Posts tagged Cosmetology school
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!


Finding your hustle and building a clientele

I'll never forget that bittersweet feeling of holding that beautiful cosmetology license in my hand.  All my hard work had paid off and it was time to leave the safe bubble of school and step out in to the scary cold real world.  Okay, it's not that scary, but I was pretty terrified.  I had already landed my dream job but I knew that was the tip of the iceberg in my journey to become successful in the industry.  My mind was spinning and I was overwhelmed thinking about the uncertain future laying out ahead of me.  

I think the best decision I made was in going to a salon that offered an incredible assisting program.  I had class 6 hours a week, worked an additional 40 and loved every second of it.  I was completely immersed in their culture and felt like I was learning every second of every day.  By the time I had completed the one-year program I had learned more about haircolor than I thought was humanly possible, I knew a dozen hi lighting patterns and I could finally cut confidently with a razor.  Every body hugged me and cheered as I got my graduation certificate and the next day I walked in, stared at my station and panicked.  How was I ever going to fill this chair 5 days a week.  I had just moved to the area and all my family and friends lived at least an hour away so I couldn't even count on calling in favors to at least feel busy for a while.  My salon rarely got walk-ins and none of the existing clients were jumping at the chance to see the brand new girl.  I had two choices.  I could either cry or get busy.  I chose to hustle.

I worked tirelessly for a year and at the end of my first year styling I made almost $35,000 in commissions and tips.  Not bad for a brand new stylist who wasn't taking walk-in's.  If you are ready to get your hustle on too, here is what filled my chair that first year:

  1. Mail out postcards to everybody.  I pulled out my address book and mailed a postcard letting every single person I'd ever known that I was doing hair.  If you don't have mailing addresses, email works too.  Just have a graphic designer help you put together a cute JPEG you can have printed at a local print shop or online printing company or email out.   I'll tell you that my postcard was so ugly and looking back I could have done a way better job.  I mailed out about 125 cards and got 3 clients this way which I could have at least tripled if I had put more effort into my image.
  2. Ask close family and friends to give your card or postcards to their coworkers.  My husband is the most amazing man on the planet for many reasons, but one of the reasons is because he was always giving out my card for me.  Your friends and family love you so make them do a little work for you.
  3. On Sundays we wear top knots.  What I mean is I was committed to looking great Monday-Saturday and then on Sunday I allowed myself to throw on yoga pants, leave the make-up off and throw my hair into a top knot.  The rest of the week I had full hair and makeup so that I looked fashionable and ready to hand out a card to the cashier at Safeway, the server at our restaurant or the adorable girl helping me at Nordstrom.  I literally got 3 cashiers at Safeway to start seeing me, no joke.
  4. Let your hair be a conversation piece.  My hair is currently beautiful, but boring warm brown.  When I was building my clientele my hair was a gorgeous and vibrant red and I was glossing my color every 3 weeks so that it was always nice and fresh.  People would literally stop me on the street to compliment me on my color which was opened the door right up for me to hand out a card.  
  5. Hit the streets.  If there wasn't a client in my chair I was going door to door at the local businesses handing out my card and a gift certificate for $20 off a clients first visit.  I got a ton of clients this way!! It is intimidating at first, but you never know who is looking for a new stylist and the worst thing anybody can say to you is "no thanks".  The key to this technique is to be confident and, trust me, it works.  
  6. Never say "no" when the receptionist asks if you can take a client.  I see some new stylist now cringe when a men's cut walks in or turning down a haircut at the end of the day.  Listen, I was tired of scraping loose change from my car to buy my morning Starbucks.  I was eager to take any client that wanted to sit in my chair.  Be the person who always says "yes" and it will grow your business.

Above all else, smile and be confident.  These are just a few hot tips.  Commit to trying at least one new technique this week. I have a lot more, in depth marketing ideas so tune in for more. xoxo 

Conversation with clients made easy

I have always been the type of person who can talk to most anybody.  That is not to say it is always comfortable for me, but I know how to keep a conversation going.  I think this is one of the things that has helped me the most in my career and I've watched the lack of conversation skills ruin careers before too.  

Building a clientele can be incredibly intimidating and I think the biggest part of that is the fear of mistake or rejection.  I will talk about how to handle the situation when a visit goes wrong another time, but for now, let's focus on how to build a connection and keep your client coming back for more.

  1. Keep the conversation focused on the client.  It is okay to talk about yourself and your client absolutely wants to know about you as a person, but most people will feel special and like they had a great experience if you let them talk about themselves.  There is the running joke about hairstylists being therapists and there is quite a bit of truth to that joke.  You are a safe person who isn't in your client's personal life so they are able to open up and talk to you in a way they can't with their inner circle.  If you can get to this place, you'll earn a client for life.
  2. Speak with a smile in your voice.  I have a Ritz-Carlton work background and I was always told to answer the phone with a smile and smile when I speak because it will completely change the way your client receives your message.  I know this sounds slightly creepy so let me clarify.  I don't mean you should have a smile plastered to your face, but you should always focus on sounding warm and happy.  I've heard a lot of stylists speak with a mono-tone or dull voice and it isn't appealing and hurts their building potential.
  3. Make a list of 10 go-to questions.  I made a little list of 10 generic, politically correct questions that I knew would apply to pretty much any guest who sat in my chair and if the conversation ever lulled I could pull one of the questions out of my file.  It was rare that I would even get through all 10 because I could usually carry an entire 2 hour visit using just 4 or 5 good conversation starter questions.  
  4. Talk about hair! This is my favorite hot tip and the one that gets forgotten most easily.  The vast majority of stylists don't take the time in their visit to talk about current hair trends, products or styles and this is a huge mistake.  You want your client to see you as an industry expert and you have to talk the talk to earn that respect.  Maybe at the beginning of each week chose a product and favorite new celebrity hair style that you are going to talk to your clients about.  Want some bonus points? Feature these on your Facebook, Instagram or blog too!
  5. Don't work in silence.  Unless your client has their nose buried in a magazine, talk the whole time.  Remember, the goal is only 30% to do great hair and the other 70% is to make your client fall in love with you.  I know a lot of mediocre stylists who dress cute, smile and love on their clients like crazy and they have an incredibly busy chair.

Your homework is to make that list of 10 go-to questions.  Ready, set go! xoxo