Where Are They Now: Julz Coda

“Be worthy of respect. Be accountable. Invest in relationships. Give to others.”

We caught up with Julz Coda, Vidal Sassoon 2016 Professional Beauty Education Scholarship Winner, to see what she’s up to and how her career in the Beauty Industry is going.

Whether she’s working behind the chair, in front of the camera creating a vlog, or reporting on an industry event for Estetica, Julz Coda wants the world to know that beauty changes lives. Julz co-founded the Beyond Beauty School blog and vlog – an online portal that celebrates the people, passion and potential of beauty. Most recently, she added “contributing editor” to her resume, as West Coast correspondent for Estetica magazine. Below, Julz describes her passion for education and shares how a community of kindness continues to inspire her as a breast cancer survivor.

You’d been doing hair for a decade when you received the advanced scholarship. What prompted you to apply?

I saw a social media post about the scholarship from Eden Sassoon. The seeds of my career were really sown as a beauty school student at the Vidal Sassoon Academy where I learned not just the art of hairstyling, but the real ingredients of success — Showing up on time. How to talk to a client. Earning a client’s confidence and trust. Those seeds of education continue to inspire me to perfect my craft with advanced education.

What inspired you to start Beyond Beauty School?

I wanted people inside and outside the industry to know this business is about so much more than working behind the chair – although I still love that role! When hairstylists don’t push themselves, they can start to burn out and my mission is to open their eyes to all the avenues available to work in our industry. You can be a sales rep, or work in distribution; build brands on the corporate side; or be an educator. There is always a way to take your career to the next level.

What is a new level you’ve recently explored?

I can’t tell you how surprised I am to be writing and doing photography for Estetica. In school, I would have laughed if someone said I’d be writing copy. In fact, I studied math so I wouldn’t have to read! But reporting on West Coast events for Estetica is a whole new way to connect and engage with this industry.

Can you share a challenge you’ve recently encountered on your career journey?

Being diagnosed with breast cancer was an emotional experience that defied words. It was really hard to tell seven or eight clients a day that I had cancer. Social media was an incredibly helpful tool in keeping my community updated. And as I’ve shared my story, it has been beautiful to watch the community spring up around me. I’ve had people in the industry bring me dinner, clean my house, and shampoo my hair when I couldn’t lift my arms above my head following surgery. I’ve had wig companies donate expensive wigs and others in the industry donate cooling caps.

How has this generosity influenced you to give back to the beauty community?

Following my diagnosis, I learned about the Jill Foundation – an organization that was founded to help hairstylists diagnosed with breast cancer deal with the tremendous financial hardships that accompany the diagnosis. This is an amazing organization I was unaware of before the diagnosis.

What’s next for you and your career?

I’m becoming more informed about plant-based and natural ingredients. It’s exciting to see all of the globally conscious work taking place in the beauty industry. My diagnosis also opened my eyes to issues our industry will need to address moving forward; including health insurance and financial literacy. But that’s another conversation.

Looking back over the first 12 years of an amazing career, how has beauty changed your life?
Although I keep growing and learning, my success circles back to the fundamentals I learned at the Sassoon Academy. Be worthy of respect. Be accountable. Invest in relationships. Give to others. Those lessons taught me that I am so much more than a hairdresser. I’m part of a beautiful community.