Lina Morales is a 22 year old stylist at Vitality Medi-Spa, Halifax’s premiere destination for your hair & skincare needs. She took the HDC hair program in 2018 after switching careers as an Engineering student at DAL. Read about her journey!
When did you decide that you wanted to get into hairstyling?
After spending 3 years studying engineering at Dalhousie University, and still not even having passed all my first-year courses, I decided to make a change. It was taking such a toll on me and I had such a long way to go if I wanted to finish. So, I decided I needed a complete and total change. A fair number of people from my hometown got into esthetics after finishing high school, so that’s where I got the idea. While I wasn’t interested in esthetics, I’ve always liked coloring my own hair. After looking around online I found HDC and decided I may as well give it a shot. Within 10 days I had made my decision, was accepted, and I’ve never looked back.
What were the best & the most challenging parts of your education?
The most challenging part was the physical toll it took on my body. After 12-hour days I would wake up with migraines from my upper back muscles being tight due to standing up and maintaining a good posture all day. Every time our schedule changed, it took my body a few weeks to adjust. Eventually I was able to do two 12-hour shifts in a row, and another 8 hours right after that like it was nothing. I was constantly so tired, but it was worth it.
The best part about my time at HDC was honestly just the people. I had so much fun with all the students, instructors and front desk staff. I always looked forward to getting up and going to school because I knew it was going to be so much fun. I became really close with some of the people in my class, and they really were the highlight of my time there.
You do both color and cutting/styling. From a color perspective, what would you say is the most important thing you learned from the HDC programs?
I think the most important thing I learned is that there are a million ways to achieve virtually the same results. Every instructor has their way of doing things, and I love that you can use their diverse knowledge to figure out what works best for you to achieve every desired result.
Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about getting into hair styling?
Honestly, go for it. Even if you don’t end up doing it as a career, you can always have that as a backup plan. It’s so worth it, you really can change your life in less than a year. With that said though, I think it’s harder than people initially realize. There’s a fair amount of science to learn, and it can be really challenging for some people.
Was there any hesitation or nervousness on your part about pursuing a career in hair?
I guess I was kind of nervous about what people would think. I think people in my life, myself included, always expected me to do the whole university thing; get a degree, a “fancy” job, that kind of stuff. I didn’t want people to think that I failed at being in university and just “gave up and went into hair,” because that’s not true. I just found what I was good at and what worked for me.
What memories do you have of our Hair program?
Oh, my goodness, so many. All of our theory classes with Pam, her crazy stories and mnemonic devices to help us study. Getting McDonald’s and Tim’s basically every day, Chris dancing and singing while we were on the floor, and just getting to hang out with my friends every single day. We had so many inside jokes within our class, as every class does, and it was a really fun time.
What’s your favourite thing about hair?
I love the look on people’s faces when they love what I’ve done to their hair. Whether it’s a cut, color, or just a blow-dry, I love seeing how happy people are with my work. I also really like educating my clients (and even friends who live in other provinces) on how to solve any problems they’re experiencing with their hair. Hair can be such a big thing for a lot of people, I just want them all to feel good and be happy.
If you could be anywhere, doing anything, where would it be?
Getting paid to take naps and snuggle cats somewhere warm.
What are some goals you have for yourself?
I’d like to eventually be living in southern California, close to my family. So, my goal is to work hard, get lots of experience, save up some money, and move over there within the next 4 or 5 years. I’d love to do hair or makeup for tv shows or movies, so ultimately Los Angeles is the goal.
What are the 3 most important skills you need to do your job?
The biggest one is people skills. I was not good with people, especially strangers, when I started this course, but it’s such an important skill to have.
You also need to be good at problem solving. That’s why people are going to see you: they have a problem with their hair and you need to fix it, and every scenario is different, so you really must use all your knowledge to solve your client’s problems as best as you can.
Lastly, caffeine. I know caffeine isn’t technically a skill… but I just really need caffeine to get me through long days.
Follow Lina on Instagram @LinaM.Hair
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