I have had the pleasure of meeting hundreds of hairstylists and I can tell you with 100% certainty that no two hairstylists are exactly the same. This is just one of the many hidden beauties in our industry. We work in a profession where our strengths, weaknesses and quirks are actually celebrated by our clients.
When I coach a stylist the very first thing I do is spend time getting to know them personally so that I can determine the best way to coach and connect in a way that they will understand. I'm sure you've heard that we all learn a little differently so it was important for me to connect with all of my coaching clients on their level. I truly have to change my technique with each and every person I work with. I've come to realize that every single stylist has one of just five different personality types. Crazy to think that hundreds of thousands of hairstylists can be summed up and divided into just 5 different groups, but I promise this is 100% true!
Why does it even matter what your hairstylist personality is though anyway? Actually, this knowledge can make or break your career. Sounds pretty dramatic, I know, but until you know the advantages and flaws of your hairstylist personality you'll struggle to retain clients, sell retail and live a balanced life as a stylist.
Before you dive in any further, I strongly suggest that you click here to download the Hairstylist Personality Profile Quiz. These 7 simple questions will help you to determine exactly which personality you have. I often see stylists who will see the names of the descriptions below and assume that they know which category they fall into, however once they take the quiz they find that they actually behave differently than they even realized. Don't even look at the descriptions below until you've downloaded and completed the quiz!
Quiz completed? Okay great! Drumroll please! Below are the 5 hairstylist personality types organized by the quiz results:
If you selected mostly A’s- You are The Entertainer- Sitting in your chair is like watching a show. You do most of the talking and always come prepared with new stories to tell. Clients tend to ask you tons of questions about your personal life which is great because you love sharing! Clients trust your judgement and often will just go with your suggestions when you make them. You sometimes dominate the salon floor and are certainly a big personality! Entertainers can sometimes turn clients off when they don’t listen well and focus too much on themselves. Remember that 70% of the visit should be about your client, their life and what they want to talk about. This is what makes them feel importrant. It is great to share stories and be in control, but be sure you find a balance between being the main event and making a real connection with your clients.
If you selected mostly B’s-You are The Artist-You got into the industry to be creative and make people look and feel beautiful. Hair truly is your canvas and you love finding art in what you do behind the chair. Clients are drawn to you because you look like a hairstylist and ooze creativity. You probably wouldn’t categorize yourself as being “mainstream”, which works out just fine for you because your clients love your quirks. Artists sometimes struggle to emotionally connect with their clients. Remember that being a good hairstyilst is only 30% talent. Most of our clients see us because of our personalities, customer service skills and the ambiance and amenities of our salon. While it is fantastic that you are so talented and creative, don’t forget to let your personality shine.
If you selected mostly C’s-You are The Shoulder To Cry On-All hairstylists are therapists to some degree, but you really take being emotionally supportive to a whole new level. Your clients tell you their deepest, darkest secrets and you find yourself knowing more about their marriages than you even do your own! Clients look forward to their visits because you’ve become a confidant in their life and the love the fact that they look and feel great when they finish their appointment. This can be a really draining role to play and it can have a majorly negative affect on your retail and upsells. Make sure that you always make time in each appointment to focus on talking hair and retail sales. It’s okay to focus on the personal stuff, but 20% of the conversation should be hair focussed. This role can also be emotionally draining and also blur the lines between personal and professional. Don’t ever get too deeply involved and never let your heart dominate over your mind. C's have a very bad habit of discounting clients left and right because they feel guilt about a clients personal or financial situation. Your client is choosing to come to see you despite the challenges in their personal life. You are a professional and it is actually unprofessional to discount your clients on a case-by-case basis no matter how much you care about them.
Mostly D’s-You are The Fashionista-You are on the cutting edge of everything new and exciting in the world of beauty. Your sense of style seems effortless and you make it a priority to look great and be on top of todays trends. Your clients look up to you for, not only hair advice, but they want to know who makes your lipgloss and where you bought your shoes. Fashionistas should be retail sales masters! Your clients usually will do anything to look as pulled together as you so use this to your advantage. Sometimes fashionistas find it easy to attract younger clients but struggle to attract the 6-week-touch-up clientele that we all need as the foundation of our business. Make sure to find a way to connect with your most fashion forward, and more simple and classic clients as well.
Mostly E’s-You are The Vanilla Bean-I know that sounds terrible, but don’t panic, it’s okay! Actually about 60% of hairstylists will end up being E's when they take the quiz and nearly 100% of stylists started off as E's in the beginning of their career. You just haven’t quite settled into a stylist personality yet and there is nothing wrong with that. Generally stylists stay stuck as Vanilla Beans because they lack the confidence they need to develop a working style. I always talk about being special and finding a specialty. THIS is what makes you marketable as a hairstylist. If you fall into this category, I want you to really assess what your strongest qualities are and who you see yourself becoming as a stylist. Start developing the skills and confidence that you need to build your business and create your professional image. Most stylists start as Vanilla Beansl’s at some point, but it is nearly impossible to build a strong clientele when you are in this place. Find your inner strength and let your true personality shine!
Did you find that you scored equally in two different categories? That totally makes sense so don't worry. About 20% of hairstylists are a hybrid mix of personality types. I happened to be a "C" and a "D" when I was behind the chair. Once I realized who I was and why I appealed to my clientele, my business really soared. I knew what traits to play up and what challenges I needed to tackle.
Challenge yourself to take this quiz once a year. You'll be surprised that your answers actually change as your business grows and develops! I would love to hear about the positive impact this little exercise has on your clientele! Share this quiz with your friends and co-workers and have fun learning more about yourselves and each other!