The Cut Life Podcast
The Cut Life Podcast

Episode 20 · 4 months ago

Stephen Webster

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

We talk to stylist Stephen Webster about his styling process and also talks about the debate surrounding stylists asking clients to come to the shop hair already washed.

Hi'm to hear a joy founder of the cut life and you are tuned into the cut life podcast, where we talk all things short hair, hair stylist, celebrities and beauty news. Are you ready to cut up? So, welcome everyone. I am excited to be back for another episode. Listen. This week has been crazy for me because I am in the middle of a complete rebrand of the cut lifecom. So I had a major photo shoe shot by my girl Kayla Madonna. I had two models, jazzminique, who's featured on the page quite often, and my hair stylist, Eric ash she also served as a model on the shoe. Had My guy acy Hampton doing bets video. So I'm excited for you guys to see these new images, for you to see the new and improve the cut lifecom website. So stay tuned for that. And, as always, we are super, super, super super excited about the cut life university membership program. Members are coming in, they're getting excited. We have our first monthly group called coming up. We have some guests, speakers, that are going to come in and give their expert advice on styling techniques, business strategy, social media strategy by your truly so make sure you are logged on to the CUTLEFT universitycom pick your membership option. You can DM me personally at your joy if you have any questions. And Hey, let's go. We have an exciting guest today, my homeboy, Stephen Webster. He's at Stephen Webster beauty on ig he has coined the phrase black girl blond. He specializes in doing color services, blond color services on black girls. So you know, I'm excited to talk to him and we have like a hot topic question we're going to get into because I definitely need to know his opinion on this, something that has been all over the social media streets. So stay tuned. Okay, so I am super, super excited about today's special guests. Is My boo, Stephen Webster. You may follow him on Instagram at Stephen Webster Beauty, and I figured we should kick off this conversation with a hot topic. I'm just going to bring him right in and hey, steven, to hear a my favorite, favorite person in the industry. You know, one of my favorite in all the world, but at the industry for sure. It's my boot hero of the cut life. What's look, I love you, I love this hat, I love this whole look. Thank those of you better listening. He looks amazing as always. So yes, I figured since we always key key on the...

...phone, we should keep key on this podcast and I wanted to bring you right in on tonight's hot topic question. Okay, okay. So I'm scrolling instagram and you know, things go viral course, and there's this quote by a woman named tyranny Sims, okay, and I guess her tweet went went viral on twitter and then the screenshot ended up on Ig and went viral there. And she says bring back the stylists who wash and grow hair. These new stylists just lay lace. Yes, and they're were tons of comments, and I'm assuming a lot coming from a younger, you know, generation of women who are, you know, into the wigging we've game, and maybe even getting braids, and they're being required to come press before their service so they're washed, conditioned, detangled, blow dried and just ready for service to begin. Now, mind you, growing up, that's something pretty familiar in the braiding community, especially depending on where you go. A lot of times they do expect you to come fully blown out and ready for the braiding service, but in a salon environments. I have never, in all of my years, which I won't say how many of those are, but I I have never experienced going to a salon that was not full service. I expect to come and get the shampoo, the conditioner, the detangling and then we're molding or whatever. Now, mind you, obviously if we're doing a special treatment or some type of deep conditioner or maybe something beyond a trim, like a cut or a color, obviously you expect to pay more for those prices. But I feel like certain things are a part of the I mean they have shampoo style listed on service exactly. So I just want your opinion on as an experienced stylist in the game, your opinion on this new wave. And, mind you, maybe I am just not well versed, because I'm not away girl and I don't discriminate, but I'm not familiar with that process. So let me know what you think, Mr Webster. Well, you know, it's so interesting that you that that this is I was I was unaware. You know that that this particular tweet or that this person's tweet had gone viral, but certainly amongst professionals it's the a big, big topic for, I'd say, really the last two three years. So certainly, you know, I'm not surprised. You know, I can. I have to date myself right in order to have this conversation. Unfortunately, you know my...

