Getting to Know Samantha Harman: A Q&A With the Hair Queen Taking Social Media By Storm
Do you brush curls? What are the best hair washing hacks? Wait, what’s the best way to clean brushes again? What’s the right move–a root melt vs. a root smudge?
The beauty world is full of different strategies, techniques, and questions.
Fortunately, one woman has all the answers. And she’s been more than willing to share them with more than just the beauty community, but the entire world.
Meet Samatha Harman, the beauty pro behind the much-loved social media handle @samanthasbeautyconfessions. A pro in the industry with a killer knack for color and a drive for teaching, Samantha isn’t just a beauty industry expert; she’s also a marketing whiz that knows her way around social media.
Before Samantha built her online brand that’s sweeping the digital world (273k followers is no joke), she took a roundabout journey that led her away from the family biz of cosmetology (her mother is a successful stylist), toward a college degree, and then back to the beauty biz with a whole new perspective.
Her specialties? Blonding, balayage, offering her client’s lived-in looks, and most recently, wowing social media with her tips, tricks, hacks, and beauty secrets. As the brains behind the beauty industry social media sensation that is her brand–Samantha’s Beauty Confessions–she offers her followers practical tips and next-level styling tutorials.
But more than that, she’s taking cosmetology education to totally new heights by creating engaging, informative content targeted at cosmetologists like her. She even shares the social media marketing strategies she’s used to grow her brand.
We were lucky enough to sit down for a fun Q&A with Samantha. She dives into industry guidance, her personal journey, and of course, offers up a little advice that every beauty pro (or beauty enthusiast) should hear.
An Exclusive Q&A With Samantha Harman
Tell Us a Little Bit About Yourself!
I work in a tiny little town where I graduated high school. I’ve done hair for seven years now. Mostly, I do a lot of lived-in blonding looks, but I do education as well–lots of color classes.
But most recently, I got to teach a social media class at Premiere Orlando. It felt different than other classes I’ve taught, and I really enjoyed it. A cool fact about me is that mom has always done hair, and now she owns a cosmetology school. I work in the building she owns–the one she did hair in for 18 years!
What Inspired You to Get Involved in the Hair Industry?
I didn’t want to do hair. Everyone thought that I was going to want to, but out of high school, I was resistant. So, I went to college, I did all of that, and then after college, when it came time to start working, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do–I couldn’t decide which career path to take.
I’d gone to school for public relations and marketing, so there were a lot of options for me. That is partly why I chose that major–I wanted a lot of options, and I didn’t want a cookie-cutter career.
I came home to talk to my mom about it and get her opinions and advice because I just couldn’t figure it out. Before college, she’d suggested that I enroll in cosmetology school, and, at the time, I wasn’t receptive. But when I went back to talk to her–after she’d given me a few years of a break from talking about it–she brought it up again. I was much more receptive, and that’s when I enrolled in my mom’s school, Elite Academy.
What Part of the Industry Do do You Find the Most Challenging?
Imposter syndrome! The mental health aspect, I think, is something that a lot of us in the industry struggle with. With Instagram and comparison and all of that, you have to be mindful that you’re not the only person feeling that way. You have to know that you’re in the right spot for you. Everyone's path is different.
I know that now, but that took a couple of years for me to grasp and really see.
What Is the Most Rewarding Thing About the Cosmetology Industry?
I love the education side of it. In the salon, I love the connections you make with your clients, but what I love about education is the same thing–the connection. On the education side, it’s more of the lightbulb moment when people take the class, and it clicks with them. Something within them just gets it, and for me, seeing that look on their face is so rewarding–it allows us to connect on a new level.
I still work in the salon– I’ve cut my days back because I do a lot of traveling now, but I still love that 1:1 time I have with clients. You know, when you get to fully focus on them, their hair–you hear about their kids and their husbands. I know their stories, and I just love that.
What Made You Switch Over to the Education Side of the Industry?
I had done hair for two years, and I hadn’t yet started my Instagram. I took a few instructor classes and just fell in love with the education side of the industry.
I’d look through Instagram and see hairstylists doing awesome things, but I honestly never thought I could do it. I was hesitant–it was intimidating! But I loved education, and I didn’t want to regret not giving it a shot. I slowly transferred into that space more and worked at it, and here we are.
If You Could Give One Piece of Advice to Beauty Professionals (New or Advanced), What Would it Be?
Be patient. And most importantly, don’t compare yourself. It’s something that I felt so strongly about before Instagram got into the mix. I actually try to include all of this insight in every class I teach.
If you’re yourself, authentic, and passionate, I do believe there’s an opportunity out there that’s going to find you. Kind of like what they say about relationships. Someone is going to find you–something will find you–even if you’re not intentionally looking for it.
You Were at Premiere and Taught a Social Media Class There–What Was the Biggest Takeaway From This Event?
I truly loved teaching social media. I knew I loved education; I’ve done so many color classes in the last six months. But teaching social media was different.
My boyfriend came with me to Premiere, and he recorded my classes and watching it back, I realized that I just come alive when I talk about it. It’s a big difference in the passion I have for teaching color classes versus teaching social media. That was a cool realization I didn’t know that I had. But also, I realized that people were interested in my teaching technique.
You're always worried it’s not good enough, but I got a lot of good feedback from that class.