With more than four barbers in the family, you might say hairdressing for Ali Alekdeh is in the blood. TACB sat down to chat about his hairdressing course and his plans for the future!
Name: Ali Alekdeh
What course are you doing? Hairdressing Certificate III
Where are you in your course? Halfway through
Give us a quick backstory:
I started out working as an electrician in the family business. After we sold it, my uncle suggested I try out barbering. My family has quite a bit of history in the industry – there’s probably about 4 or 5 barbers throughout the family including my grandfather, as well as hairdressers as well.
What made you decide to pursue your passion in this industry?
Besides the fact that it runs in the family, what really drove me to make the move was a particular barber shop where I always had my hair done. It just had a really cool vibe – there were people hanging out playing games; just super relaxed. I thought, “This would be an awesome place to work.”
So I approached the owner on a Wednesday; he told me to come in for an interview/trial on the Saturday. After that, he told me I had a job the following Monday. I’ve been working part-time at Legends Barbershop ever since. That’s how it all started.
Where are you now in your career?
I’m still working in barbering at Legends Barbershop and studying part-time.
I actually enrolled here at TACB in the same week as getting the job. So I’m halfway through my Certificate III in Hairdressing in order to learn to skills and eventually be recognised with a qualification.
What have you learnt whilst working in the industry?
The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is how to deal with all kinds of customers. There are always going to be those who are picky and not as easily pleased but you learn very quickly how to listen closely to what people want. When you come across customers who aren’t happy, you just keep listening and make sure they leave with something they’re happy with.
What has your most memorable experience been at the College?
It would probably have to be my first day. I just felt really welcomed and made friends really easily with my classmates and the teachers. I just remember feeling at home straight away.
What advice would you give to anyone looking at pursuing a career in the industry?
Make sure you’re passionate, first and foremost. You can have talent but you won’t go as far without passion for what you do.
You also need to be focused. Make sure you know what you want and be ready to work hard for it.
What advice would you give to potential students thinking of studying at the College?
I’d say just be ready. It might seem like you’re jumping in at the deep end to start with, but it’s the only way to learn. I know friends who studied elsewhere and were still washing hair in basins three months in – we were washing in the first week. It just proved to me how important it is to just get in there and do it.
I’d also say that it’s important to be hands on. Don’t be afraid of the hair you’re working with. I found, given that I was studying at the same time, each time I went into work at the barbershop I was more and more confident. That confidence came so quickly by just getting involved at College and taking every opportunity.