Life of a Stylist: Ross Charles on Balancing Multiple Career Paths
As a salon owner, ambassador, hairdresser and photographer, it’s fair to say Ross Charles keeps busy. For this month’s edition of Life of a Stylist, we took a moment from his packed schedule to discover exactly how he does it.
What was Ross Charles’ journey into the hair industry?
I started my hair journey by following in my parents’ footsteps as they had a well-known salon in Leeds. I joined their team as a junior and progressed up to be the art director before opening my own salon in 2008.
What is Ross Charles’ current role?
I work in the salon a few times a week as well as creating new collections every year and some small seasonal collections as well. I educate for hair brands and produce step-by-step videos and photo education which is used to teach other hairdressers new skill sets. As a razor cutting educator and ambassador for Donald Scott NYC Razors, I educate classes and do stage work for the UK. I’m also part of the RatPack Razor Artistry team. On top of this, I shoot most of my collections myself as I am also a photographer, which really helps when producing a great hair image.
What are the pros and cons of having multiple roles?
The benefits are that I get to travel and see different places, meet great people and be extremely creative. It’s also very y rewarding teaching other hairdressers and influencing their work. I find being part of different teams is really inspiring as you can always learn new things. The biggest challenge is being able to find time to do as much as you are offered, especially when running a salon as it requires admin and HR. I also have two children and love to spend as much time with them as possible, which can be hard.
How does Ross Charles manage multiple roles?
I have to be very strict, organised and focused. I eat healthily and don’t drink much, so I have a clear mind to balance everything. I also work with a PR who is very good at helping me too.
What are his tips for someone who aspires to take on multiple roles within the industry?
Only take on work that will help you to further your career and will make money as you could easily end up doing a lot of work for nothing. It is true that sometimes in the early stages of new roles you will have to give a little, this should soon be taken forward to a stage where you can benefit. Also, get a good PR as they will ensure all your hard efforts are used in the best way possible.
Has owning a salon and being an ambassador changed Ross Charles’ mentality towards hairdressing?
Definitely as you can always learn from other members of the industry and bring ideas back to the salon, which is great because our team love learning new skills. The clients appreciate the fact you can offer them something that is new or part of a new collection too. It definitely makes salon work more creative.
What’s his favourite Instagram account to follow?
@hairdressersjournal of course!
What’s the ‘Ross Charles’ signature look?
Anything punk, even though I personally tone it down for the salon. I also love feather cuts with razors.
What are Ross’ go-to products?
Donald Scott NYC Prepare Liquid Tool Glide, RC Sea Salt Spray and L’ANZA Bounce Up Spray.
What’s next for Ross Charles?
I’m producing courses at the moment. I’m writing manuals for them and creating them with skills that are not so mainstream. We should see them coming out in 2021. I’ll also be putting hair photographic workshops together for hairdressers that want to get into collection work.