27th September 2023 – (Nottingham) Hairstylist Walker, who has worked with celebrities in Hong Kong, recently shared his struggles after moving to the United Kingdom (U.K.) for work. Despite a significant decrease in salary, he finds himself working non-stop for ten hours a day, lamenting, “By late afternoon, I’m already exhausted.”
Walker, interviewed by the YouTube channel “MoonMaChannel,” revealed that he immigrated to the U.K. in October 2021. Initially, he felt lonely, as back in Hong Kong, he would go out for meals with colleagues after work. However, in the U.K., he had to navigate his new life on his own.
Over time, Walker managed to make friends and build a clientele, alleviating some of the loneliness he initially experienced.
Having been a star hairstylist in Hong Kong, responsible for models and celebrities’ hairstyles, Walker found work at a salon in London upon arriving in the U.K. He described the job as demanding, as he had to commute for one to two hours every morning from his distant residence, waking up at 6am.
However, the most challenging aspect for him was dealing with the distinctive traits of British women’s hair, which added to the difficulties of his work. He compared it to a vigorous gym workout, as he had to exert considerable effort to handle the hair’s unique characteristics.
Walker shared that working at a U.K. salon kept him incredibly busy. He said, “It’s non-stop. You wake up at six-something in the morning, and you can finally rest around two or three in the afternoon.” Most days, he didn’t even have a 10-minute break.
He also mentioned that British clients were very specific about what they wanted. “They already tell you what they want as soon as they arrive, and then they show you pictures,” he explained. It was his job to follow their instructions precisely.
During the interview, Walker shared amusing anecdotes about demanding clients and amusing encounters with his British colleagues. He recounted instances where a client’s friends or family immediately took out a ruler after the haircut, saying, “Cut off another half-inch and make it even.”
He revealed that his monthly salary at the time was £2,000 (approximately HK$19,000), significantly lower than what he earned in Hong Kong.
After working at the London salon for about six months, Walker decided to leave and relocate to Nottingham. He used around £10,000 (approximately HK$95,000) to establish his own salon, primarily catering to the local Hong Kong community.
Although he has ventured into entrepreneurship and opened his salon, he remains the sole staff member, handling all aspects of haircuts and styling. While his income now balances out his expenses, it still falls short of what he earned as a hairstylist in Hong Kong. He mentioned that previously, a haircut and blow-dry would cost HK$900, but now he offers services at an “affordable” price.
Walker’s journey as a hairstylist in the U.K. showcases the challenges faced by talented professionals when adapting to new environments. Despite the hardships, he continues to pursue his passion while striving to provide quality service to his clients.