Hairstylist Caylie Porter has worked at multiple salons in the Northwest Arkansas area and gained friends, experience, and perspective throughout the years.

Porter said she originally gravitated toward the industry due to early memories she made with her mother and family friends.

“As a kid, my mom’s best friend was a hairstylist. My mom and I spent girl days going to get our hair and nails done, and going to the salon was a way my mom and I bonded,” Porter said. “I also always did hair and makeup for my cheer team in junior high and high school.”

Caylie said her parents originally wanted her to go to college, but she quickly decided that it wasn’t for her when she attended school.

“One day I just decided to go to hair school and never looked back.”

Caylie has been in the hair industry for 3 years now, and landed her first job as a commission stylist right after she graduated.

“The best way to build rapport was to take everyone, study and understand color theory. The first salon I worked at had great ratings online, so I was able to fill my books and get clients quickly because of the salon’s reputation,” Caylie said. She also mentioned that social media and word of mouth have greatly helped promote business.

Caylie stated that as her career advanced, she wanted to specialize in something that felt different and set her apart – brunettes and lived-in color. She emphasized that finding your niche is important; in the past, she had to learn how to do everything, but now she is able to do what she specializes in and has developed a solid clientele. 

“This is an industry that you can easily get burned out in, but being able to do what you love and enjoy every day definitely makes it more fun.”