Lauren Elizabeth King is an award winning Wedding Hair Specialist & entrepreneur. Her work has been featured in a number of publications including the Times and Vogue magazine.
Despite suffering from dyslexia Lauren has been strong willed enough to advertise her art on social media to a four-figure audience, helping to significantly grow her business.
I got into hair styling to make a difference to women. To create art daily and to be in a job someone leaves feeling better for seeing me. (That's a nice feeling!) I'm a wedding hair specialist, I travel to homes and venues to get brides and their parties ready for important dates! I also style hair for magazines. Promo shoots. And even women only body confidence photoshoots! It’s a busy job with a lot of early starts, my typical day is:
5am Wonder why I chose this job
5.30 Try not to look like death, warmed up with knowing there's no hiding from photographers!
6.30 On the road, try not to get lost
7.00 Pamper lots of tired and nervous women!
8.30 Try not to think about how much hairspray in in my lungs
9.30 Still at it!
10am Avoid the 20 bacon cobs offered to me, try not to let on I'm veggie and the smell is grossing me out ....secretly starving
11.30 Still going, legs cramping now!
12.30 Last touches, last layer of spray, help bride into dress.... all totally worth while... try not to cry!
1.30 Eat 458390 calories in one sitting
2.30 Promise never ever to do a party that big again
3pm Nap like an old lady
Do it all again 🤦♀️
As you can probably tell from that being self employed isn't easy! Being a one woman show has it's bad days. The best motivation is knowing you can do it alone....But also taking the help when you need it. And, of course, smiling to yourself when you overtake the non believers!
Dyslexia has been a big challenge for me, I have found hairdressing is conceived as a "backup" job, hobby job or job for those who have dropped out of school. I found it really hard to fight my corner and it takes a lot more out of you than you'd think. People also seem to think that having dyslexia can also be considered as making you less intelligent, which simply isn’t true.
I’ve been spurred on by those who say I couldn’t do it! That I can't spell so I couldn’t run a Facebook page, that I wouldn't be taken seriously, that if I can't do maths I couldn't keep books. Even that nobody would trust someone to do hair if they can't spell.
And I LOVE to show people that they are WRONG!
I love working with women in a man’s world. I'm so fed up of going to networking events and men simply glazing over due to my sex, age and job type... If one more bald guy asks me for a perm (always the same joke) and walks away rather than starting a genuine interesting conversation with me I may lose my mind!
I specialise in bridal hair, so it's a real girl zone! I still have to gain trust, but for the most part it's automatic and it always feels so wonderful that I'm trusted with such a big job and such an important day! As I’m a stranger it’s amazing that people trust me on such a intimate morning!
My customers are very important to me and it’s also important for me to feel they can trust me. I do believe it helps being a girl, especially when the dress goes on. It's more acceptable to stick boob tape to a stranger - all girls together and all that!
Aside from the more physical aspects I get a lot of women opening up to me about mental health. I deal with mum's going through postnatal depression, I've clients with body dysmorphia, angst so bad they’re off work. I'm privy to a lot as a hairdresser and I'm not sure anyone feels totally secure to say... “look, I've got this... I need this!” - women especially. I hear "I mean obviously I love my baby but I'm just struggling" so much! And I think it's sad not more people are trained. Even when it comes to small things like teaching breathing techniques and yoga techniques from a young age.
If I were to give advice to women starting their careers I’d say:
Know your worth. Yes you have to pay your dues, but free work creates free work. Demand to be treated just like anyone else.... People don’t go into boots and ask for free mascara because they live around the corner!
Be kind, make friends. In fact I regularly assist my biggest competitor. And guess what... She assists me too! Clap loudly when others succeed, you never know when you'll need help or advice. The people who do what you do are the best to help in a bad situation!
Be daring. Enter competitions, put your name forward, shake hands! But also be picky (*see tip one).