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From Korea to Vancouver: Meet Nina Park, JCI Hair Artistry Student

Davneet Dhillon
Blog / Features / Hair

Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, Nayeon (Nina) Park first visited Vancouver in 2013 to study English abroad. She recalls living in the city and being amazed by the geographic landscape and a relaxed social atmosphere.

“I promised myself that I’d visit Vancouver again one day.”

In 2016, she graduated from university in Korea with a degree in International Business and a minor in English. Seeking to challenge herself and gain some independence, Nina packed her bags and bought a one-way ticket to YVR.

What inspired you to get into the Hair Industry?

Nina: My mom used to cut hair when I was young and my best friend’s mom is a hairstylist for Hollywood movies and TV shows. Their life stories inspired me to get into the business myself.

“I am a huge fan of Korean Pop Music (K-POP) Watching music videos is a great source of inspiration when I’m looking for new hairstyles. The VEVO section of YouTube is where I do some of my best research!”

Why did you choose to enroll at John Casablancas Institute for the Hair Artistry Program? 

Nina: I chose JCI because of the school’s reputation. As a newcomer to this city, I had to rely mostly on word-of-mouth. Before enrolling, I asked my local friends to suggest some famous beauty schools in Vancouver. JCI was one of their top recommendations.

“After spending 5 months at JCI, I know I made the right decision about this school and have the privilege of being at one of the most famous beauty schools in BC.”

When new clients ask about me, I just tell them that I’m a Hair Program student at JCI. People tend to assume that I must be talented based on my schooling alone. I’ve started advertising my services to international clients since I speak a second language. Most of them book appointments right away without any further questions.

What is your favorite hairstyle to create? 

Nina: I like natural-looking styles that enhance the subject’s inherent beauty. I’m also greatly inspired by Korean fashion, where designs are more contemporary, youthful and endearing. For hair, that means smaller curls, fewer layers, and bold colors. I really admire finished looks that radiate with both charm and simplicity.

What are some must-have hair products you use?

Nina: One of my secret weapons is Shu Uemura – Ultimate Remedy Extreme Restoration Conditioner. My hair was really dry from repeated colorings. From black to blonde, then pink, red, brown, and now purple. I used this product once and could feel the softness come back within minutes.

Any advice you could give to someone wanting to pursue a career in Hair? 

Nina: Some clients walk in with a clear idea of what they want, while others have no clue. Ultimately, they’ve chosen you specifically for your guidance and expertise. You need to have great listening skills, an ability to connect with people and a strong sense of style!

When she’s not at JCI, Nina works as an apprentice at Salon Era. The senior stylists there have been coaching her in between fashion shows and competitions. Nina considers herself very lucky to be training with them and hopes to offer the same premium-level services in the future.

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.

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