Hairdressing was a second career for me; after high school I joined the US Army wanting to leave my small town and travel the world. I loved it, the experience, travel, new people, culture, and discipline truly has shaped me as an adult today and I don’t regret a single thing about my time in service. I met my husband and have been married for 14 years with 3 beautiful children.

But when I was finishing up my contract trying to decide if I should stay in or get out and go back to school. My mom passed away suddenly. Before her passing I had never lost a significant person in my life. I didn’t truly understand death and grief. At 24 I buried my mom, my best friend, the most important person in my life. I was lost, truly heartbroken and so I separated from the Army and while I was grieving I had a new baby and my husband was deployed to Iraq. It was the toughest year of my life. At the time we were stationed in Germany and so I took my son back home and decided to switch gears and try to heal.

I enrolled in Cosmetology School because that is what my mom did for half of her life. I always remembered how the people she transformed their mood and energy just from their hair. I went to the same Cosmetology school as my mom and the first day of class our instructors had us write out why we were there. And I was honest, I said because of my mom who had passed away and she had went to this very school. The next day my instructor asked me who my mom was and I told her and she said that she knew here as they were in the same class in 1979. At that moment I knew I was in the right place in my life. To heal, to honor her, to serve others and in return I have purpose.

From that day forward I RUN, I don’t walk, I RUN towards my goals and dreams. Because at any moment it can all be over and then moment you get the word of what your purpose is there is no time to walk; you must run towards it.

I have been doing hair for 11 years and I’ve been an educator with Pureology for 7 of those years. Becoming an artist has been the most fulfilling experience of my professional career. Getting to grow the future of this profession on a grand scale has been truly a highlight. I am forever grateful to Pureology for giving me a platform to share my passion for this industry. I have done and experienced some amazing things like NYFW, editorial shoots, magazine publications, being named the Next Generation of Influencers by American Salon. But the greatest experience has been growing the future of our industry through education.

The biggest lesson I learned from changing careers and my mom passing away is this; you only get one shot so you might as well make it count. Truly blessed to have an angel by my side and to share what I love.

Jamie Wiley(@jamiewileyhair)

Pureology Brand Ambassador

Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area

Leave a Reply