Month: July 2016

Uniform Policy? Don’t Sweat It. Let the True You Shine No Matter the Dress Code.

Whether you’re starting a new job at a salon with a uniform policy, or your boss has decided to institute rules on wardrobe at your existing job, a dress code mandate can trigger panic. Hairdressers are by nature creative individuals. After all, we spend our days cutting, coloring, and coiffing clients who want to look their best. So being told we have to limit our own self-expression via our clothing choices can be panic inducing. But fear not. With the right emphasis on accessories and other forms of adornment (like, ahem, yourhair!), you’ll feel like yourself dress code or not. Remember, you are after all a beauty professional! You’ve got this.

The least restrictive form of dress code is the uniform color rule. Example: all stylists must wear black. For some of us, this sounds like a dream—you may favor the inky shade already. But for color lovers, this is a difficult pill to swallow. But don’t panic. There are many ways to incorporate color into your ensemble via bright accessories (statement necklaces, colorful stones like turquoise), makeup choices (think a bold lip, or brightly colored nail), and even shoes. Ask your boss whether shoes must also be included in the color mandate. If not, being able to get your color fix by way of a pair of colorful shoes will be sure to put you at ease. Another brilliantly easy way to add interest to a monochromatic outfit is by playing with fabric textures. Look for velvets, satins, or other interesting fabrics. They go a long way to spicing up a single-color ensemble.  

Perhaps the more dreaded form of wardrobe control is the true uniform. Every woman (and men, too) knows that there is no one style or cut that flatters all body types. The thought of having to wear the exact same thing as your coworkers, whether or not it flatters your figure, can be very upsetting. There is one positive aspect to this policy that we must point out—at least you’ll never have to wake up and think about what you’ll have to wear!

That said, we’d bet you still may be feeling glum, but again, it’s time to focus on accessories and on your beauty efforts. Your hair, makeup, and accessories can help you feel more like you in a job where you feel you look the same as everyone you work with. As a hair professional, we don’t have to tell you there are a million ways to be you via your cut, color, or style. If a particular piece of the uniform is giving you grief, consider approaching your boss. If the standard issue black pants simply aren’t fitting you, kindly speak to your boss and present her with a solution—for example, you have a very similar pair that are much more flattering and you’d love to bring them in for her to evaluate as an alternative. Employers are extremely receptive to solution-oriented employees, so approaching the issue from a problem-solving angle is sure to go a long way with any boss. If you’re still not happy, consider wearing your own garb to work and changing back into your outfit before you leave at the end of the day. This way you minimize time spent feeling self-conscious about your clothing. And if all else fails, take a deep breath and remind yourself that we’re at work for 40 hours a week—a lot of living goes on outside our job and there is plenty of time to express yourself while not at work. You’ll be even more grateful for those days off when do they roll around!


7 Rules for Beginner Stylists

Starting out in any career is tough. Your first months as a stylist will likely be your hardest, but someday you’re going to look back on them fondly as one of the most challenging and exciting times of your life. Until then, here are some tips for newbies to kick start your career…

