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Growth & Jobs | 'Hair's' to success - Male cosmetologist makes business profitable

Published:Friday | November 24, 2017 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Wayne Maxwell cosmetologist at his J Max Spa, Hair & Nail Club located at the Lee Gore Business Centre, Waterloo and CPJ Market, Lady Musgrave Road, St Andrew.
Wayne Maxwell

Who would have thought that an unexpected relationship would have resulted in a successful business venture? That is Wayne Maxwell's story, artistic director and owner of JMAX Spa, Hair and Nail Club in St Andrew, who has been at the helm of a profitable cosmetology business for over 10 years.

In an interview with The Gleaner, he said that he was always destined to be an entrepreneur, making pencils from as early as primary school, selling bottles and bag juice and now doing what he loves - hairdressing.

"I got introduced (to hair dressing) from a girlfriend that I dated when I was in high school. The salon was across the road from my house and I used to go over there a lot. One day she asked me to shampoo her hair for her and I did it and, basically, it became a habit where she would ask me to wash her hair, in addition to other customers', and I have never looked back," he said.

"I remember it was time to leave school and I needed to do something. So I applied to JAGAS (Jamaican-German Automotive School) and I also applied to HEART (Trust-NTA) because the ladies were saying that I needed to learn hairdressing. I did both tests the same week and needless to say, I failed the JAGAS one and passed the beauty exam," he recalled.

Maxwell said that although he has managed to be a successful business owner and the industry has huge economic potential, he continues to encounter serious challenges in finding passionate young people who will develop the cosmetology industry.

"For me, it would be staffing. It has been a challenge to find people who are passionate about the industry. Some of them come and say they are passionate, but they are afraid to work. They love the idea of having a job, but when it comes to hitting the ground running, they don't want to put in that work. I'm willing to share, but you have to be willing to learn as an employee," he told The Gleaner.

Good attitude + love for people and industry = success

"Hairdressing business is very lucrative," said Wayne Maxwell, artistic director and owner of JMAX Spa, Hair and Nail Club. "But what you need, is a good attitude, you need to have a love for the industry, and you also need to have a love for people. You are going to be treating and serving people, you can actually make or break an individual's day."

Maxwell's clients are a mix of men and women. However, more women come to him at his St Andrew establishment. He said, "You have to constantly evolve and you have to grow and constantly practise. It's the information age, so things are at your fingertips. It is now up to you (hairdresser) to educate your customers. Your customers don't necessarily have to come in every week to shampoo, but it is your responsibility to train the customer how to use the right products." That way, he said, damage to the hair is reduced and "there is a level of stability".