...little baby face. It's still cute. You didn't get it out, all right, but I started in this industry, I'll be, I was, I'll be at young, but I started in this industry at, you know, in the S, right late S, but the s nonetheless. And so I started at a time when it was all about the full service salon, right, right, that had been the trend with an hour community probably up until very recent times. And so this new phenomenon, because that's really what it is of, you know, we don't do shampoos, arrived like this, arrived like that, basically arrived ready for me to just get to it, you know, comb in hand, you know, and either I'm picking up ceramic Gar or sheers, I don't know. You know. But to your point, that was a practice that was most commonly done and associated with braiding salons. Right, because different rules and regulations from state to state, although they vary within the cosmetology field, did not require that braiders be licensed. I remember kind of when I start it in the industry, there were certain cities and certain municipalities that were petitioning for mainly from license professionals, making them have some type of licensure even for doing braiding. But I don't think many of them were very successful in doing that. But I recall, if memory serves me correct, it was a part of your kind of like it was really an aspect of the health aspect, because people often forget its health and beauty, right, they kind of are part of the same. They're married, right, and so when someone comes into the Salon Space and you are working with their hair and their scalp, the scalp and the hair is an appendage of the scan right. So we often people just don't really think about it in all these terms. We have to learn things, learn things like bacteriology, sanitation. There's a myriad of things that we have to learn that are not sexy, right, you know that you just have to learn in order to become licensed. Well, you know, social media has really changed people's opinion, mainly the people that are performing the services, about, first of all, even being licensed. So what happens is that you have a large number of people now that are in the industry, that are working in the industry, that are very successful, right, if you're looking at numbers and if you're looking at their revenue and if you're looking at their popularity. So super successful in that regard, right, because success is relative. That are not licensed or, if they are license, they've been trained under this new kind of mode of doing business. Before you continue, I had a quick question. See about being licensed, which to my understanding from...

...my stylus network of friends, that being license means that you are licensed to perform chemical services like hair color relaxers, that sort of thing. That's why you know in the Brady community, because they're technically not using a chemical, that they don't necessarily have to be licensed. and I wonder does that now translate with what you're saying today with a lot of the you know, lace wigs and you know that sort of situation where you are in my opinion, you are using a chemical because if they're using a glue to lay the the lace is still a chemical but I guess technically in some way they don't necessarily consider that a full chemical service. Is that the under is that what you're communicating to me that, because if I see you on IG and you're laying a wig with some baby hair and everyone's going crazy over it, that doesn't necessarily mean they have a license. Well, I think that a lot of people that perform those services for some reason, you know, they don't have a license. Right. It's like you know, and people are not going to like it that you know the ones that I said I'm talking about. But a lot of people that do that they don't have a license because there is a component of it that is like that of the Braid Salon, so to speak. Keep in mind, and there's like the breakdown before you could apply rockly. So essentially, the person feels like, well, if you come typically, I think the instructions are, you know, come shampoo with no oils, no grease, no cream, no jail or something like that in your hair. I think that was something that was widely adopted from braiding salons for obvious reasons, because the hair needs to there needs to be a certain degree of it just needs to be a canvas where they can add whatever type of appointments, Gaels, Palmmaids to perform the task as they need to perform it. Right, and when someone has something on the hair you know that you're not accustomed to it can just infringe them your ability to be efficient. Right, and we know that braiding is already a long process. But a lot of people that do lace applications, I have found in my experience working in my clon and I've had one person that was an apprentice of mine that did do lace and she really enlightened me. I remember the first time she had a client come in, because she would see clients like Monday, Tuesday or remember she was doing a wig and you know, it was the strangest thing I had ever seen because the young lady came in, she took off her existing wig, she she took some alcohol, she started rubbing the alcohol on her skin and you know, she was beginning to apply a new union. So I was really obviously I'm going to be professional and in no way what I embarrass her or kind of like compromise like her brand. In that moment, right, he was literally thinking, what the are you doing? Right, because I said so I said to her the next day I...

