The news we have all been waiting for.. 12th April 2021 the doors to our much-missed salons can reopen! Although I am no longer situated in a salon I too have been sat tight awaiting this day. My thoughts have been with my fellow hairdressers over this time, To be stripped of our roles in the salon, our clients, colleagues, and more importantly, our passions was something none of us would ever wish for. Being such a practical hands-on skill I can imagine there are a few of you out there feeling slightly rusty on the tools. Not only this but other imperative areas of our roles in the salon such as our interaction with people (let alone customers) have been minimal, the chaos and relentlessness of fully booked columns, and being on our feet all day. Time management and concentration – all skills that when you practice every day are second nature, take that skill away for the best part of a year I don’t blame people for their nerves. But cmon guys, we’re hairdressers – a rare breed fuelled on coffee and our love of human interaction, we’ve 100% got this.
To ease up those back-to-work nerves I have prepared 5 top ways I know will get you to hit the ground running as soon as that first client sits in your chair. Simple and effective ways to nail consultation ( bare in mind your clients have gone MONTHS without you so be prepared for more in-depth conversations.) Time management, preparing for restyles, getting back into a new and improved routine and mindset better than ever before and overall performance to attract a whole new group of clientele.
5 Ways To Prepare For Salon Reopening
We can all say we’ve guilty of a quick and informal consultation with our regulars on busy days in the salon but I cannot stress to you how important it is that you go back to basics with this fundamental skill on your return. Think about it, your clients have been without you for a while, they have had time with hair in a new length and style which they may hate or they may love and it is up to you to help them work it out. 9 times out of 10 clients will get overwhelmed by what to do with their hair so they will keep it the same and safe which let’s be honest, is boring for all involved. Use this unique time in your career to wow your existing clients, attract and keep new clients, and show that even with your trade being on pause you have come back better than ever. When consulting your clients no matter how busy you are, get down to their level and proceed in an effective and efficient approach for no less than 5 minutes. Ask open-ended questions, have infectious enthusiasm on every positive you see within their hair, know your references on styles and trends to help inspire decisions, talk slowly and listen carefully for phrases and words from them you know you can use to your advantage in producing the best service. know your products and treatments to up sale and improve hair health. keep it fun and your clients mind at ease and always, always recap the plan before heading to the basin.
Restyles, love them or hate them but the reality is that there is no time like the present to opt for the former. They will be coming in thick (no pun intended) and fast and it’s your time to shine! Firstly I want you to see the positives in every opportunity to restyle your client’s hair. This is your time to showcase your vision, skill, and ability to transform that client’s appearance into one that changes their life, confidence, and loyalty to you as their hairdresser. Having this freedom of longer and outgrown styles from your clients gives you that space to shift and expand your skillset which is the absolute key to locking down a thriving clientele. To approach restyling fearlessly doesn’t need to be complicated. long and out-of-shape hair doesn’t need to be scary. With a bulletproof consultation, a fundamental understanding of hairdressing, hair type and suitability mixed with confidence and conviction in your approach your restyles will be nothing but rewarding and joyous for the both of you. My advice to you would be, brush up on your fundamental education, research current trends and create mood-boards on Pinterest of certain styles to easily access, practice anything you have resistance around on head-blocks before your return, believe in your ability, and keep it simple. Not all restyles are box-bobs, mullets of 0 skin fades. And as always think suitability, fashionable & execution.
Time manage your day from the moment you wake up. Time management in the salon is key – you don’t need me to tell you this. I don’t want you going back to the salon full of enthusiasm and drive only to be burnt out by May. The one good part of lockdown we can all agree on is that we were finally blessed with the gift of time, let’s not lose that gift now we resume. By now I’m sure you know how to break your appointments down into time zones ( in a perfect scenario) throughout your hour-long appointment.
On paper and depending on the client and hair this could throw even the most experienced stylist off, but we all know this is completely tangible as long as we stay in control. What do I mean by this?? To stay in control is to know everything about your column down to the T. Obviously, in a lot of cases ( hopefully anyway ) you will be having many first-time clients in your chair requesting any style on any hair type. So if we know there is at least a 50% chance this will be the case then we need to get prepared.
TIP 1 – BE PREPARED How do I get prepared before I have even met the client?? If you didn’t have a relationship with front of house or the person who books your appointments before lockdowns then it is your job to create one now. A commutative relationship with your front of house is the first and foremost way to know as much as you can about the clients coming through your door. Simple un-invasive questions after establishing they’re a new client can set you up for success in managing your time throughout the said day. Put together a framework of brief questions to be asked every time by whoever is in charge of your bookings
have any notes you need under the appointment so you can plan your day accordingly.
TIP 2 – take a LUNCH BREAK taking a lunch break as a hairdresser is a lot of a time considered blasphemous but going back to the theme of the gift of time, we’re here to keep that. Taking a lunch break is your time to either 1 – catch up or 2 – recharge and realign yourself to being the stylist your clients are leaving wanting to recommend to all their friends.
TIP 3 – WORKING RELATIONSHIPS create a solid relationship with assistants. Assistants are incredible members of the time and there to be cherished and respected! Instead of barking orders at them create mutual respect and working relationship with those who work under you. This way you have peace of mind that when you need them to help you keep on track (and you will ) they will understand exactly what to do and how fast or slow you need it done all seamlessly to the client. Try briefing your assistant(s) at the beginning of each day and letting them know what kind of day you’re expecting, what products you always need to have on your sections if they need to prepare anything for you, or even if you will need their help blowdrying,
As I mentioned previously, the aim of this new start is to make it just that – a new start and approach to life in the salon. I would love to start seeing busy hairdressers making more conscious decisions regarding their health throughout the day. How many times have you gone with nothing but coffee all day or when you did eat it was take-away chocolate or fizzy drinks. Making more conscious decisions around your diet to improve your performance at work is a concept abandoned by many of the industry. We rely on our bodies to make our income just as much as an athlete so why do we not act accordingly? Challenge yourself from this new beginning to make the right choices for yourself and your body. Never start your day without water on your section, keep your lunch healthy and light as well as caffeine to a minimum to avoid crashes in the afternoon, and be mindful of your snacks. Snacking on protein over sugar such as nuts will help regulate your blood sugar levels to keep you feeling at your best. I personally changed my life after listening to this podcast from The Hair Game. In this episode, they explored the effects of fasting for salon stylists to stay on their game. I will let the podcast do the talking if this is something that interests you, you won’t regret it.
It’s time to get back to the grind, no excuses for shoddy equipment, haircuts stumping you, or unorganized energy when you embrace your work again, Take the last few weeks off to get your equipment salon ready. let loose on a training head and re-visit any educational material you relate to for that extra boost of confidence. I would also advise you at this time to really get clear on your goals and intentions for the coming months. Do you want to attract a new type of client? Do you want to learn a new skill within the industry? Do you want a stylist-level promotion? Don’t return to the salon after all this time off to be the same, return ready to smash new goals and embrace more opportunities for your growth.
Sending the best of luck to everyone in the industry this year as business resumes, I’d love to hear how you’re all getting on in the comments. Peace out
- Bulletproof your consultation
- Approach Restyles Fearlessly
- Time Management
- Are you having a restyle?
- How long is your hair?
- If short – is it above the jaw?
- Is your hair medium-thick in density?
- You’re Only As Good As You Feel
- Fail To Prepare, Prepare to Fail