Posts in Business Building
Finding confidence as a hairstylist

Several times a month I get emails asking how to find the confidence to build a clientele.  I have a love/hate relationship with this question because it isn't a simple answer, yet I love that new stylists realize that this is a crucial part of becoming successful.  For some of us confidence is a very natural quality, but for many it is a skill that has to be learned and mastered.  

I coach on gaining confidence on a daily basis and I've really found few great secrets that help new stylists to feel much more secure and ready to build.  Once you've mastered the confidence and have a clientele building game plan, the path to success as a stylist is clear and you can press on full speed ahead.  

Educate yourself-A solid educational foundation is the single most important step in becoming a confident stylist.  Once you have the skills you need to achieve any desired look with ease, your confidence will happen naturally.  I highly recommend programs like the Toni & Guy or Vidal Sassoon educational experiences.  There are often free or low cost educational programs through your local beauty supply store and at annual hair shows.  For more information about the advanced educational program I offer click here.

Play to your strengths-I had to do this a lot as a new hairstylist.  As some of you know, my dirty little secret is that I am not good at cutting hair, like not good at all.  I knew that wasn't one of my strengths and I didn't worry about it.  I focussed on delivering excellent hair color and blowdries and decent haircuts.  I also knew that I was a great conversationalist and was fun to be around so I focused on connecting with my clients and building a bond through my personality instead of my skills.  

Have great questions ready-There is nothing worse than being ten minutes into a visit with a brand new client and you run out of things to talk about.  This doesn't ever have to happen to you again.  Sit down right now and list 15 good questions that you can ask to open up conversations.  My opening question with every client is "so, am I your first stop of the day or have you been out and about already?" 80% of the time just this question alone will actually spark conversation as my client starts to discuss her plans for the day.  Some other great conversation starters are "do you have any plans for the Summer/holidays" and if somebody mentions they have kids it's like a gold mine! Clients love talking about their families so ask about ages, hobbies, interests, the list goes on and on from there.

Develop scripts for your consultation and close of visit-Most new stylists find the nerves kick in when they are first trying to connect and make a plan and then again when they try and close a retail sale or ask the client to pay.  Do the same exercise as above.  Sit down and write out all the questions you want to be sure to ask in your consultation and all the things you want to say at the end of the visit.  Practice these scripts over and over and when that client sits in your chair those words that you wrote down will start rolling right off the tip of our tongue.  

If you are still working to find your confidence as a stylist.  Try these tips and you'll be amazed how much easier it becomes to hand out your card to new clients knowing that they'll be sitting in the chair of a prepared and confident stylist!


Benefits of Base Breaking

I am so excited to talk color this week.  You’ll hear me say this over and over, but I was never very good at cutting hair.  I know that sounds terrible to admit, but I’m actually kind of proud of it.  I built a successful clientele and now an incredibly successful business and I was offering very mediocre haircuts.  More on that later, but I’m the proof that being a great hairstylist is not about your haircuts.  Anyway, I have always been head over heels in love with hair color and I’m thrilled to put on my gloves, pull out the peroxide and talk color!

I received several questions this week about base breaking so let’s do it! I love all things foiling.  Hilighting, balayage, ombre’s are all so much fun.  What I don’t love is when my Rapunzel client with the thickest hair in the world was on my books for a full-hilight.  Clients who like you to pack in the foils basically just want to be as light as possible without a bleach-out.  Nothing made me crazier or more exhausted at the end of the day than 60 minute hi lighting sessions over and over.  Base breaking is the solution and it will make both you and your clients so much happier.

