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Meet Erin Will of PEAR Hair in Highland Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erin Will.

Erin, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I found myself doing hair sort of as a surprise. I graduated from college with a Gender Studies degree and shortly after, I moved to Los Angeles. I slept on my friend’s floor for months and had odd jobs. I had no idea what I wanted to do. As a teen, I was constantly experimenting with colors and volunteering to do my friends’ hair. I would always half-joke about going to beauty school. After living in four different parts of Los Angeles in less than a year, I decided to enroll and give it a shot. I loved it, I was good at it, and dove straight into working at a hair product company. I became an educator for the company, later started assisting and eventually began working behind my own chair.

After five years of doing hair, I found out I was pregnant with my son. I was working at a very busy salon in Hollywood five days a week and started questioning the eight hours a day of working with color. I could smell the ammonia and then started questioning what else was in it. My doctor told me since there was no direct research connecting birth defects to hair color (because what pregnant lady would volunteer to be a test subject?), it was my choice to do color while pregnant. I cut my time in the salon down to one day of mostly cutting and worked at a blow-dry bar on the side. This left me thinking, “there’s got to be a way I can work with safe color, whether I’m pregnant or not” and I began my journey towards becoming an organic colorist.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Yes and no. Doing hair is something that has been a reliable source of income and has offered me a lot of flexibility. In Los Angeles, you have so many options and it takes time to figure out where you want to go with your craft, whether it’s a particular specialty, set-work, education, or a combo, there is always work available in the hair business.

However, I took a lot of time off of work after I had my son and it took me three years to have the availability to really start building again. When I started working again more regularly, I moved salons from Hollywood to ‪Highland Park‬ to be closer to home and had to start from square one. That’s been hard. I’ve had to practice patience. I had to just know I’d go beyond where I was before. Also, it can also be hard to find other stylists who share the same values about chemical exposure and think beyond just profit, even here in LA where people seem to be more health conscious.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about PEAR Hair – what should we know?
I am a hair stylist and colorist who uses plant-based, non-toxic color. I also promote the use of products with no parabens or fragrance and eco-friendly packaging. The beauty industry is one of the most toxic, wasteful industries and I’m on a mission to be one of the “changers.” I do a variety of services, including balayage, precise foiling, and anything from long flowy layers to short precision cuts.

Since becoming a mother, I try to think 7 generations ahead. It makes me proud to do good hair while being conscious of what I’m putting on someone’s body. I can fight pollution, promote wellness, and hopefully inspire others to do the same.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Some of my biggest mentors are some of the women I went to beauty school with. I’ve watched them grow, work in salons, have kids, and branch out on their own successfully. We touch base occasionally and it always gives me a boost of confidence to relate to people in the same industry. My partner Joseph also deserves lots of credit as my biggest cheerleader. He encourages me to go with my gut and do what I believe in.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Saera Hur

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