Meet JCI Hair graduate and current Axis Hair Salon stylist, Brittany Ostash (@hair.by.britt on Instagram). She recently got published in Salon Magazine with her impressive Contessa Collection which you can find here. Read on to learn more about Brittany and her journey in the hair industry!
Tell us about what you do in the hair industry? I’m currently a proud hairstylist of Axis Hair Salon in Coal Harbour and have been there since graduating from John Casablancas Institute’s Hair Design Program in 2012. I mainly specialize in colour services but still do plenty of cutting and styling. In the salon I work with both men and women’s hair and also occasionally do photo shoots for work. So far my focus has been on shoots specific to hair competitions like Trend Vision and The Contessa Awards, but would love to get into more editorial work as well.
Can you describe the time you realized you wanted to be a hairstylist? I realized I wanted to be a hairstylist when I was in grade school. Growing up, my Auntie was a hairstylist so anytime she babysat my sister and I we would get her to do our hair, paint our nails, and all the fun girly stuff! Most of the time that I spent at her house was in the powder room snooping through all of her hair and makeup products. Since then I had always had an interest in really learning the trade of being a hairstylist.
You recently got published in Salon Magazine, Can you tell us about this experience and how this came about? Not t0o long ago I was published in Salon Magazine for an Ad showcasing my Contessa Collection marketing this years’ Canadian Hairstylist of the Year Awards . It was an amazing feeling to be a part of an influential magazine in the salon world (not realizing my images would be in there) and to find a two page spread of my own work! Last year I decided to take a leap of faith and do my very first professional photo shoot all thanks to my incredibly talented and humble mentor Phillip Ferriera. He came to me one day and mentioned how talented he thought I was and the potential I have in the hair industry. He suggested and quickly convinced me to enter into a couple of hair competitions. I was overwhelmed but honored that someone like himself genuinely believed in me and my talent, so I trusted my gut and his professional intuition and went for it. I had a couple of months to prepare for my shoot, so I lined up three models and came up with a theme that I thought would be perfect. I wanted to do something whimsical like A Midsummer’s Night Dream. The day of the shoot was an eye opener and a huge learning opportunity. With the help of Phil and my photographer Kale Friesen, we captured my vision and I couldn’t have imagined a better outcome. I entered into Trend Vision with one of my images and then entered my collection into the New Stylist Category for The Contessa Awards. Not to long after that, I found out I had made the top 10 semi finals. I felt as though that alone was a huge accomplishment in itself, so when I then became one of the 5 finalists I was blown away! The Contessa Awards then invited me to the awards Gala in Toronto, so I went with Phillip and my amazing boss Renee Sarich. To be recognized as one of the top five new hairstylist’s in all of Canada through The Contessa Awards was the most incredible feeling and made all the hard work worth it. The evening was perfect, I was in a room surrounded by so much talent and inspiration. It made me realize I really want to continue to push and go far in this industry. I had such amazing support from all my co-workers at Axis, my boss Renee and mentor Phil that I truly believe I couldn’t have done it with out them.
Is there a signature hairstyle that you enjoy doing? I love the classic yet relaxed hollywood glam look that Lana Del Rey rocks. Those soft dry finger waves are something I always love doing! I also love trying new things as the trends change and clients come in with their own personalized ideas.
If you can work on any celebrity (or person) who would it be and why? I think if I had a chance to work with any celebrity it would have to be Emma Roberts. She’s absolutely adorable and isn’t afraid of changing her hair and taking a few risks. She also has great style and seems to be a lot of fun, one of those people who doesn’t take themselves to seriously. I think we would probably end up beings friends or that’s what I would hope haha.
Do you have any favourite memories from attending JCI’s Hair Design Program? There were so many good memories! One of my favourite memories at JCI was when our class popped champagne after our final show. I think we almost gave our instructors heart attacks! (Future graduates don’t get any ideas haha). But in all seriousness I would have to say my most fond memory was when my instructor Katie sat at the front of our class and talked about her experience of professionalism in the hair industry. She is such an inspiration, even to this day and I remember she ended her talk with “It all depends of the type of Stylist you want to become”. That has always stuck with me.
What’s one piece of advice that you have for students and recent hair graduates entering the hair industry? Have patience! The first years of your career will by far be the most difficult. Building a loyal clientele is hard, but if you keep your confidence up and dedicate yourself it pays off. Try and learn something new every day and it will get easier as time goes on. I questioned my career path hundreds of times but never gave up. I am so thankful for the patience I have had with myself because I am truly more successful and happier than I could have ever imagined.
What is the best way for people to book with you? Best way for people to book with me is to go to Axis Hair Salon’s website at www.axishairsalons.com and book an appointment through Vagaro or call one our Salon coordinators at 6046850200
Hair Stylists and Colour Technicians are sought out in some of the most exciting and fast-paced industries in the world including film, fashion, TV and photography. The Hair Art Design Program at JCI is the only accredited hair school in BC approved for a 520-hour curriculum. The program is 20 hours per week and offers the option of morning, afternoon, evening or weekend classes so that students can work at their current jobs while retraining for a new career. Our faculty is comprised of top working professionals and guest instructors whose focus is on the future of hair. This is a modern program providing a strong foundation of cutting and colouring techniques.