Linlithgow hair stylist refuses to let health condition cut her career path

A young Linlithgow hair stylist is determined to not let a chronic health condition destroy her working life, by going self employed so she can remain on her career path.

By Kevin Quinn
Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 5:00 am
Linlithgow hair stylist Rachel Mcwhirter and her friend Craig.
Linlithgow hair stylist Rachel Mcwhirter and her friend Craig.

Rachel Mcwhirter (28) recently went self employed after 13 years in the hair industry, and now works three days a week in her friend’s hair salon.

Rachel had previously worked with FI Hair’s owner Craig Johnston, and is delighted to have teamed up again with him at the Linlithgow High Street salon.

She said: “I decided to go my own way after more than 10 years suffering with endometriosis, which is a life-long chronic illness that massively effects my life and millions of others.“I have went self employed, working within my friend’s salon. Our friendship started eight years ago at First Impressions - a long standing business in the high street.

Sign up to our daily The Falkirk Herald Today newsletter

Linlithgow hair stylist Rachel Mcwhirter.

"I was a hairstylist and Craig the Saturday boy. We soon became great friends and went on nights out together.

"After two years I decided to leave the salon to go and gain more experience in colour and ended up becoming a manager. Craig then ended up buying over the salon and re-branding it as FI hair which he has owned for four and a half years.”

Rachel explained more about how suffering from endometriosis has impacted her working life and revealed her determination not to let it stop her doing her dream job.

She said: “It’s more common than people realise. You feel sick, tired, and it actually makes you look pregnant!

Craig and Rachel.

"It’s quite a complex illness to be honest. It’s chronic, you can’t get rid of it. I have had surgery to make it a bit better but usually in a year you are back to what you were. It’s pretty rubbish.

"I wanted to get a balance to enjoy my life again. So I decided to go self employed to have a more flexible working schedule, as years of working full time had taken it’s toll.

"I absolutely love my job and saw the opportunity to stick with what I love whilst allowing my body to rest without giving up a career I love.

"I only need to work three days self employed to make up what I did five days employed.

"And with 13 years experience it was a no brainier! It was the perfect time as Craig was looking for a new stylist. It all just fell into place so quickly.”