Tag: career advice

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!

What to Know as a Stylist’s Assistant

What to Know as a Stylist’s Assistant

By Chelle Neff

As an assistant in the salon industry, you’ll receive invaluable hands-on education while helping your stylist provide a satisfying guest experience for their clients. The relationship between a stylist and an assistant should be built on teamwork and mentor-ship. Instead of seeing yourself as a human hair clip, take a proactive approach by asking some key questions that will help you share your talents and skills more effectively.

Learn Your Stylist’s Service Standards
To become an irreplaceable member of the team, start with learning your stylist’s service standards. Ask them what your role will be during each service, like a haircut or a partial foil. Will you be finishing the services for all of the clients? If so, make sure you understand exactly what they need you to do, and which are the best tools to use.

Next, discuss how long it should take to complete each portion of every service. The goal is to work smarter, not harder. Time yourself while practicing or performing services to help you improve your speed.

Talk to Your Stylist About Their Goals
To find out what goals are most important to your stylist, just ask are they looking to increase their retail or add-on sales? Or do they want to grow their pre-booking percentage? Consistent communication will keep you and your stylist on the same page while working as a team.

Once you’ve identified specific goals, work with your stylist to achieve them. Here are some tips to achieve those goals:

1. If the goal is to upsell more add-on services, sit down with your stylist in the morning and pre-plan the day. Looking for windows of opportunity—a.k.a. “gaps” in your stylist’s schedule—where you can offer additional salon services such as waxing, glaze services, or treatments. Once you’ve designed your slate of offerings, follow through by telling clients about the services you and your stylist can provide in those time slots.

2. If the focus is on retail, ask the client what issues they are having with their hair, then recommend styling tips, products, or tools. For example, if a client says she wishes she could create a sleek blowout at home, educate her on the tools and products you use during the finishing service, and explain why they’re best for the job. If you help your stylist with checkouts, a simple question may complete the sale and boost those retail numbers: “Would you like to take home the BaBylissPRO Rapido™ dryer we spoke about to recreate that smooth blow dry on your own?”

3. If increasing pre-booking is a goal, talking to guests about maintenance is key. During the service, let the client know when your stylist will need them to return to maintain their new style. Give the guest a specific date, so by checkout, they have already had time to think about it. Tell the guest what times are available on the day you recommended, and ask which one works best for them. 

Make the Most of Being an Assistant
As an assistant, you’ll learn valuable skills and figure out what works to increase your sales, pre-booking, and timing. Your stylist can also share scripts for talking with each guest and give you sage advice to use on your own clients. Katie West, an assistant-turned-stylist at Urban Betty Salon says, “Being an assistant taught me to be thorough, how to be timely, and how to reach my goals as a stylist.” With a positive mindset and a little planning, you’ll be an asset to your stylist, by providing professional service to their guests and helping grow their clientele.

Tips to Grow Your Instagram Influence

Tips to Grow Your Instagram Influence

Hairstyling and Instagram are both forms of visual art, making the two a perfect pair. Instagram reported that they have over 400 million users and people are on it for an average of 20 minutes a day. That could mean immediate advertisement for yourself or your business. 

April Kayganich, a hairstylist at Urban Betty Salon in Austin, Texas, says, “I receive as many as 10 to 15 new clients every month from people seeing my work on Instagram. Social media has really been a game changer for my business.”

The two most important things to focus on when using Instagram are your content and your engagement. Posting content on Instagram and increasing your engagement with other users not only helps build your online presence but can also increase the client count in your chair.


Content—Show People Your Brand

Teach Others.  What can others learn from you? Share some of your quick tips for hairstyles or tricks for using hair care products and tools. If that sounds a little intimidating just show what you know. It can be as simple as sharing your love for your BaBylissPRO Rapido hair dryer. A photo of your Rapido with a caption about why you love it can educate and help someone.

Inspire Someone. Posting all of the amazing hairstyles you do can be inspirational, but quotes, fancy event photos, travel photos, and snaps from classes you’re attending can be motivating, too. Sometimes it can be as simple as a picture of pretty flowers in your garden. Don’t overthink it.

Show Your Personality. People love to get to know you. By taking behind-the-scenes photos you give them a glimpse into who you really are. Photos you post can be from a day in your life behind the chair.  Or they could include your family, your dogs, or simply what you ate for lunch that day. One thing to be careful of is posting too many selfies. Use them here and there if you want to include them, but be sure to make them relevant to your brand. Even the Kardashians, who have built their brand around themselves, only sprinkle in the selfies on their feed.

Deciding what to post is one of the most important things you can do. Your content should be focused and tell a story about your brand. As a hairstylist, your Instagram should reflect what you are most passionate about. A good rule of thumb to follow about posting is this: 85% should be about what you provide, 15% should be personal, and 100% should reflect your brand.


Engagement—Get Involved With the Community 

There are three basic steps to getting involved with your target community on Instagram:

Follow. You must follow people to get followers.

Like. “Like” lots of pics.

Comment. Tell them why you like their photos. 

If you “like” three of a user’s photos and comment on one, stats show that user is more likely to follow you. However, don’t “like” for no reason. You want to strategically “like” photos of people who are more likely to follow you, but you have to find them first.

Welcome to the wormhole that can be Instagram, also known as the “search” bar. Start your search with a hashtag you normally use on your photos such as #hairstyles. As you scroll through the photos, find a photo that strikes your fancy and “like” it. Now go to that person’s full page and “like” two more photos, then comment on at least one of them. This is the perfect amount of engagement, but not too much, because we all know that that can be creepy.

