David Thurston on Mentors

Mentor A has a positive outlook, dresses professionally, teaches skills to their assistant, and trusts them with opportunities to cut, color, and style. Mentor B is negative, unprofessional, and just uses their assistant to sweep floors and shampoo their clients. A stylist’s entire career experience can be drastically different depending on which stylist mentors them… their drive, their skill level, their attitude, their approach, and their chance of success.

A good mentor doesn’t just pay their assistant; they also set them up for success by teaching them how to be a great hairstylist. A good mentor makes expectations clear, consistently enforces the expectations they set, and sets goals with their assistant.

Assistants… always be proactive and anticipate your mentor’s needs before they need to ask. If you do have some downtime, don’t waste it in the break room, use the time to improve your skills by practicing on a doll head. And above all else, when you graduate from being an assistant, don’t be cliché and talk bad about your mentor because you think you do things “so much better than they did.

Cheers to the good mentors out there! Thanks for elevating our industry. If you were lucky enough to have a good mentor, tag them here.

- David at Butterfly Loft

About: David Thurston is the founder of Butterfly Loft salon and Ubungalows Luxury Salon Suites, that combined make up a 10,000 square foot salon and spa located in Los Angeles, California.  He is also the founder of Butterfly Circus, a touring education team made up of some of the most recognizable stylists in the world, who collaborate to put on large hair shows.  David is also the co-founder of Butterfly Loft Academy, a hands-on education company that teaches the latest Balayage, color melt, and vivid/pastel coloring techniques. Follow Butterfly Loft on Instagram.


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