From the outside, everything in Rebecca Taylor’s world looked amazing. The award-winning color specialist, educator, brand ambassador, and platform artist was sought after worldwide for her engaging stage presence and flawlessly executed creative haircolor. She was opening her own salon. Business was good.

But behind the scenes was a different story. Stress, burnout, and the drive to operate at full throttle began cracking an emotional foundation already weakened by unresolved childhood trauma.

In 2020, everything came crashing down.

Taylor, who has since added “Beauty Pro Mindset Coach” to her skill set, told American Salon about learning the hard way why beauty professionals need to make self-care a priority.

Rebecca Taylor, beauty wellness coach and educator
(Rebecca Taylor)


I had been a workaholic and a perfectionist for the bulk of my career. For 15 to 16 years it was a crazy grind. Very much hustle culture, very much “my work is my identity.”

That all started in cosmetology school. I’d discovered the first thing I was really good at, the very first thing I felt confident in.

So when the pandemic happened and I couldn’t work, it brought on a ton of anxiety and an identity crisis: Who am I outside my career?

Besides, I’d just opened a salon in 2019 and had put a quarter million dollars into it. We ended up closing for seven months.

It was brutal. My use of Xanax ramped up, and I was a shell of who I once was. Before you knew it, I was physically dependent.

I had to go into treatment.

Rebecca Taylor haircolor
The author's creative work. (Rebecca Taylor)

Since then, there’s a saying that really resonates with me: when things feel like they’re all falling apart, they’re coming together.

I thought grinding was the only way to success, but I know now that comes from fear and a scarcity mindset. 

I took a six-month hiatus from social media and lost 70 thousand followers. I closed my salon and moved to a different city, freshly sober. I felt like a raw nerve. I had to start from scratch. I had to reinvent myself.

In the past, I didn’t have boundaries. But now, stepping back behind the chair, I had to do things differently, which for me meant clearly communicating my needs to everyone. I started saying no. I started putting myself first. I focused on being present. And I did rebuild — no grind needed.

I know hustling, and now I know prioritizing peace of mind. Both are possible. But in this industry, only one of those can sustain a healthy, fulfilling career.

Beauty is very much a service industry, because if we’re not serving our clients, we’re serving our peers. If we can’t take care of ourselves first, we won’t be any good for anybody.

This is why stylists need to prioritize self-care over everything else! And I am willing to die on that hill.


Rebecca Taylor’s Top 10 Ways to Prevent Burnout

1. Wellness First.

Maintain physical health by getting regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep.

Maintain mental health by staying mindful, meditating, or adopting a simple practice of gratitude.

2. Set Boundaries.

Establish clear boundaries and a healthy work-life balance. Take enough time to relax and recharge.

Say NO! -  to additional work or commitments that could overwhelm you.

3. Never Stop Learning.

Keep up with the latest trends and techniques in your craft. Attend workshops, seminars, or online courses.

4. Connect With Peers.

Engage with other stylists and beauty educators through social media, professional organizations, or industry events.

Find support in these groups. Nobody understands you like someone else in the biz! Share experiences and challenges with other beauty professionals.

5. Shake Up Your Routine.

Keep things from getting stale by mixing up your schedule, plus trying new techniques and styles.

Say YES! - to creative projects and collaborations that inspire you.

6. Be Your Own Personal Assistant.

Plan out your work days efficiently to avoid preventable stress, using time-management tools like calendars and to-do lists. Schedule non-negotiable breaks into your workday.

7. Seek Inspiration.

Find mentors — people whose careers you want to emulate, and can turn to for guidance and motivation. Follow inspirational accounts, watch tutorials, and identify emerging trends.

8. Reflect, Adapt, Take Action.

Regularly assess what is working in your life and what isn’t. Commit to making needed changes.

Keep yourself on a forward path by setting realistic goals both large and small. Whenever you achieve one, celebrate!

9. Ask For Help.

If you're burned out or struggling, seek professional help from a therapist, counselor, or wellness coach.

10. Remember Your Passion.

Never forget why you became a stylist, and focus on the favorite aspects of your job that bring you joy.


Rebecca Taylor will be teaching two classes at the International Beauty Show-Las Vegas on June 23: "Haircolor Elevated: Maximize Your Time, Income & Efficiency" and "Elevate Your Brand: Mastering Social Media, Storytelling & Mindset." Register here for the 3-day event June 22-24.

Salon coach, educator, and colorist Rebecca Taylor.