...said because I left. You know, I trust her. She's a great stylist, right, and she is licensed. So I think it more so maybe I should kind of retract that statement, but it's too late, right. I think that a lot of the people that are performing those like lace applications. Right, it's not, they're not licensed. There of a certain generation generally speaking. Right. There have a certain generation. I just don't have to be a part of the generation. I do tons of wigs, but all of my wigs that I markt, that I sell, and everyone that purchases for me purchases with the intention of wearing them in a glueless fashion. Right, and they still care about the hair under there. Like what's happening? Right? Sure, there are a couple of people that are compromised due to certain health conditions or just things beyond their control, but generally it's when with full heads of hair that have no intention of neglecting that God given thing that they have. Right, just like you with your braids. It's the form of an extension, but you still value very much like your hair. You know what I mean? I'm glad you said that, because then my next question would be, is it also because, listen, we're having this conversation because obviously it's a hot topic on social media and it's not to say that if you're performing these services that you're not a great hair styles or that at all, or that you don't care about hair care. That's definitely not what we're saying at all. But there is also sort of an expectation that people who may be used to receiving salon services have, and so when they're not met, when the expectation is not met, then it kind of creates an interesting relationship. And so now is it that the responsibility is not just on a stylus but on the consumer to act, ask questions and request and request the consultation, maybe before receiving services, because at the end of the day, you know, stylus have their different way of doing things, but as a consumer, you know what you are a client, you know what you want. You're in a result to be. So, for instance, if I'm going to get my hair braided, I'm going to communicate that I don't want you to grab every bit of my edges and make the braids so tight that my scout feels like it's on fire, because I want my edges to be there when I take them break over and and personally and I love seeing you know amazing, you know stylus like Kalin, Derek and Cospin. Maybe those are going to be me who is like, yes, it's real, you know what I mean? With that? Are Awesome and like to that client still have edges. So I think man know what to look like. I think. I think I'm almost certain arrogant. Ay, I know that he's license. I know that he's certainly gone to school and receive all of the training. Right, right, some people go to school and receive all of the training and are not license, right, but I do know that he's been formally trained. And, to be honest, you can tell the difference. You know what I mean. You don't tell the difference, but I didn't want to say real quick back to what she did. You know, she used the alcohol. She didn't chump with her Astra the...

...next day. Sense, you don't champ with here. She said, no, we don't shampoo. What I said, but I said she took a wig off and cheat. So for my whole thing is that it's not sanitary. Right, okay, and and and and bacteria, and I just think about all kinds of germs and this is the reason why they're different. funguses and all kinds of things. Yeast all kinds of things were on the Scout, which is why, you know, you see a lot of people experiencing hair lots. You know, we all know Jasmine here in Atlanta and certainly a lot of people do all over the world. Raizor chick, you know, but she has has has become extremely popular for basically healing or trying to assist these women with wearing hairstyles after experiencing that. That has happened as a result of none of the people that are doing it right, but it's the people that are doing it wrong. And we all know that bad news travels faster than good news. But I have kind of like I'm in the middle and people are very surprised, right because you know, it's Steven Webster are he's so highbrow, he's so Bougi. Oh my God, what professionals ask me this. You know what I tell them? I say it depends. Right. They say, do you think that people should come shampoo? Let me tell you what I think. So No, I don't think that they should. But let me tell you why they are. Because not only have the style has changed, but I've got to stand with my other stylist here professionals license nonprofessionals, right, if this is just something you're doing as a hustle, right, you're still working hard, right, and so whether your license or not, it doesn't negate your talent. I feel like, kind of like those are two separate issues. One doesn't have anything to do with the other. But clients have changed and the expectations of people have changed and it has forced some hairstylus and some professionals into this mode of having to do everything kind of like our heart, right, and fee for service, rather than this is the fee and this is what it's kind of understood, what's included. Here's the thing. People are busier than they've ever been, right, and we're talking about black women in particular, where they are on the socioeconomic strata now and as it relates to education and so many other bullet points. I mean, they are at the top, right, and that's what we love, but their expectations and their needs have changed based on that. They have more money. They are the most educated group of women here in the United States. Right. It's kind of the entire world. So what that means is that and they have careers that are very demanding. So they have a lot less time gone on the days of the S and s where women want to sit in the salon all Saturday long, grey they were stay at home moms. Maybe at that time they didn't have careers. There were as demanding. So people don't really always look at not you, but they don't look at how socially and how professionally and just different cultural aspects, just how things have changed, which creates a difference in what people expect. So...

