Mezei Jefferson: From Salon Stylist to Corporate Leader + Creating Career Pathways for Hairstylists
On our second special Men's Edition, Corynne Corbett welcomes Mezei Jefferson, Assistant Vice President, Education Curriculum, ACCESS, and Digital Content for L'Oréal's Professional division. Although Mezei grew up around the industry because his grandparents owned a salon, being a hairstylist wasn't his initial career ambition. Mezei wanted to be a rock star (although he neither sang nor played an instrument). After his father convinced him of the impracticality of that goal, Mezei enrolled in beauty school. He shares his journey from a local salon in Maryland to a chain salon, where he first had the opportunity to join an education team. He fell in love with the theatrics of hair after attending one of his first hair shows, and he never looked back!
Initially reluctant, Mezei also learned the value of being a hair color specialist and added that skill to his wheelhouse. His abilities as a colorist and Redken educator led to a role at Ulta, where he grew the education team nearly eight-fold during his eight-year tenure. At the same time, he also oversaw the curriculum for over 800 salons.
Mezei explains how his first role at L'Oréal had him thinking about hair education differently since it was focused on consumers and how his position expanded to encompass Optimum Professional and later Carol's Daughter when it became part of the multicultural division of the company. He points out how social media and influencers shifted education.
Finally, Mezei talks about his new role in the professional division, how Covid-19 accelerated the need for digital education, why he gets excited about new challenges, and why he feels like he's achieved his ambition of being a rock star.
Learn all of this and more in episode 23.