About the Artist…
Self proclaimed “hair nerd”, Samantha Boykin is just as fascinated with the science behind hair colour as she is passionate about creating her colourful masterpieces. Samantha works at 3:16 Salon & Spa in Sumter, South Carolina and is also our very own admin and educator for the Rainbow Hair Colour Facebook group. Today Samantha shares her story with us…
Here is our Q & A with Samantha Boykin
How did your journey begin? When did you first realise you had a passion for hair colour?
As a teenager I was fascinated with crazy colored hair. I would experiment with my own hair or help friends with theirs. In high school I actually thought about enrolling in the career center program to get my cosmetology license, but at the time I was also very interested in computers and ultimately decided to take the computer networking class with intentions of attending college for computer science after graduation. Due to turmoil in my personal life, college got put on the back burner for me. It wasn’t until later in my twenties when I started to revisit the idea of going back to school, and found myself thinking about cosmetology again. After talking to some friends in the industry I decided to take the plunge and enroll in school at age 29. I became licensed in April of 2016.
What do you think is the most rewarding part of being a colourist?
Definitely seeing the huge smile on someone’s face after you’ve transformed their hair! Having such a positive effect on someone’s self esteem is an amazing feeling. Due to the elaborate processes we sometimes go through to achieve these looks, I spend between 3 to 8 hours with each client. We talk and laugh a lot getting to know each other and it’s a really special bond. You are pampering and empowering people and there’s a very intimate aspect to that.
Currently, what’s your favourite rainbow hair design to try on customers and why?
I love the really unique and funky things that are happening in the world of colour right now. Hologram hair, painted hair feathers, shine lines, pixelated hair, marbling, and colouring shaved designs. The techniques are so unique and challenging, and the possibilities are endless!
Who or what inspires you?
I could share a huge list of people, as so many have influenced me and continue to do so, and everyone who has had a hand in my journey certainly deserves recognition and love! But if I had to narrow it down I would say right now my biggest inspiration is the entire Pulp Riot Hair team. They are always killing it with everything they do, and they have a blast while doing so. They are at the top of the game in my opinion, yet so humble and real, and it’s encouraging to have friends in the industry that support collaboration over competition.
Tell us about the owls! Where did this love of owls come from? Is there significance to it?
I have always loved birds, especially owls, from a young age. I started collecting owl things when I was a little girl, and the obsession continued to grow over the years. Owls have different symbolism in various cultures, some good and some bad. In my opinion they represent mystery, wisdom, and power. I am just entranced by their unique beauty.
What is the hardest part about being a hair artist?
As most people would imagine, the work is physically draining – standing on your feet all day and tedious work with your hands, wrists, etc. But what I wasn’t prepared for coming into this industry is how emotionally taxing the work is. I am extremely passionate about my craft and hold myself to a very high standard, so if I make a mistake or I don’t fully deliver, I take it to heart. I take it home with me and obsess over everything I could have done better, or what I will do the next time, many times while I’m eating dinner or trying to fall asleep that night. People can also be very critical of you. Not just clients, but others in the industry or even strangers. If they don’t like your style or your work or the way you do business, they sometimes say ugly things. I have cried my fair share of tears in my first year behind the chair. I just care about my work and this industry so much and want to leave everyone and everything better than I found it. The positive side of this is that every bad or sad moment is a learning experience. Sometimes I have to work really hard to keep my attitude upbeat and focus my mindset on growth and not let failures or fear hold me back.
What do you do when you aren’t colouring/creating?
I spend a ton of time outside of the salon doing work related things – reading up on cosmetic chemistry, sharing knowledge with others in my industry, communicating with clients, and working on the behind the scenes aspects of my business. I am a creative soul through and through, so I also love photography, drawing, painting, and graphic design. You’ll find me dabbling in all sorts of artistic pursuits!
What are the top 3 things that every client needs to know before even thinking about rainbow hair?
1. Realistic expectations. Pinterest, Facebook, etc have set the bar really high for hairstylists. It’s important for clients to understand that each transformation is unique and sometimes what they want may not be realistic with their current hair and within their budget. You see the beautiful photo but you don’t know how much time and work went into achieving that. It’s important to find a stylist that can communicate all of that to you and even if you can’t achieve your goal hair you can trust them to create a different look that incorporates what you love about that photo or make a game plan to get you where you want to be.
2. Maintenance. Rainbow hair is high maintenance! The appointments are long and the cost can definitely add up. There is also a huge responsibility on you to do your part to maintain what your stylist creates. For many people this means adapting to an entirely new hair care routine with different products, shampooing less, and being conscious of factors such as heat styling and even sun exposure that can fade colours. Be sure you can commit before you take the plunge.
3. Hair Health First. Always put the health of your hair above any colour goals. Chances are you can achieve any colour you want, but it’s not going to look great or last long if your hair is wrecked in the process. It’s important for you to make the health of your hair a priority and seek a hairdresser that will do the same. Take their advice and trust their professional judgement.
What do you think is next for you? What would you love to see yourself doing in another 5 years?
I have a huge passion for creating beautiful colors and serving clients behind the chair, but in my short time in the industry I have also found I have a passion for sharing knowledge and helping others. I would love to cross over into education and/or platform artistry. There are a few things in particular I have my sights set on, but I think it’s important to keep an open mind. My plan is to continue to grow personally and professionally, and let my path take shape organically. I fully believe that with hard work and passion the opportunities will come. I’m excited to see what the future holds.
Finally do you have any tips for aspiring hair colourists?
Be prepared to work really hard, all of the time. The minute you get comfortable and think you know it all, get distracted and stop learning, or get lazy and start cutting corners, is the moment your growth will stop and your business will suffer. It sounds scary, and you should absolutely take it seriously, but if you love what you do working hard becomes a sort of addiction – it is exciting and it is incredibly rewarding. You have to love it and be fully immersed. Quitting is not an option.
Samantha Boykin will be joining the RainbowHairColour.com writers team for this blog.
So watch this space for future articles from Samantha!
Follow Samantha Boykin online…
Check out more photos of her stunning hair colour work! Or book an appointment with Samantha. Just click the links below:
Want Rainbow Hair?
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