...now these women are much more demanding with their time, right. And then you have the proliferation of all of these instagram stars, right, who do stars, who are viral all over social media? And guess what that woman wants, who has the means and the access. He wants that celebrities look. Okay, there you go, or that reality stars. Way, there you go right. But what has happened is that some people their expectations and their their demands and their bank account don't really coincide. Right, so they are not understanding that. You know, in order to get this look, it requires x amount of time and it requires x amount of dollars. But if you maybe you have the dollars but you don't have the time. So stylist feel very look, let me say this, if I'm not going all over the place, and you know real me, and okay, because you have to do this, I got you. I got you a private conversation, and this is something that I work with with with with with other professionals, like when I do private coaching. You, Thelm, a lot of hair stylist and beauty professionals all across the board. They don't charge what they're worth, right, and so what says begin to do because the demand is so great at this certain price. So maybe there's a frustration that has come for something like I need, is I need to save time and get more people in the chair. So in order to save time, it's almost like, let me cut a corner where I can, and almost assuming that me not shampooing their hair isn't really a big deal. However, and not I but I know when I shampoo my hair at home, chows is when a stylist does it, it's a different it's a different result, like it'll get clean, but it's still a different result. I mean, we could go on and all this topic all day, but I don't want to. I mean, obviously it's a hot topic. Because we've spent some time on it and we could probably continue to go and I think it's one of those things where, you know, we're not dissing one side or the other all, but it seems that the common denominator is maybe education that needs to be implemented and people coming up with better systems to even and, you know, maintain their clients. At the end of the day, you want to have a great experience for your clients and I don't think any Stylus, no matter what level they're on, wants to leave their client with no edges at the end of the day like that could never be the goal. So, Steve and I'm so happy to have you here, Stephen Webster Beauty, for those two mean in you are an absolutely amazing stylist. We met through a mutual friend my slide, who is a fabulous serial entrepreneur out here just doing everything, and we just immediately connected, and I think one of the things that I really did connect with you on is the fact that so many stylists that you...

I run into feel like they have to specialize in everything and don't and think that they can't still have a profitable career and have a specialty, and what I love about you is that you are the trademark go to for black girl blond and you have a slew of clients, you know, amazing, beautiful black women that come to you specifically for blond services. And so I just want to take this time because I know I could go back into how you got started in all that, which not saying that is not interesting, but I want to dive right into black girl blond and the how you even determined that would be a thing for you and how that came about. Yeah, you know, that's that's that's that's like kind of like that's a really funny thing how that happened. Right. So kind of go one back, like when I apprenticed, when I was one of my first what? It was my first professional apprenticeship in which I was paid, like the people that I apprenticed before. You know, I was fifteen, sixteen, four, team even, and I wasn't paid. I was just in the Salondum, whatever you wanted to do. I was just doing it right, which I love getting super grateful for. So my first paid apprenticeship, my first job. You looked in busy. I know my purification is going on and know what it's like. I feel like terrible about this. Sorry about that. It was with a colorist and I was always really intrigued by color. So when I was when I was, like I said, a preteen, young team and I started, like so many years ago, like playing in here. I would go so I remember my mom's who's who's who family friend at the time. He made me this special stand for like a mannequin and it was like a little mini like station for me to like put on my things on, and I used to. I didn't have access to trade stores, right, so the only thing I had access to was like sally or, you know, just neighborhood beauty supply store. But I go to Kroger Publics me where that I could find box color and I would just play around with box color and mix it up and I was just fascinated with color and anything related to the business that was transformative was what moved me the most. Right. So I remember that of all the things that I did when I was in cosmetology school, I was really really connected to color and even cut you know, which a lot of people don't know. But if it was going to transform someone and make them look totally different. That's what I was about. As I moved through my experience in doing color, I found that I was doing a lot of corrective work and wanting to do a lot of corrective work with black women and women of color that have blond hair, because I thought...

