Responding to the August Healthy Hairdresser Challenge, Sherry Tollerson, a stylist in Evans, Georgia, told us about not just one person who gave her career a “hands up,” but a series of salon pros who helped Tollerson to achieve everything she has accomplished as a hairdresser. Tollerson will receive hand and foot care products from PARODI, this month’s Challenge sponsor. In her Challenge response, Tollerson mentioned:


Linda Adams Harris, cosmetology school instructor—“Mrs. Harris was a firm, but loving, teacher. Mediocrity was not accepted. I learned the state board requirements to perfection, but I also learned to think and learn outside of my comfort zone.”

Pat Capel, Tollerson’s personal stylist—“She was my stylist long before I decided to attend cosmetology school. She was the epitome of class and sophistication! I learned to respect the client’s time, always give 110 percent customer service and always keep an inviting, clean, professional salon.”

Aimee Jenkins—“Ms. Jenkins taught me that the money will come if my energy and focus are on cosmetology.”

Sandy Winchester—“Sandy taught me how to really perfect my cutting technique and that tools make all the difference in your finished product.”

Dana Pritchett—“Dana taught me how to perfect the bob hair cut and how to correct botched color jobs.”

Frank Almendarez—“Frank showed me the importance of good customer service. I’ll never forget the day he asked me to sit in his chair so he could show me how to calm a nervous, first-time client through the perfect consultation.”


When she encountered these mentors, they each had worked more than 30 years in the industry. “As a young cosmetologist fresh out of beauty school, I learned the most important salon ethics money can’t buy,” Tollerson says of her hands-up encounters. “A lot of times, new stylists are attracted to the glitz and glamour associated with the beauty industry. Hello, that was me! I had plenty of time to listen, observe and learn about customer service. After 20 years as a professional cosmetologist, I can still remember each and every experience these wonderful people instilled in me!”


Tollerson says she regularly pays this forward. “My main focus in this profession is to always give and share everything that I’ve learned about the beauty industry with my fellow stylist,” she notes. “I’ve mentored several stylists over the years with love and encouragement because of my hands-up experiences.”


For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.