashion Week.

The three hairdressers that inspire me most are… Sam McKnight – the hair he does is beautiful! The fashion shows he works on are huge! Zoë Irwin – talented at colour, styling and her trend forecasts are always spot on. Marlon Hawkins – every time Marlon gets knocked down, he gets straight back up again, which is inspirational in itself.

My career highlight so far has been… Winning Creative HEAD’s The It List Rising Star Award a few years back! To win something that you’ve worked so hard for, and to feel appreciated by your industry, gave me a feeling words can’t describe. I was just speechless and couldn’t stop crying – happy tears, obvs.
If it hadn’t been for hair I wouldn’t have… The amazing friends I have today. Whether that’s my friends in the salon, someone I trained with who moved on to other things, or the first photographer I worked with. I’ve made friends for life through my industry.

Darcie Harvey hairdressing

That one time, I saw… Well, it was more what everyone else saw. I was assisting Grace Dalgleish on the L’Oréal Future Talents stage at Salon International, which is a big hair exhibition in London. I was also going to be speaking and doing hair on stage and at this point I’d been doing hair just under two years, so this was a big day for me. I wore a smart dress and thought I looked really professional. We got to the stage and were about to get mics put on us... and I had nowhere to attach it! So at the side of the stage a member of the production team lifted up and my dress and put the cables down my tights! No one seemed to notice what was going on until Grace announced, “And Darcie if you could bring through your models... Darcie?” The audience turns to me, and I have my dress halfway up! Very embarrassing. So my advice is always ensure you have somewhere to secure a mic!

My ambitions include… I would love one day to be a good enough hairdresser that I could lead a team that I have helped develop while also being a salon owner. The idea of training someone from scratch, making all their ambitions come true, and also being the person responsible for the salon, that must be an amazing feeling.

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