...everybody that was saying it was blond. I'm like, is it me or is it orange? If already in a nasty yellow, nasty yellow, you know, and not in an not in a good way. And so I just consistently saw it and people thought it looked good right, but me being the the the very critical person that I am, I'm thinking that don't look good right, and so I thought I'm going to improve it, but not with the intention of like I'm going to become black spent blond specialist. I'm bad because I just committed and focus and homed in on how can I make this better? Because you know the ten and of my brand specifically, and of course I love all women, but because I'm luxury based and that's kind of where I started and that's my center, I felt as if there was a void of luxury for black women period. You have all these black women who have so much disposable income or so much access for so much desire, it's not even about money, to have the best that they can get, right, and so I felt like it was lacking, you know, and I thought, what are they're? They're amazing hair stylist, right, they are amazing all kinds of people. They're amazing colorist, but no one was really focused and centered on making black women, women of Color, women with some Tan in their skin, your and somewhere, look best with blond hair. So it kind of just took off, you know. And then with social media, it was something that I always did, but I didn't really center and focus my promotion around it. M When I began to post before and afters, right, those before and after steep and who have so and it was actually a really, really dear friend of mine, my friend. He said, where are your before and afters? He was like, I cannot believe what this person looked like before and what they look like now now, because what I used to do was, and you remember this, I'm a post blonde hair right, and that's cool. The blonds look great, you know, that's that, that that that's cool. But it was when people begin to see the before and after that the trust factor and the desire went really, really high, because if someone comes in with blond hair and I just style, oh he's a great hair styles whatever, but when you see what I can do from beginning to end, and that's kind of like the whole idea in concept of the actual black girl blond service, is that you go from dark to like multidimensional blond in the same day and you do it in a way in which is sustainable and you compromise the person's here as little as possible in doing it. And there's a whole little technique in a process that I use in order to do that. But it happened just because it was like I wanted to bring and I want to do it no matter what I'm doing, whether it's a blond or not. For me, I just believe that black women, if you look at historically who they've been in...

...this country and throughout the world, they have really given the most. Right and it's hard for me to not kind of like make this into like a little spiritual moment because that's just who I am, but they've given the most. You know, they have given the absolute most. If we really want to be honest and look at history and I feel like very often they're given the least. So, whatever it is that I do, you know if I'm a hair style of stuff from my hair colors, if I'm a lawyer, if I'm a pastor, if whatever, I am right, it's my job and my duty to serve those people and give them my absolute best because they're entrusting me with an aspect of their life. You know, beauty is something that people make into this very superficial thing, but I can't tell you the letters that I've gotten whether they've gone blond or they've gotten whatever they've gotten. I can't tell you how many letters I get or ever received throughout my twenty plus years of doing this. They say, you know, you gave me the confidence to like, I don't know, go to law school. You gave me the confidence to leave a bad relationship, you gave me the confidence just to believe in myself. And we all know that how you look, your are is a moode shifter. For sure, it's a mood changer. Right. And when you do something that ultrasoone's hair kind of permanently, or let's say semi permanently, right, because hair grows color grows out. You know, cuts grow out. But when you do a cut on someone's hair, right, which is why the cut life. You see all of these before and actors with haircuts, the person, the actual energy, the countenance, it's different. It's very looking at the hair, but the energy literally shifts and usually if you pay attention to those people that I'd say Jillian, right, but I think about Jillian. They still a Garcia, if you're right. You know, to me, yes, he's an amazing artist, but you know what it is that thing. But I'm talking about that I have she helling. It's a spiritual connection. It's a ministry, so to speak, right, not a religion. It's a ministry, so to speak, a calling that you have to serve people, to give them this gift and parted within them make them better. And by virtue of doing that, you know, the the amount of blessings that I have and opportunities that I have, even sitting here right, they come exponentially because I've made a commitment to really give and be of service right to the world, and my focus in particular is that black women. Well, spament about that. Well, listen. Well, we'll speaking of being of service and our original topic dealing with hair care. Now only have you trademark this and perfected this to the highest level, but you also have your own product line for women to maintain, because that's one thing about color and black women in general, we love to change our look and hair colors probably number one in the areas of where we will do a change. A lot of times people will change their...

