Women of Style: Shawna Parvin
Stylist and Chemist, Propaganda Hair Group, Austin, TX
National Educator, Aquage/Biomega
Licensed: 1992, Kansas School of Hairstyling
First job: Salon Coordinator at Eric Fisher Salon
Clients per week: 20-25, depending on travel.
Price point: Cut: $85 and up; color: $170 and up
Why did you choose beauty? Beauty became my passion after being exposed to the Eric Fisher Salon in Wichita, Kansas. The hairdressers in the salon looked great, were having fun, and making money, so I said, "Why not go to cosmetology school?" I had been in art school prior to that and thought this is the perfect environment to express my creativity.
Milestones: Working with Luis Alvarez and the Aquage artistic team; winning the Texture category in 2009 in the North American Hairstyling Awards; being nominated for NAHA Hairstylist of the Year in 2010.
Big break: Eric Fisher was instrumental in giving me the foundation and skills I needed to build a professional a career.
Career advice you’ve received: Practice everything, from hair skills to communication skills.
Career advice you’ve given: Same as above. I read once that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything. I would not be where I am at right now without discipline and willingness to practice “off the job” what I do when I’m “on the job.”
Your mentors: Eric Fisher, Luis Alvarez and my peers on the Aguage team and at Propaganda Hair Group.
You mentor: Every time I do a show, each a class or am in the salon, I try to mentor someone. I try to make an impact by sharing the knowledge that was passed down to me.
Are there challenges for women in beauty? I think that women hairdressers have a more difficult time earning the trust of their clients than men.
Sacrifice and lesson: When I was starting out, I took classes in my free time instead of vacations. Almost 20 years later, I still sacrifice time to further my development and talents. Through this hard work, I’ve learned I’m prepared for opportunities that come my way.
Risk and reward: There are always risks in this profession—from a simple one-length trim to working with a celebrity musician on an album cover shoot. But if you think about the risk, it will freeze you. I’ve learned to be immune.
What does “work/life” balance mean to you? To be honest, I'm not very good at this. When I am at home, I try to relax, but usually that just means I am at the gym!
To follow in your footsteps, a woman would have to: Align hersself with people who are truly passionate about the beauty industry and find an apprenticeship where she can establish a solid foundation to build upon.
Famous woman you would like to style? I would gladly take on any celebrity that would have me style their hair. Celebrities need a team around them and I work with some of the best.
Next change to my personal style: When I am in shape, I feel like I can wear any hairstyle or look. Right now, I will settle for a retouch. Anyone have the time?
Reading: The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga.
Playlist: Since I live in Austin, Texas, I listen to a lot of indie music. Right now, I like "Midnight City" by M83 and "Go Outside" by Cults
Every day, just for you: I practice a good skin care routine and work out regularly.
Working on: Editing shoots, building wigs and being a better person