Tag: Salon Services

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!

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How to Preserve Your Professional Blowout

How to Preserve Your Professional Blowout

By Gracee Tolentino

Who doesn’t love strutting about town with that fresh-from-the-salon, perfectly blown-out hair? Unfortunately, not everyone has the time—or the money—to indulge in a professional blowout every day. But since it’s a service a lot of us invest in, shouldn’t the benefits last for more than just a couple of days? The good news is that’s totally doable. All you need are a few expert tips and some must-have hair-styling products to give you the longest-lasting bang for your buck.

Blowout Day
Whether you’re DIY-ing your blowout or having it done by a professional, what you do beforehand is just as important as the process itself. “Before your blowout, wash your hair with a lightweight shampoo and conditioner,” explains Janna Urman, Boston-based hairstylist at Bella Santé. “Any hair care product that says ‘rich’ or ‘moisturizing’ will make your hair look greasier or feel limp faster.”

At night, Urman suggests sleeping on a satin or silk pillowcase with your hair down on one side of your neck, or secured with a scrunchy in a very loose, on-top-of-your-head bun to minimize damage.

The Morning After
Your blowout should still look intact when you wake up, but even the least amount of moisture can turn your hair from fab to a frizzy fiasco. The solution? Use a high-quality shower cap to protect your hair when you shower. “Use a thick, heavy-duty shower cap with a sturdy rim—not the clear plastic you usually get for free from hotels, which can leave your hairline exposed to moisture,” says Urman.

Once out of the shower, try not to fully brush your hair; just touch up areas that need to be combed out. Another thing you need to keep away from? Sweat. “Try not to do strenuous activities to keep sweat from ruining your blowout,” advises Urman. “If you are one of those people who just can’t go a day without working out, consider strength-training exercises or a yoga class—you get the same, great workout but you won’t sweat as much.”

The Next Few Days
After a few days, your once sleek, shiny and voluminous tresses will begin to look limp and lifeless, thanks to excess oil and gravity. To revive lackluster hair, spray a quick-drying invisible dry shampoo, like One ‘n Only™ Argan Oil Dry Shampoo, on the roots of your hair to soak up excess oil and give hair a much-needed boost. Use your fingers to work the product into your scalp, and let it sit it for at least a minute or two. If needed, volumize certain sections with a large-barrel curling iron or a professional blow dryer.

You can also extend your blowout for another couple of days by getting creative with your hairstyles. Braids, buns, high ponies and even textured waves are great style options for days-old, unwashed hair. As most frizz-fighting products—like a hair oil or a leave-in conditioner—can weigh your hair down, Urman suggests applying them only to the bottom half of your hair, if needed.

The Final Stretch
Some hair types, like thick and curly hair, can hold hairstyles a little longer than others. If your hair type belongs to this group, lucky you—your blowout can probably last up to five or six days. Around day seven, your hair may look like it needs a wash. At that point, cleanse and repair your strands with a nutrient-rich shampoo and follow it up with a hydrating treatment mask.

That’s it! Follow these expert tips for preserving the look of your professional blowout and enjoy a “good hair day” every day.

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.

5 Things Hairstylists Wish You Would Tell Them

5 Things Hairstylists Wish You Would Tell Them

By Kristle Jones

You talk to your hairstylist a lot. From divulging nitty gritty personal details to doling out relationship advice, nothing seems to be off limits when you sit in that salon chair. But exactly what personal details should you share with your hairstylist? We spoke to two leading West Coast stylists, Louise Noack and Billie Rawak, to see what five things hairstylists wish you would tell them.

1. Let me tell you the history of my hair.
According to West Coast color specialist Billie Rawak, hair history is crucial for stylists. “The consultation is a very important part of the hair service for successful results,” Rawak says. “What types of color products or chemicals have been used on your hair?” She says clients don’t always know what kind of color was used in the past—permanent, semi- or demi-permanent, or the brand name—which are all key components for your stylist to know. If a straightening product or perm was used, the brand and type is also good to know.

Why is this important? “It is to ensure optimal health to the hair and satisfaction with the end results of your chemical service,” according to Rawak. Overlapping chemical treatments can damage your hair, creating fried, broken ends. Make sure you go into your next appointment armed with as much information about your hair as possible.

2. I use mousse on my hair and blow dry daily.
A professional hairstylist is trained in a variety of brands and products. West Coast blow out specialist Louise Noack says, “I want to know what they really use on their hair and what their budget is. This way I can point them to the best possible products that are cost-effective for the client.”

In addition to your styling aids, tell your stylist what brand and type of styling tools you use. Are you a flat iron junkie who straightens your strands daily with your BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium flat iron or do you use hot rollers every morning to give your hair a boost?

3. Two years ago, I used box hair color from the supermarket.
It has been said that boxed hair color is like a box of chocolates… you never know what you are going to get. Noack explains that mentioning if and when you have used boxed hair color is a crucial component for her to know when she sees a client. Professional hair color is not only an art, it’s a science, and for the science to work properly, your stylist must know all of the elements that she is working with. It’s vital for the client to tell the stylist because a fairly inexpensive and routine color appointment can quickly turn into a highly expensive and lengthy color correction appointment instead.

4. I have a time crunch.
“I wish that clients would mention when they have a doctor’s appointment or other important appointments immediately after their hair appointment at the time of scheduling,” states Rawak. She recommends not scheduling anything else close to the time of your hair appointment. That way both the client and the stylist can relax and work together without feeling rushed.

That being said, rebooking your next appointment is a key detail to remember before leaving the salon. Scheduling your next appointment ensures that you will be able to get into the salon on a regular basis so that your color and cut stay looking fresh. It will also help you plan future obligations.

5. I brought a picture for you.
A picture is worth a thousand words and this is perhaps even truer at a salon. If you have trouble expressing what you want to achieve at the appointment, bringing a picture or two allows both parties to see the desired result. “Images of hairstyles speak volumes to the stylist’s eyes and ears, allowing you both to share in one visualization,” Rawak says. A good rule of thumb is to bring a few photos and explain what you like and don’t like about each one.

A good stylist will ask you many of these questions, and if they don’t, don’t be afraid to ask them yourself. Remember, to help create the best outcome for your hair, give your stylist the full hair history.

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.