Communication… your “bad haircut” might be happening before the scissors.
Communication Remember Jessica from the last blog? How Jessica was salon hopping and that “no one understood her.” How she was never completely happy and felt like she was not quite getting what she wanted ALL of the time? Hair disappointment normally comes down to lack of history, trust, and an important third component: communication. From you, the guest, and from us, the professionals, clear communication is the bridge to the land of great hair. 80% of mistakes in a haircut come from the consultation. Lack of communication on part of the client, and the stylist needing to ask more questions. This is the recipe for not great hair. So here is a normal consultations… Jessica brings up her Pinterest board of hair to talk about a “change,” as well as the old picture of her she brings to the appointment. We have a consultation discussing length, style, and shape. I explain my tool choice; a razor to give you that ‘piecy,’ messy, lived-in look; or a scissor for a more solid and structured finish. I reference areas of the picture and ask questions like, “What do you like about this look? What elements of it draw your eye? Have you worn your hair like this in the past?” During this time, I am scoping out your style, body language, and gauging your level of stress. As a professional, and trained empath, it’s obvious when a “yes” is really a “no” — so when we probe further, this isn’t to make you nervous or put you on the spot; it is to find the ultimate YES! We formulate a game-plan, and I reiterate the points we discussed, and confirm with Jessica her comfort level with the changes. Then I explain styling, how I will use specific tools, what products I will use, and why. Then we go over how to achieve the look at home. I ask, “How does this all sounds? Good? Are you ready?” Jessica says, “Yes! I’m ready for a change.” I ask, “Okay, is there anything else you want to talk about before we get started?” Jessica says” No. I’m ready. Lets do this.” Then … cut and style. All done, and Jessica hates it. Then this happens, she pulls out a picture of herself with a haircut nothing like the one we discussed, and says she wants it to look “more like this.” EMOTIONAL PALM TO THE FACE So let me ask you, where did it all go wrong? As a stylist, frankly, I am not a mind reader. When Jessica brought in a picture of a textured bob with waves and we focus on a look like that, thats what I think she wants. When we discussed and agree on a course of action, how am I to know that she really wanted something else? Maybe in the consultation, I could have pulled out a blunt bob and asked, “To be clear, you don’t want it to look like this, right?” But I’m working off the information that Jessica gave me, how could I decode her thoughts? It is so important to discus with your stylist when you don’t feel on the same page. Blindly agreeing is a set up for failure, both for yourself and for your stylist. EVEN WORSE… Moving to another stylist when you don’t discuss your dislikes or your frustrations. The truth is that we have pretty thick skin, and would rather hear what didn’t work rather than assume all is good, when it isn’t. So let’s say Jessica comes back six weeks later. She is open about the haircut not working, and tells me why. We have now built a history together (like mentioned in blog pt 1) and I know Jessica a little bit better. We consult again, touch upon all the points we made the first time, but now I understand MORE. I have something to work off of. I know a limit and more about her personal style. Jessica can now feel comfortable communicating with me, and we are building TRUST. So you hated your haircut? Color wasn’t right? Did you tell the stylist? Or did you split to another salon? As consumers, we typically give something new a one time try, and if it doesn’t work, we move on. Sure that works for Pizza, but not for your hair. Keep that in mind as the cycle will continue. Tips for you as a guest:
When a stylist ask if you have visual inspiration, always show us all of it. Even if you think a haircut is totally different or exactly the same, we can pinpoint areas that differentiate and narrow down the points that you like.
When we ask how you feel about our game plan, be honest. If you still have questions, or are confused about length or layers, we would much rather further explain more details.
Understand that we are here to be honest and to guide you, and that sometimes a “No, this will not work for you,” is out of kindness, not dismissal.
When we complete a service and ask how you feel, we mean it. If you say, “Everything is perfect,” then go home and hate it, or want something changed, we now are at a disadvantage. More than likely, the “issue” could have been corrected if pointed out sooner.
Color is the most subjective thing in the hair world. No one person sees color the same as another. So when you see orange, a colorist could see gold, copper, yellow, tangerine, or sometimes green. What language you use to describe your likes and dislikes are our jumping off point for us to better understand your perspective of your current or goal look.
If you are unsure about something and want to chat before booking a cut or color, the majority of salons offer consultations. Ours are complimentary!
At Craft House Salon, we PRIDE ourselves on our consultations. Our ability to make time to listen then delver might actually be our real super power. But even super hero’s have off days, and if we ever missed the mark, we would love to hear from you. Check our Part 3 next week about expectations and the truth of being let down. xoxo Mallory Z