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Meet Jessica Cerna

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Cerna.

Jessica, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started to hair my sophomore year of high school when my cousin asked me to do her hair for her Prom. I had posted some pictures of what I did to her hair on my blog, and it snowballed from there. Friends and classmates that followed my blog started to ask me if I could do their hair for upcoming dances.

Eventually, it started to turn into them asking for haircuts and coloring their hair. I thought that I wanted to become a nurse, but when I wasn’t getting any acceptance letters, my back up plan of becoming a hairstylist became “Plan A.” After graduating high school, I started to train at Paul Mitchell the School in San Diego.

In 2007, after ten months of training (I had perfect attendance because I loved and was so excited about going to beauty school) I began working in the beauty industry! I always say that, if I didn’t have to graduate, I’d probably still be going to school there because I loved it so much and was so fascinated with learning how to beautify people.

Has it been a smooth road?
“A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.”

Just like anything in life, when you strive to better yourself or make a drastic change, you’re always going to have bumps along the way. I remember at Paul Mitchell during a lecture they had said that statistically most of the students wouldn’t last in the industry more than 3-5 years.

Sure enough, after my 3rd year of being a hairstylist, I started to question if I chose the right career path. I wasn’t making as much money as I thought I would. I even questioned how could I raise a (future) family with this type of salary. One of my aunts even kept insisting I try to go back to becoming a nurse.

So I went to doing hair part time and thought that becoming a dental hygienist would be the right career move. It’s more stable, I would make more money, etc. I started off by going to dental assisting school.

Once I was done with that, I had a working interview at a dentist close to where I lived. And by the end of the 2nd day, I realized I needed to go back to doing hair full time. The medical field wasn’t for me. It was too sterile, boring even, couldn’t really connect with patients like how I would do with clients in my chair.

When I broke it down number wise, what I made in those two days I could made in one haircut and color. And that’s when I really knew I had to go back doing hair.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I am an independent hair contractor. I do almost everything when it comes to hair; from haircuts, styling/wedding hair, extensions, Brazilian blowouts… except perms. I can do them, but I prefer not to. I guess lately I’ve been specializing in balayage hair coloring, mainly taking brunettes blonde, platinum even! Everyone at the salon jokes with me because there’s always a lady in my chair trying to go blonde.

I’m proud I am able to offer an arrangement of services for the clients needs? Eek! I don’t know, it’s hard to say what really sets me apart since there are so many great stylists out there that put out amazing work and I’m just so critical of my own work that I feel like I can’t compare to some of these other stylists

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Nothing major at the moment just focusing on turning out great hair.

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