Without trust and time, you don’t have a stylist; you just get your haircut.
The reality is, not many people actually have a hairstylist. To help illustrate what I’m saying, I will describe a common client situation. For this purpose we will call this client Jessica (not based on any Jessica we know, just a name. Don’t be worried).
Jessica goes to a salon, and she has someone who does her hair there. Jessica comes in with a picture of how she wants her hair cut and colored. The majority of the time, Jessica isn’t totally satisfied. The color isn't quite right, or the hair never falls the same way twice, and Jessica has enough products in her cabinet to open a store. The worst part is, “none of the products work.” Every time she goes to the salon, Jessica brings the same picture and describes the same requests. The picture Jessica brings with her is of herself when she was 22. Jessica is now 37. She wants to” get her old hair back, because that’s when she liked her hair the most”. She tells the stylist what to do, and the stylist agrees. When out and about, Jessica compliments other people’s hair, and constantly asks, “where do you go? Who does your hair?.” Jessica has tried all the top salons in the area and has even gone into the City. Still not right.
Unsatisfied, she hops around from salon to salon.
So Jessica trys a new stylist, at a new salon, and has per pictures ready. After her consultation, the stylist obediently followers her requests. Jessica leaves the salon, moderately happy, but has the feeling that, “This still isn’t exactly what I want”or “ It seems like no one is listening to me. I still don’t feel like I have a style”.
This happens ALLLL the of the time. Unfortunately, women like Jessica have not connected with a stylist who hears her properly. Plus, Jessica lacks commitment due to so many failed attempts at salons and might not be listening to what a stylist suggests. This combo of disaster is based off a lack of trust and history together.
Of course, as a new guest coming into a salon, you might not fully 100% trust the stylist you are seeing for the first time yet. DUH. You just met, and that level of trust isn’t established yet. It takes quite a while (NOT JUST ONE APPOINTMENT) to build that relationship. This trust allows open communication the client to express likes and, more importantly, dislikes. It also allows the stylist to have open dialogue about realist expectations.
No stylist likes to be negative or say no to a client, but if Jessica had a committed hairstylist that she trusted to communicate her needs and wants, likes and dislikes, it would have saved her so much drama trying to “get her hair right.”
o what am I saying?
The majority of issues with not having your preferred style comes down to the consultation, the willingness to listen to a professional who is comfortable to delivering feedback about possible suggestions. Understanding that to get goal-level hair, the stylist needs a degree of intimacy and understanding of you, the client. This rarely happens on the first appointment, and it’s why so many of people hop salons. Often times a dissatisfied guest that I meet for the first time start the conversation with these worlds: “my last stylist just didn’t get what I wanted for my hair” then proceed to show me EXACTLY the same haircut they have from an inspo picture. OR tell me “look how bad of a haircut I got at XYZ salon, by ABC stylist.” (In all 15 years of my career I have seen maybe 3 truly “bad” haircuts. Most of the time the guest just doesn’t like it. I do not entertain tearing down my community, and move on from this conversation quickly) I then ask them probing questions to help them make the self discovery that the haircut they “want” they already have, and maybe it is time to make a change.
For a first time client, I can give them a great haircut, but that will not be the best haircut they can get from me. There are always people I cut once, and never see again. Was it my haircut? Unlikely. We just didn’t connect, vibe, or understand each-other. I didn't wow them and/or understand their needs. That can never get better, because they’ve moved on, and are repeating the same process with another new stylist.
Here is the deal, my best haircuts are on people I have been cutting for 3+ years, and the ones who really shine are on my clients of 8+ years. Want to know why?
Because I know them. I know their lifestyle. I know their likes and dislikes. I know their fashion sense and mantinece schedule. I know past traumas on their hair, and what might trigger some sort of negative feelings. History and communication builds trust, and helps guide me to create what looks and feels best for right now.
When I have truly earned someones TRUST, that’s when the magic happens. That’s when people stop you in the street and ask, “Where do you get your haircut?” That trust happens with communication and commitment to each other, and only then is when great hair happens. Yes education and experience of the stylist play a roll, but we will get into that at a later blog. The smoke and mirrors in the beauty industry is a horse of another color.
The second part of the blog is all about communication and how to come to the salon prepared!! Come back next week!