Amy Shanahan of Amy Michelle Hairdressing was once hit by Cupid’s bow and fell head over heels in love with hair. Now a successful salon owner and hairstylist, she shares her thoughts on hard work, upskilling and her love of all things hair.

What attracted you to the industry?

Being honest, I started in the industry when I was 14. It was just a Saturday job for a few bob to go to the cinema etc with my friends. A couple of months into it I had absolutely fallen in love with all things hair! The getting to change people’s look and feel about themselves. A career that has so many outlets and can be done all over the world.

How did you get to where you are today?

Hard work and determination got me where I am today! Twelve-hour shifts, five days a week, when I was training, going to courses on my days off, giving up my weekends doing wedding hair, photo shoots, fashion shows etc.

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What do you love most about what you do?

The thing I love the most is being able to turn someone’s day around by making them look and feel great!

What’s the most difficult part of what you do?

The most difficult part of what I do is the behind the scenes work; paper work, advertising, marketing plans etc.

What’s the best piece of style advice you’ve ever received?

The best piece of style advice I’ve gotten is never follow the crowd; you rock your own style no matter what anyone thinks!

What’s the best piece of style advice you can pass on?

My style advice is dress for yourself, not anyone else.

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Who is your style icon and why?

My style icon is Olivia Palmero. I love her casual style. She always looks great but comfortable in her own skin.

Who is your business icon and why?

My business icon is Alan Austin Smith from The Fantastic Hairdresser franchise. He has had a diverse hairdressing career and now gives motivational seminars to help salon owners with their business and motivates stylists and will make you fall in love with your job even more!

What plans do you have for your business over the next 12 months?

I have a few things up my sleeve for the next year. Some I need to keep hush for now but we have just added two new sections to the salon, so expansion is definitely one and education will be a huge part of the next 12 months.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Like everyone else, I have loads of hopes for the next five years but I try to focus on the present instead of the future, as I am so grateful for every day as it is.

How do you stay motivated?

I stay motivated by learning. Hairdressing is a job that never stops evolving and learning new techniques is definitely a motivator, as I normally can’t wait to get back into the salon to try out what I learn!


What advice would you give to young people who want to break into the industry?

My advice to someone starting out would be, training is hard. It is frustrating. There will be times you feel like crying and you actually might, but once you get there all of the above is a learning curve and will only make you an amazing stylist. Hairdressing is an amazing job that you can take anywhere in the world. What other job can you chat to people and make them look great at the same time?

Amy Michelle Hairdressing LogoAmy Michelle Hairdressing
18 High Street, Douglas Road, Cork
021 431 2950

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