Hairstylist Career Profiles: Alexia Fox
Alexia Fox matriculated with a university entrance, but decided that hair was her calling. Here’s an interview with this stylist, educator and salon owner who today owns Fox & Davidson salon in Bedfordview, Jhb
Q: How would you describe yourself as a student?
A: I was the typical nerdy student! Disciplined, quiet, hard working, but with an underlying extrovert and sociable side.
Q: How did you get into the hairdressing industry?
A: I was looking for a part time job while studying Matric and ended up working for a hairdresser. I got into it and my boss said I had a natural knack. When I matriculated I went to visit the universities and there were many options, I even considered hotel school, but I didn’t want to spend years studying further, I felt I needed to do something more practical. My parents were devastated when I said I wanted to be a hairdresser because for them a university means something to qualify for and a degree behind your name, however they agreed.
Q: Tell us about your journey to becoming a salon owner.
A: I started studying hair and eventually ended up putting myself through college, working while paying tuition fees. From there I joined a salon and my career took off. I always wanted to learn and attend training courses, I grew a clientele very quickly but when you start doing well, after a few years, you start thinking about what else the salon can offer you. That was when I decided it was time to go on my own, about five or six years ago.
Q: How have you grown since then?
A: I started out on my own with an operator, and grew from there, moving into the current premises a few years ago. We have just renovated the salon and enlarged it and are now looking for additional staff. I love where we are as it is flexible compared to being in a shopping centre, and we can come and go as we please which allows me to be more flexible with my staff.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge of owning a salon?
A: It’s very stressful trying to bring in turnover plus carrying the overheads. It’s also a challenge trying to find balance, and keeping staff happy.
Q: How important is education to you?
A: It’s hugely important. Teaching is my passion and I actually became a KMS master trainer earlier in my career. I find that the fundamental groundings students are getting today, are not always of a high standard... I can count the good stylists I would go to for my own hair, on the fingers of one hand. It’s so important to be skilled because your income depends on it, and you need to make sure every client is happy and has had a good experience. It can be really hard to forge a successful career in hair, so it’s important to know what you are doing in order to stand apart.