It’s downright wrong that the professionalism of hairdressing is put under yet more pressure by unscrupulous opportunists working social media to your disadvantage. Yes, I’m calling on you all to stand up for yourselves and demand better treatment and respect from people who feed off your skill and creativity without rewarding you. In all industries, we all have to learn how to protect our copyrights and where to respect boundaries. As an industry with a great relationship to social media, it’s important to be aware of the pitfalls and protect integrity particularly when sharing work online or on socials.
Don’t allow people to ride on your success without crediting you. Literally. When sending out pictures, you must ask for due credit, and when reposting each other, please do be polite and carry over the credits and tags of the original. Manners are everything. This tile from @fym.vip is really clear:
Now of course there are times when lapses or naivety or typing errors get in the way and we must be #humankind when dealing with this. But there are times when you must be eyes open to what’s happening digitally and it’s social misbehaviour.
There’s an Instagram account called @hairblackandwhite which has sprung up and in only a few months acquired 23K followers (at the time of writing). Great growth .. but all done at your expense. How so? The grid is dressed only with hair pictures, all black and white, and tastefully chosen might I add, but NOT ONE is credited in any way. No hairdressers, MUA or stylist much less a photographer. This is disgraceful. They also use hashtags such as #toniandguy to ensure they are found. And there’s worse. Some of the photographs are actually colour pictures which have been turned black and white to suit the people running this IG account. Is your skin crawling yet? Mine is.
Respect for hair
By all means jump onto @hairblackandwhite and look, but do NOT follow this account. And do not comment. Every time you do either, then you’re helping them build their visibility. Every comment that gives the correct credits – and I’ve seen lots of you doing this – is misguided as it actually helps the account become more visible. It might make you feel like you’ve declared it’s your work, but honestly, is that really the respect you’re due? Don’t settle for that. Nowhere on this grid do the owners go back into a post and add the credits supplied to the caption.
The owners clearly are hiding – they give no contact details on the account and they don’t reply to messages – we’ve tried! Nice polite messages, no response.
And rest assured, it won’t end here. The owners will suddenly translate their following into another account name – benefitting from building on you hairdressers (largely UK based) and without even a thank you. One day they’re stealing your work to build a following, the next they’ve got umpteen followers so can command fees as an influencer or for other commercial gain. They literally could come out selling dog food, or claiming to be a fashion influencer.
Call to action
So I’m calling it as I see it. Rotten abusive use of hairdressing. Please don’t follow. If you have, then unfollow. Don’t engage with comments or likes. Do complain in the loudest way possible. Report them. DM direct perhaps, but don’t give them another way of using you to build their career/company without acknowledging yours. And if you discover who’s behind this, then please reveal.
For nearly 30 years as a journalist in hairdressing, I’ve been trying to encourage hairdressers to be proud of what they do. Respecting each other, and earning respect is one thing. The next is to insist upon it as a professional and to safeguard hairdressing.
Be proud, be loud.
Love Nicky, editor and publisher, UK Hairdressing
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