First Chair

Fall 2015

Have you ever considered that focusing on a niche within the beauty industry could be your path to success?

This issue of FIRST CHAIR is all about honing your skill set and considering specialty services as major money-makers. Many of the beauty industry’s brightest stars have gotten to where they are by becoming experts in one or two subjects, at least to start.

Farouk Shami started with flatirons and ammonia-free haircolor. Educator Heather Chapman (@heatherchapmanhair) focused on braids, updos and perfecting social media prowess. Colorist Larisa Love (@larisadoll) went out on her own to specialize largely in fashion color, which was what she enjoyed above all else. They’ve all become incredibly successful, and show that choosing a specialty path can fast-track your career.

Our latest feature story focuses on some of the many areas that might be more lucrative than you thought in this burgeoning industry and how to be the best you in your community of beauty experts. Also in this issue, New York Fashion Week proved nail art shouldn’t be limited to over-the-top designs, deciphering what your clients are thinking becomes much easier with infographics and we’ve noticed that braids are no longer limited to Dutch, French and fishtail. Plus—how do you turn down a client who wants a style totally unsuited for her face, texture and coloring?

As always, we hope to inspire you in your journey from student to professional. Maybe you’ll decide to specialize at some point in your career and end up discovering a passion for something above and beyond what you had imagined.

In This Issue


The Specialists

Victoria Wurdinger | October 16, 2015

What does it take to specialize and what do you need to know to consider yourself a service specific virtuoso? We spotlight four emphasis areas - bridal/updo artist, makeup artist, hair extensionist and blowout specialist - to shed light on what ...


Finger Painting: Nail Art from NYFW 2015

Jamie Newman | October 27, 2015

Nail art needn’t be over-the-top or unprofessional-looking. There are ways to tastefully use nail art in your nail services that will make your client’s visit more personalized, Rebecca Isa, Zoya creative director, ...