Red Seal Hairstylist Elizabeth Schalko Hones Her Skills

What motivated you to get into this trade?

When I was 14, I worked at a salon booking appointments and cleaning. They asked if I would be interested in an apprenticeship for hairdressing. I hadn’t realized there was an option to learn a trade while still earning a wage. Learning hands-on has always worked best for me, and things took off from there.

What is the best part of being in your trade?

The best part of my trade is providing self-care for clients, and the connections I get to make with people. 

What does a regular day look like for you in your job? 

A regular day, as a hairstylist, can look like touching up a cut for someone before an important day, or giving someone a huge transformation to make them feel brand new. Sometimes it can also just be a maintenance appointment and catching up with a long-time client who has become a friend!

If someone was looking at getting a job in the trades, what piece of advice would you give them?

The advice I would give is to find a supportive place to apprentice that gives you lots of opportunity to learn. You should also really pay attention to the ergonomics of your trade so you can take care of your body and continue to do your trade for as long as you want. 

Is there something about your trade you think not many people know? 

I think a lot of people might not know how many different factors go into colouring your hair, such as pre-existing colour/treatments, goals, hard/soft water, texture.

How long did it take you to reach the certification you have now, and do you have plans for any further education?

It took me just over three years to complete my red seal, but I take multiple online or in-person classes, per year, to keep up-to-date with new trends and techniques.

Where do you see your career in 5, 10 or 15 years? 

Hopefully, within 5-10 years, I will be able to take on apprentices and help them learn the trade how I did!

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