...color before they will get a haircut, because that sometimes can be a bit more daunting, you know, to cut it is versus, you know, changing the color. So you have your product line for people to help maintain their color, and I know you have some education coming. I'M gonna put that out there because, oh yeah, we can talk to your friends privately about things that they're dealing you got to say it publicly so we can manifest but yet Accountabil you're right, yes, as education coming as well, but talk to US real quickly before we depart about your product line, education and anything that you know you would like to plug to the cut life podcast. Oh you know what, I didn't have to be tacky, you know, and try to slide something and you do you know, I'm going to make you rom, gonna make you promote. The floor is you know, I appreciate it. So, yeah, you know, Steven. What's your beauty? The collection, as it's affectionately referred to, is as a product line consisting of five products to really help keep the hair hydrated, to keep your hair just healthy, right. And I said hydrated first because two of the main components that are important in maintaining strong, healthy, high street and hydrated here are protein and moisture. Right. If the people that are listening can remember those two things, you're good to go. Now understanding the ratio and the balance that you need in order to maintain that, which was most important. So within my product one, it contains those elements in a very balanced way to help you do that at home or to take it to your professional if they don't have their own product line. It's really geared and design to help a person. But ALLE's retail it. You know what I mean exact you know that's harget it. Well, there have been some people that want to kind of help me move that, but I need to who set aside some time to really become a lot more intentional about seeing that happen, because I know that. You know from my mouth to the universe's ears. It always comes to pass. It's just about me setting aside the time to kind of like you, we're keeping Stephen Webster on the label. Oh, Yep, Yeps, a recommendation of a friend. You know, listen, listencial t last W so that was her advice. And also, you know, we've got campaign two thousand and twenty two, which kind of does, of course, in alignment with what you've got going on with the cutlight, your educational the cut life Universe University. Absolutely for you. Got Yeah, you're working a part of it. Amazing Evy, who is heading them, I think is amazing. Yes, and I'm going to be a part of that. Is One of the educators. And then for me, my mission is to educate at least two thousand twenty two people for this year. I love it. This year and education said, Hey, that could happen in one field. Swoop we've already done six people. So the numbers dwindling down,...

...slowly but surely, but at least to educate two thousand twenty two people for this year. So that's kind of where I'm pivoting right a little bit more, because that's what the people have asked me. For Right I can only serve service so many clients, so it's time for me to kind of pass the torch and, in part some of the wisdom that I have into other professionals so that they can grow their business and change their life as well, because I survide education and then we plug products. Okay, exactly. Well, let everyone know how they can connect with you on social media, if you have a website or anything that you would like to plug. I know you your calendar stays books. I don't know how far in advanced people needs to book with you, but any information you'd like to leave with us, please do so. Well. Yeah, so you know, you can reach out using my name, that Steven Spell with the Ph Stephen Webster beauty, essentially across all platforms, but ig is kind of where it goes down. Like I have the twitter, but I like have no idea what I'm doing there, and the post, but ig is really where it goes down. And if you really want to kind of get to know me, hopefully can catch me on live sometimes, because it's when I really unplugged, kind of like this. Yeah, Stephen Webster Beauty, and of course you can visit my side if you want to find any information about any of my products, Steven Webster beautycom. And if you're interested in education or anything like that, you can also find that on ig there's a link tree there. There are different links. It says Steven teach me products. Whatever you're looking for, it's there on IG and before I leave, you know I say it all the time in private, but I must say it in public to hear where you really are the most amazing person that I know in the industry. The amount of information. This is a very interesting place. The beauty industry, it's can be a very superficial place, but when you're true to yourself, you know the universe will align you with people of like spirits and of like mind so that's a part of it, but that's not the whole right. So I'm looking forward to more people connecting with who you are as a person in two thousand and twenty two so that we can affect the whole and create a more balanced, loving experience for people that are in this industry. So you're amazing. I know that you're going to continue to be blessed. Amazing things are going to happen for you in twent eachmenty two and beyond. I just thank you for being you. Thank you, Steven. You know I love you down, down girl of you and I'm just so excited to have you on the podcast. I think everyone listening to definitely follow you as Steven Webs, your beauty and to get to know how amazing you are as well, not only as a hair stylist but just as an overall human being, and I just appreciate you and love you and thank you for being here with us. Thank you. We got to do it again too. We will. You know, we got more tea that we watch all you know, we got more tea. We can spills. Thanks so much to hear and I appreciate you and your entire community. Thank thank you. Thank you for...

...tuning into another episode of the cut life podcast. Make sure you check us out every Friday and for more information, visit us on the cut lifecom you could follow me on instagram at to hear joy and the cut life.

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