This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing Camille Arcilla. She is an extremely talented Filipino hairstylist who actually worked on my hair recently! Camille is a big sweetheart who has found much success in the hair industry. Please enjoy our interview below.
1. Could you tell me about yourself, your education and work experience?
My name is Camille Arcilla. I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba in a traditional Filipino family.
Ever since I was young, I’ve loved playing with hair; whether it was my own, my mom’s, my cousins’ or my titas’. Growing up, I never thought hairstyling could be a possible career, especially with Filipino parents! The majority of my Filipino friends wanted to go into nursing, dentistry, engineering or accounting. Despite my parents being traditional, whenever school or a future career was part of the conversation, they never advised me to pursue a career for wealth, but instead for happiness. I graduated with my French Immersion Diploma in 2015 at Collège Garden City, and moved to Edmonton, Alberta the following fall. When I finally decided to pursue a career in Hairstyling by enrolling in MC College, it was no surprise to my family. I started school in January 2019 and it was a rollercoaster ‘til the end. I had many nights of studying, crying, and practicing. If I wasn’t in school, I was online watching balayage techniques, learning color formulations, marketing strategies; educating myself days in and out. I would apply everything I learned to clients in the school salon, and market myself on Instagram every day! Everything I was learning in class and online was paying off, and I was booked for weeks at a time. My social media presence grew, and I was extremely fortunate to get the attention of many salon owners including the Compound Cut Club’s, Julius Magpali and Alec Casapao. They reached out to me in August 2019, and it’s only gone up from there.
I’m currently a Hairstylist at the Compound Cut Cub @ 10652 98 Street NW, located in Edmonton’s Chinatown. I specialize in balayage, color correction and blonding on Asian/dark hair.
2. What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love being a hairstylist because I’m doing something I’m so passionate about and I get the opportunity to meet so many amazing people in my chair. I get to form personal connections with my clients and help them find confidence in themselves, making them feel beautiful in the inside and enhancing the beauty on the outside. Most days don’t feel like “work” because I’m having fun doing what I love, making a difference in people’s lives and I’m surrounded by such talented people in an environment that reminds me of home, Winnipeg.
3. What are the common misconceptions that people have about the work you do?
The 2 most common misconceptions that people have about hairstylists are:
1. Being a hairstylist isn’t a “real job” and doesn’t make much money.
2. Hair is easy, and anyone can do it themselves.
Most of my uncertainty with becoming a hairstylist stemmed from these misconceptions. Even though I knew better, it still worried me: the possibility of me not being able to support myself and my future family.
Knowing what I know now, I would’ve laughed at my past self. Hairstylists and barbers make good money. Good, good, money. That being said, you must be passionate in your craft, invest in your education, keep up with trends, and market and work as hard as you can. Some might call me lucky, being in the position I’m in of only doing hair for just over a year, but they don’t know how hard I worked to be where I am today.
As for the misconception that anyone can do hair, if you’re following me on Instagram, you know that the majority of my clients are color corrections. Many clients attempted to bleach their hair themselves or used box dyes to cover up their mistakes. I’ve been a hairstylist for just over a year, specializing in color corrections, and the average price for a color correction in Edmonton is $100/hr. A hairstylist is a real job and the amount of money you can make doesn’t have a limit. If anyone could do it themselves, us hairstylists wouldn’t have any clientele.
4. Who are your biggest influences/inspirations in the industry?
My biggest influences and inspirations in this industry are all from Winnipeg! Growing up in a smaller city in Canada, well known hairstylists, Josie Vilay (@josievilay) and Amber Joy (@hairbyamberjoy) and barbers, Famos (@famos) and Chink (@chinkthebarber) gave all of us young, aspiring, hairstylists and barbers the drive to chase that kind of success.
5. What do you do when you’re not working?
As a hairstylist, it is very difficult to have good work-life balance. I manage my own bookings, edit and post my work and promote my services on Instagram as often as possible. Sometimes I get in over my head and overwork myself, but it’s really important for my mental health to take a step back from work.
I’m very family-oriented so when I do have days off, I really enjoy spending time with my loved ones.
I’m also a huge foodie, so being away from Winnipeg’s amazing food scene is really tough, but I love trying local restaurants in Edmonton, Washoku and Dorinku Tokyo being my favourites.
Furthermore, most of my clients don’t know this, but I’m a really big sneakerhead (thanks to my boyfriend)! We spend a good amount of time finding some really good deals, building my collection.
Lastly, in my own time, I really enjoy cooking, shopping, watching game streams, and most importantly: sleeping, because I never get much of it!
6. What advice would you give someone wanting to break into this career?
For anyone wanting to become a hairstylist or barber, the best advice I could give you is to never give up and to keep investing in education. In hair school, my biggest struggle was letting other students get to me. There’s always going to be somebody with something negative to say. This industry can be intimidating and competitive, but don’t let others bring you down. Stay humble, educate yourself, keep up with the latest techniques and build relationships in this community with those who uplift you and want you to succeed.
7. Where can people find more of your work online?
I do all my marketing and booking through my Instagram, which is where you’ll find all my work, as well as FAQ on pricing. Follow me @arcillacamille on Instagram to keep up with my hairstyling journey!