  1. Work hard — This sounds like a no brainer, right? But hard work beyond the chair is more important at the beginning of your career than ever. You might have some slow days starting out, so use the time to lend an extra hand to clean up around the salon or help another stylist with too much on their plate. Salon owners and colleagues will notice this and keep you in mind for opportunities, forward clients to you when their time is full, and lend you a hand when you need it later. 
  2. Take notes — Client cards are a system every stylist should put in place. Take a moment after each appointment to write down as much information about their preferences, colors used, hair history and more. You’ll be happy you did when they come back for their next appointment. 
  3. Insist on direction — You’ll quickly learn that your most difficult clients might at first seem like those who are the easiest going. Experienced stylists know though that the client in the chair saying “do whatever you like” or “I’m not too picky” can be some of the toughest to work with. Don’t settle for a lack of direction. Without being pushy, keep the conversation going and try to get more information. If they don’t give, then remember, you’re the expert. Make suggestions and ask them what they think of your ideas, and search for confirmation. You’ll be happier then to proceed with your work with more confidence. 
  4. Language counts — Employ the right rhetoric whenever possible. Use words like “shampoo” instead of “wash”. They can wash their hair at home, but in the salon, a shampoo implies more pampering. Avoid harsh words like “bleach” and instead say “lift” or “lighten”, and so on. A little of this goes a long way to keep your client at ease. 
  5. Dress the part — From the get go, dress as though you are already a successful stylist. Clients and colleagues expect you to not only be good technically at what you do, but also have great taste. Clients will gravitate towards you because they respect your style and believe you know what it takes to make them look great. Salon owners will be proud to have you around and put you forward for new clients and other opportunities.  
  6. Keep learning — Just because your classes are done and your assisting days are over, doesn’t mean you know it all. To be a great stylist and a successful one, you need to keep learning all the time. Work photoshoots outside of the salon, go places that inspire you, take an extra course when the opportunity presents itself, and ask questions to learn from fellow stylists. 
  7. Be patient & stay optimistic — Some days are good, other days are bad. It may take time to build a good list of clients, get to know colleagues, and find your footing. But stick with it, stay positive, and keep your heart in your work even when it’s hard and you’ve made mistakes. Persistence will bring success your way. It’s just a matter of time. 

5 Celebrity Stylists to Follow

Keeping up with celebrity stylists online is one of the best ways to get us motivated and inspired! Watching their careers play out on instagram and beyond is a great way to gain insight into trendsetters and trade secrets too, so check out some of our favorites worth following below…

  1. Adir Abergel — When he’s not following A-list actresses like Emilie Clarke or Bryce Dallas Howard around the globe on press tours to keep they’re hair looking gorgeous, celebrity stylist Adir Abergel can be found back home in Los Angeles working on awesome editorials. Also among his “besties” are Reese Witherspoon and Maria Sharapova, who you’ll also find plenty of behind the scenes posts of on Adir’s instagram. We love following Adir to see his glamorous jetset life, discovering far off places and taking notes on the looks he creates for the stars. Above all, his ultra positive attitude shines through all his posts and inspires his followers. You can find him on Instagram @hairbyadir. 
  2. Kristin Ess — Kristin made a name for herself as Lauren Conrad’s personal hairstylist, and since launching The Beauty Department has become a bonified hair guru. Her styling and color expertise are creating some serious hair envy across the internet. But she’s not stingy with her knowledge, sharing her how to’s to beautiful braids, impeccable updos, and superior haircare. She also shares here favorite finds on her frequent travels! Follow her at and @kristin_ess.
  3. Ted Gibson — New York based celebrity stylist, Ted Gibson, has adorably named his impressive entourage of clients “Gibson Girls.” Among them are Anne Hatheway, Brie Larson, Deborah Messing, Gugu Bathraw and more, with whom he shares snaps of himself hard at work behind the scenes of photoshoots and festival red carpets. But Ted treasures all his clients equally, often sharing transformational snaps of ordinary salon visitors. We also enjoy his snapshots from day-to-day life as a salon owner and style guru appearing regularly on TV. Follow him across the web @tedgibsonbeauty. 
  4. Rubi Jones — Rubi Jones quite literally wrote the book on good hair. The Art of Hair is her DIY guide to braids, buns, curls and more and is making making the world a more beautiful place one hairdo at a time. We love Rubi’s posts from New York fashion week, discovering her inspirations, and little snapshots from her life as a stylist and working mom. Follow her @rubi_jones on Instagram. 
  5. Mark Townsend — Mark Townsend never stops, living out of a suitcase to bring his hair magic to red carpets around the world. Chances are some of his recent red carpet looks on Dakota Johnson or Rachel McAdams are already on your pinterest boards. His goofy interludes and and regular Hepburn inspiration posts are also some highlights on his feed. Follow him at @marktownsend1 to keep up with his work.