This weekend I had the good fortune of teaching a hair cutting class for my very dear friends at Kaaral USA. Kaaral is a hair care company founded thirty years ago in Italy that has grown to service thousands of salon professions in Italy, USA and around the world. Nearly every time I teach a course on hair cutting techniques I am pleasantly surprised by being ”schooled”. That’s right, the students teaching the teacher. This occurs because I make a concerted effort to listen! In return, I teach the students this attribute needs to carry over into the salon. My colleagues all agree that in addition to mastering the technical aspects of a cut or color, a key component to being a successful hair stylist is the ability to listen to our clients.
This crucial rule to COMMUNICATE is a two-way street. Help your stylist better understand what is your expectation for today’s haircut, as well as your vision for the coming months. In defense of all my fellow hair cronies, they can only do so much trying to extract this information. Consider your stylist as your partner in beauty.
Due to the timeliness of this weekend’s Kaaral USA education classes I was motivated to provide a refresher course, of sorts, and dust off a previous blog post. The inspiration for the following SerafinoSays Guide stems from a May 23rd post, “A funny thing happened on the way to the Bathroom!”
First and foremost, we are beauticians, not magicians. We are also not mind readers. It is critical you communicate with your stylist in great detail about what you are looking for in a cut and/or color. When you say a trim, does that mean 1 mm, 1cm, or 1 inch? When you say you want blonde, is it ash blonde, platinum blonde or golden blonde? And remember, a picture is worth a thousand words. Although, in the case of thorough communication with your stylist, let the picture simply enhance the conversation and not replace it.
Now for all you hair stylists out there, I’m not letting you off the hook that easy. It is your responsibility to engage your client in conversation until you are satisfied that both the client and the stylist are in agreement about what is about to happen.
I thought it might help to write a few guidelines on how best to communicate with your hair stylist. I hope this helps. Also, if you are looking what cut best compliments your face type, click over to our friends Tyra Banks and TypeF.com.
SerafinoSays How to Communicate With Your Hairstylist Survival Guide:
- Make an appointment with your hair stylist.
- Before your appointment, pull a few pages from your favorite magazines showing styles you like. Remember, these images are drastically edited photos of near-flawless models and celebrities so gauge your expectation accordingly. Note: Please keep in mind my earlier statement, the “beautician, not magician” thing. Oh, and don’t steal the magazine from your dentist or doctor’s office. Not cool!
- Please be on time for your appointment. PSA: When you book an appointment your stylist is there, ready to serve you and only you. Miss an appointment or running late and your stylist cannot go on to the next client. Idle-time costs them money.
- Make the most of the consultation with your stylist… communicate!
- Discuss what you liked/disliked about the last hair cut.
- Share the magazine images and analyze which style best suits your facial structure.
- Identify the facial features you most admire then discuss how your style can be modified to accentuate these features, e.g.: short fringe gives prominence to your eyes, long sweeping fringe acts as arrows bringing attention to your cheekbones, and nothing emphasizes a jaw line better than a Bob. Starting to make sense?
- Consider your stylists professional opinion since they may factor overlooked issues such as hair texture & density, hair maintenance, color, and hair styling time to name a few.
- Don’t be too shy to tell your hair stylist that you might be looking for a change but you might be a little nervous.
- Mutually, let me repeat… MUTUALLY agree on a style, as well as a plan to achieve and maintain your new style.
5. Retreat to the shampoo bowl where the soothing & relaxing treatment may quite possibly be the highlight of each salon visit.
6. As big chunks of hair fall to floor and a new style emerges, this is the time to take DEEP BREATHS.
7. After the cutting, study how your stylist applies product and styles your hair. Ask for suggestions how to replicate the look at home and what products you should purchase to best maintain your new look.
8. As the cutting cape is removed take a moment to study how the new cut influences your overall style and how the angles and points of the cut accent your favorite features. NOW OWN YOUR NEW LOOK!
If this is still all too scary for you then there are a couple solutions: 1) Ask your stylist to graduate into your desired cut and style over a few visits so you can progressively determine if the image in the magazine is best for you, 2) The safest way to change your hair style is with a pop of hair color. Have the same conversation with your colorist as you would with your person that cuts your hair.
Remember 3 Things:
- Change is Good
- You are Enhancing Your Favorite Feature
- Hair Grows Back