Base breakers are formulated to lift the natural base 1-2 controlled levels, generally in a relatively short processing time.  This is just enough lift to provide an overall lighter and brighter look without turning somebody overly blonde and allows for a gorgeous and natural result.  I generally suggested base breakers to clients who love an overall blonde look and are naturally a level 6 or lighter.  I told my hi light lovers that I was offering a new service that would offer the same result but it would allow them to be out of the salon about an hour sooner and would be much better for the overall condition of their hair.  Instead of placing 30-60 foils, I was foiling in 10-12 along the part, 2 on either side of the head and 4 right at the nape and applying my base breaker between the foils so that everything came up together.  This saved me 45-60 minutes of foiling time and I could fit a haircut in that time to increase my income if I wanted.

When charging for base breakers I would keep it simple.  If a client is getting a hi light and base break, you charge for the amount of foils you’re doing plus your root-touch up price.  This is often just slightly less than your full weave price.  But, why loose money by transitioning all of those big ticket full weave clients into base breakers?  Here is where the magic happens.  You let your guest know that her maintenance has just gotten much easier.  She only needs to get hi-lights at every other appointment and can do base breakers in between.  I found that my full hi light clients who were stretching their appointments out to visits every 12-16 weeks were now coming in every 8-10 weeks and were so much happier with the price point and maintenance.  In the long run, they are paying about the same annually but they feel like they are getting this incredible discount.  The integrity of their hair will also improve and you won’t be stuck behind the chair doing back breaking foils all day.  Win, win! 

As a bonus, this was a huge referral conversation piece for me.  My clients were telling all of their friends about this “new service” I was offering and it really helped me to build.  I wasn’t really doing anything revolutionary, but I was talking about it differently and my clients were loving the result.  Want to know more?  Feel free to visit me on Facebook or email me directly. xoxo

Amazing resources to improve your hair color knowledge

I remember when I started cosmetology school I thought:  "this is so amazing. I'll go to school for one-year and then I'll be able to jump in and have a career".  That is only a partial truth.  Cosmetology school is like a crash course in all things hair and beauty.  It is at the very most 1600 hours jam packed with learning science, technology, haircutting, skin care, styling, curling, nails, and hair color.  I personally went to a community college program, but I have since spent years working with students from private schools and I've learned that no matter where you go to school, there is always more to learn about hair color.

Hair color is often one of the most intimidating components of hair even for the most confident new stylist.  Luckily, there are a ton of free resources out there for stylists and I noticed that they often go untapped.  I encourage you to check out these useful tools to help grow your skills and maximize your income potential.

1. Start an assisting program-This is the path I chose and it was a wonderful experience for me.  I was mentored by a team of stylists through weekly classes and was able to really master the art of foiling, formulating and color correction.  Beyond the classes, I actually think I learned the most by mixing and applying hair color for my senior stylists.  I was able to look at the clients hair before the color was applied, mix the formula, apply the color and then see the finished result.  For me, this was the best way to learn.

2. Haircolor brand online education- Major brands like Redken, Wella, Goldwell and Paul Mitchell offer free, online education.  All that you'll need to do is visit their website and create a professional online account to login and access the information.  Here you can find education, sample formulas and even instructional videos.

3. In-store classes-Often times your local beauty supply store will have free classes several times a year.  These are sometimes put on by local stylists or color brand representatives and are often a sales pitch as well, but the information is still fantastic.  These are industry experts able to show you the science and technology behind your color brand.

4. Beauty shows-I find local hair show events to be a huge untapped source of education.  For the cost of a $30-$50 ticket you can access a full day of classes taught by big name hair professionals on a broad range of topics.  This is also a great place to see the latest and greatest technology in the industry.

5. Don't be afraid to play!-When I was first starting to do hair I would play with swatches all the time.  You can order hair swatches online for less than $20 and use these to test colors and formulas.  Also, when you do a haircut of 3" or more, don't be afraid to save a little bit of the hair, tape it to some foil, throw some bleach or color on there and see what happens.  Hair is hair whether its on somebodies head or it's fallen on the floor.  I learned a ton using swatches.

Color is so much fun and was my favorite thing to do as a stylist.  It can also go wrong so fast if you don't fully understand how to use this amazing tool.  Use these incredible free resources and start growing your knowledge today!