Tuesday 19 September 2017

'I wish my dad had lived to see my success after I became pregnant at 18' - top hairdresser Shauna

Shauna became pregnant with son Ryan when she was 18
Shauna became pregnant with son Ryan when she was 18

Laura Lynott

She is often seen perfecting the look of former Xpose presenter Lisa Cannon, working on photoshoots or creating new bridal hairstyles - but as a one-time teen mum, Shauna Lawlor thought her career was over before it had began.

Shauna was 18 and training to be a hairdresser, following in the footsteps of her father Eamonn Sullivan, a top barber, when she became pregnant.

The Clonsilla woman was determined to welcome her son Ryan, now 18, into the world and build her career at the same time.

"I was working at a salon in town and was doing Adi Roche's hair, as she ran for president in 1997, when suddenly I felt sick," Shauna said.

"I found out I was pregnant and I was living at home with my parents. This was the last thing on my mind."

Shauna (37) was in a relationship with the father to her child, Jason, now 45, who she later married at the age of 25.

Shauna Lawlor with husband Jason and sons Zach (20 months), Nathan and Ryan
Shauna Lawlor with husband Jason and sons Zach (20 months), Nathan and Ryan

The fact the couple are still together is testimony to their commitment. They now have two more children, Nathan, (11) and Zach (18 months).

"It was so scary because I wasn't fully trained and when I told my parents, my dad was so disappointed.

"He had such high expectations of me. He was afraid I wouldn't finish my training and that I wouldn't end up doing anything. He was such a great barber that he expected me to be the same and I guess he saw this as letting him down."

Sadly Eamonn died at the age of 44, 15 years ago, never knowing just what a success his daughter would become.

"I was only 21 and I really wish he'd lived to see how well I got on. I've owned two salons and now I'm a freelance hairdresser and I was runner-up recently in a weddingsonline.ie hairdresser of the year competition.

"I work with some of the most amazing clients, mainly doing wedding work and transforming the look of brides. It's a great job.

"I also do Lisa Cannon's hair - she's absolutely lovely. I've done photoshoots with Fair City too and they are a great bunch. I wish my father had got to see how I'd make a success of myself but sadly that wasn't meant to be," she said.

"I was devastated when he passed away but Ryan helped me through it.

"Life is a roller-coaster of ups and down and one of the toughest parts about having a child so young is worrying about money and the future.

"But I was always determined to provide for my child and make sure he had the best chance so that's what I fought to do."

With the help and support of her mum Bernie (59), Ryan and then boyfriend Jason and his family, Shauna completed her training and set about following her career path.

"I only took six weeks off after having Ryan. I didn't understand, I thought I was going to lose my job," Shauna said.

She soldiered on, even working from 7am until 7pm as she progressed in the industry.

She has since taken a step back from long hours to spend more time with her family but her career has continued to go from strength to strength.

"I had a goal to own my own salon and work for myself and I did that twice," she said. "Now freelance is where I want to be due to the freedom it allows me for family time.

"I work the hours I want to and I do work long and hard but I fit it round my life."

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