The three “likes” and one comment is just enough to pique a person’s interest so she wonders who you are and clicks on your profile. This is the important part, because if during this glance the person enjoys your content, you’ll generally gain a follower. The key is to get as many people to see your profile as you can, so you get more followers. Now repeat this action, three “likes” and one comment per page, for as long as you have the attention span to do so.

And last, but not least, have fun. Your followers want to see a real person underneath all of the hairspray. Authenticity is always a plus.


Getting Your Own Chair 101

Getting Your Own Chair 101

By Kristle Jones

The time has come for you to become an independent hairstylist and work behind your very own chair. Doing so can be an incredibly freeing and rewarding position, but before you get ahead of yourself, follow these simple steps to create a successful future for your business.

Step One: Make sure you’re fully committed to becoming an independent contractor. Award-winning San Francisco Bay Area salon owner Carol Carey recommends that you look into any and every step of becoming a successful independent contractor before getting started. According to the Professional Beauty Association, stylists need to know that getting your own chair has both risks and benefits that need to be understood before stylists take the leap into being an independent contractor. Take the time to make a pros and cons list of what taking this next step will entail. It will help you build a timeline and accurately assess what it will take to launch your new endeavor.

Step Two: If you’re changing jobs, give ample notice to your current salon and address any contractual obligations you may have with them. If you originally signed a non-compete agreement, determine if you will be able to take your existing clients with you. If not, you may have to turn over their contact information—and possibly your color formulas—to your current salon.

Step Three: Contact any clients you’ll be retaining and give them your new information. You can snail mail an actual letter or postcard, send an e-mail, or make phone calls. The formality of your client notice depends on both you and your clientele. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Tip One: Keep the note short and sweet. Include pertinent info such as the new salon address, phone number, and website.
  • Tip Two: Avoid telling dramatic stories about your old salon, which is both unprofessional and unappealing. If you’re making phone calls, plan a short, positive answer to give clients who ask why you’re leaving your former position. It can be as simple as, “I’m ready to start a business of my own.”
  • Tip Three: Offer a special to entice clients to move over with you, such as a complimentary deep conditioning treatment or 10% off their next color service.

Step Four: Fill out any paperwork you’ll need as an independent contractor. According to the Professional Beauty Association, you need to follow all local, state, and federal tax obligations. You’ll also need to report your income—including tips—as well as apply for and maintain both your licenses and insurance requirements as an independent contractor.

Step Five: Set up your chair for business. Start by stocking up on your must-have styling products and tools. Next, create and print business cards and other signage needed to promote yourself. You may want to create an account with a point-of-sale credit card processing company so you can accept credit cards in addition to cash and checks. Salon owner Carey advises, “Many of my independent contractors utilize services such as Square and Salon Iris for their personal point-of-sale credit card processing.”

Being an independent contractor with your own chair in a salon can be a very lucrative and rewarding career move for a hairstylist. Follow these simple steps and you’ll set yourself up for success.

5 Ways to Create Client Loyalty

5 Ways to Create Client Loyalty

As part of the beauty industry, we know that entrepreneurs can learn a lot from a successful hairstylist. After all, to make it as a salon professional, you’ve got to know a thing or two about how to get returning customers. Client loyalty can make or break your career as a stylist or salon owner. Not to mention, we love what we do. Making sure our chair is filled day in and day out is as much about the joy of a client leaving confident in their look as it is making sure our business thrives. Here are a few of our best tips for creating customer loyalty… 

  1. Be consistent — A haircut or color can be a stressful appointment for some people. Returning to a stylist means taking some of the guess work and anxiety out of the situation for them. They come in with confidence that they’ll leave with what they want because you’ve done right by them before. So be consistent with your clients by going the extra mile to write down in detail the colors, techniques, and styling you used each time they left happy, and study your notes before their next appointment when they show up on your schedule.  
  2. Get to know people — So much of being a hairstylist is being a people person. Without being nosey, get to know your clients and remember details about their interests and personality. If they mentioned their kids, or an upcoming vacation, try to remember and ask them about it at their next appointment. This makes them feel valued and important, which in terms makes them more loyal. 
  3. Help them with hair maintenance out of the salon — Your client’s satisfaction with their look extends far beyond the salon. When they’re in the chair, give them tips to achieving the style you gave them at home. Tell them the best technique for blow drying their cut, the best products for styling their texture, and tricks for maintaining their color over time. Everyday they haven’t been to the salon and are still loving how their hair looks, they’ll be thanking you for it and know you’re looking out for them!  
  4. Pamper them — This begins from the moment your client arrives at the salon. While they may be coming in for a haircut they couldn’t put off any longer, take this as an opportunity to make a visit to the salon more than a chore. Offer them something to drink while they wait. Never make them feel rushed, giving them your full attention, even if you are having to juggle more than one thing at once. Lastly, if you have the time, add couple minutes on to that head massage at the bowl. By the time they leave, they’ll already be looking forward to their next visit with you! 
  5. Give them a break — A little freebie here and there for your clients is a nice way to show you value them. Hook them up with a nice sample now and then that you think they might like. If you quickly trimmed their bangs after their color, leave the small charge off the bill if it didn’t require product and take up much of your time. If they’re getting a cut and color in the same appointment and saving you a few extra steps, every once in a while knock 10% off the bill. The small cost to you will pay you back three fold in the long run with their customer loyalty.