Anyone can be a hairdresser. But to be an educated, qualified, certified, hairdresser is another science in its own right. Whereas a great hairdresser can learn the techniques of cutting, brushing, styling, coloring and treating hair through practice, there is an inherent “Biology” at the root or head of this artful career. An art that although can be learned through practice, becomes even more exquisite when it is a mélange of both practice and science.
Fadia El Mendelek, our hair stylist of the moment was brought up in Sweden and studied at Sjődals for 3 years in order to earn her degree as a Certified Hairdresser. She followed that up with a special exam that would license her to work professionally on an international scale and in Sweden. Her first 2 years of being a hairdresser saw her entering several European and national Swedish competitions that won her awards like the “Coupe d’Europe Award in Coloring Cutting and Styling” in addition to the “Men’s Haircut Award of Sweden”.
With much potential on the horizon, Fadia started off her career in 2002. What started off as a “small stay in Lebanon” got her attached to both her clients and the Lebanese culture that craved a woman hairdresser’s touch for a change. And in spite of the 2006 war, she felt the need to stay and invest in her country rather than abroad.
Her risk paid off, and she started her first branch on Zalka Highway in Lebanon, then opening a second salon in Verdun. Her many travels to Kuwait, Qatar and the GCC made her take up the initiative to open a salon in Qatar in 2010, and launching two new branches at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Qatar IN January 2014 and another salon in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
To Fadia, this is not a hobby or career; it is a dream that came true as the fruitful result of combining scientific theory with technique and art, and then following that end result up with great products. To her, staying up to date and constantly researching novel techniques and methodologies in hair improvement is key!
To Fadia, real success can only come from the ability to consistently nurture both your hairstyling team and your clients. With the philosophy that her team should ‘grow as she grows’, Fadia constantly sends her staff to workshops and seminars abroad that keep them on top of their game. And while she provides the talent, her husband in both life and career, Charbel Akiki oversees and handles the proper management infrastructure of her franchises.
She sees success as a process, and never as a goal. A goal can soon be lost, but a good process will give you continuity and keep both your clients and staff satisfied. And although Fadia El Mendelek is a stylist to many stars, celebrities, and Arab Royalty, her main motto is that every one of her clienteles deserves to feel like a star; to feel attended to and cared for, listened to and nourished… from her hair tips to her toes.
An opinionated yet easy going woman, Fadia is constantly speaking up for the fact that there should be an accredited institution that teaches professional hairdressing, rather than run-of-the-mill technical schools or hairdressing courses here and there. And seeing that most Lebanese women value a proper educational degree, many have been caught in the loop of shying away from becoming hairdressers because there is no Lebanese institution that provides a proper globally recognized degree in hairdressing. Something to think about.
But Woman’s Day, isn’t just about being a woman of profession, it is about having the ability to juggle being a good mother, a balanced career woman, and a nurturing wife with much love for each aspect…. but most of all, with the ability to laugh at yourself, and take life with a smile. Because at the end of the day, beauty is a reflection of a woman’s spirit to the best of what God has gifted her.