HAIRDRESSER PROFILE : ASHLEY STREICHER

Born Camarillo CA

Daily essentials coffee, cell phone (sadly), ArrowJames my nephew.

Years behind the chair 15 years

Crush (changes daily) a good house robe.

How important is education for you as a hairdresser?  Education was the only thing i did early in my career, because I was so young I thought that that is what you had to do. I worked at an education salon the promoted and supported all education, not just certain styles. I went to everything, week long courses everywhere. TIGI, BUMBLE&BUMBLE, VIDAL SASSOON. And also learned all the extras like styling courses, BBO trainings, color classes etc. I also spent a good year working under Edward Tricome in NY which was an education you couldn't buy. That being said I think its extremely important early on when you need to know every different kind of basics. Now however, I think its important to take all that education and make it your own. Hairdressing is an art, it has to be your own, thats what makes every hair dresser different. You apply your own style to the skills you learn.

I love how mobile your craft is.  Your always somewhere doing hair.  Was it always that way? No way. I was a slave to my chair for the first 9 years of my career. I thought it was the only way to make great money. I would work 10-12 hours a day in the salon seeing dozens of people a day and basically killing myself, thankfully i was young. It wasn't till i moved to LA and was introduced to the free lance, red carpet editorial world though my sister Jenn. Jenn is a makeup artist and would let me assist her on jobs, and just like when I first started doing hair I took every opportunity to be around a set, or gig that involved hair and makeup, met as many publicists, hairdressers, photographers that I could and eventually started assisting big free lance hairdressers and be ing represented by my first agency. 

You and your sisters are a triple threat.  Not all of us can say that we’d work well with our family.  How do you not take work home? Oh man, my biggest stresses stem from my sisters, I absolutely take it home. Although, we thankfully do and have such different jobs that we're never in competition or fight over anything work related. Honestly, most of our disagreements come from personal issues, if you can step back and see what the REAL problem is, its very easy to make things personal. We go to sister therapy at least once a month and let it all out in a controlled environment, I highly recommend it for any team business owners.

Whats in your kit? Every assistant that works with me knows Im usually missing the most important things like clips, or a comb. SSSSH don't tell any of my clients. I almost think I do it on purpose, I like to say "I like the challenge" but really my assistants are far more prepared than me. I have several kits that I  use. Mostly ranging is size. I keep two in my trunk so I generally can always be ready to go anywhere to do any job. My favorite products are always changing, I think thats party why I love this job so much, i love change. Lately I'm really into hairspray, Id say the first 10 years of my career I hardly ever used hairspray, now I love a good build able hairspray that you can layer and keep brushing out so that it almost creates a hair memory, After you build enough each hair goes to its place without feeling hard or stiff or too molded. Also all of my salon clients know that MILK is my all time favorite product, just ask them. Its been a two year and running favorite.

Do you say no to your clients? Surprisingly no. It took me a long time to think about this question. It's surprising because I'm quite a control freak in my own life, but I feel like with hair you can really do anything. If people come up with something that they want, even if I know it won't work for them, we really talk it though and I will give them my opinion, but I will always let them try it out. Listen, hair isn't that precious, it grows and changes constantly. So just say YES, but make sure you educate people. I do say no when it comes to fitting too many people into a day. Ive learned over the years that if Im too tired mentally and physically I cant give you what a fresh, slept relaxed version of me could give you. So sometimes I say no to fitting too many people into a day.

How do you discovery your inspiration? Thats a good question, how to discover inspiration is different that "what is your inspiration". Id say that thankfully my inspiration pops out and finds me more often than not. I could be out on a hike in LA or in the desert and the colors and textures just make my brain feel hair things. Out sailing in the ocean or simply daydreaming or meditating. I often find that being alone helps me find inspiration, but then again so does working with other artists etc. I feel like I'm always surrounded by inspiration which can sometimes be overwhelming, thats why I think being alone or meditating allows me to collect my thoughts and turn all those thoughts into inspo. 

Its hard to be a successful hairdresser especially in LA. How would you encourage the next generation? I would encourage new talent to keep your head in the grind and learn all you can, don't try to be famous, thats a surefire way for your work to suffer. Stay connected to the craft, Its very easy in LA to get your head in the clouds, I urge you to stay grounded. 

What are your thoughts on the hair industry? Its hard to even see whats happening in the hair industry, its so spread out now between DIY bloggers, to famous hair dressers to runway and salon hair people. I think for me I like that it is so diluted, it makes room for everyone to be successful in there own way. There is room for so many different skills, I cant name a hairdressers that thrives in all categories, theres always a specialty that makes someone really great. Im also really happy to see hairdressers having a real voice and being able to be sponsored by huge haircare lines and make a real career out of your expertise.