This isn’t me complaining, I promise. I won’t say how much I don’t like it, because that’s not how I feel. I just notice that they hurt. I was busy, not overly so, but now I remember in full how my aching body feels after a long day of physical labor.
During work it’s less noticeable because I’m preoccupied with activity. As I stand here looking at my phone for no good reason out of delirium, it dawns on me… I should write about this.
At the end of the day, your feet will hurt in this profession. Unfortunately, many of us don’t have a dress code and we dress fashionable. This usually means adding height. Especially for a gal like me standing tall at a measly 5’3″, some heel is common. Now work standing and bending in those bad boys for hours.
Having diverse skills is valuable because you can handle any type of request without fear. Gain experience with as many different types of people and their hair so you don’t disappoint them with inadequacy.
Just last weekend a charming young man waits patiently for an hour, he just happened upon the salon. I noticed him noticing my make client before him as he left and when it was his turn he complimented my work and had confidence that he would be happy with whatever I wanted to do.
He mentioned, “don’t mind the blue glue behind my ears.” Well that’s odd-so of course I took the bait- what is it?
He happens to be one of the traveling performers for Blue Man Group, the show that evening and the next day was nearby. So here I have a well received actor and musician (drummer) in my chair trusting I do anything. He wears a bald cap for work so as long as it’s shorter he had no parameters. Being fairly mild in appearance I chose a much more mainstream haircut, one that the girlfriend back home certainly will approve he beamed. As a performer he has an outgoing nature so I worked a little funky magic in that can either be enhanced with product or ignored for modesty.
I certainly enjoyed meeting Steven, a pleasure to work with on all accounts. I am also grateful for all the training I have so I could adapt to the changing needs of my small towns client base
I often think of opening my own salon just so my kids can be there too. After all, what is the problem with children anyway? They are just smaller, younger versions of us. I dream of a mommy hair salon where there is a room dedicated to just the children for playing, and I imagine it being very busy during the day, because quite frankly, mothers can now get their hair done without having to also pay/find a babysitter. That way my kids can be there too. I can work for my family, and also be with my kids.
Over the years I am certain one of my three daughters will be interested in my craft and will learn a lot just by being around it. Maybe I will be benefitting them in the long run.
1. Health: It is not the best environment for young growing bodies to be exposed to regularly. There are chemicals and debris.
2. Neediness: My children are very young still and often want me to hold them. If I can’t because I am in the middle of applying a highlight- and one of them (or even two) are crying- that is a huge disappointment to them and even worse it is a distraction to me and my client.
1. My kids can learn that women can work too and kids aren’t taboo.
2. My kids will learn and see the practice of business skills and ethics that I mostly learned by mentoring the salon owners and colleagues I had from my own young career days. Sorry mom and dad (who probably will never read this because he isn’t a thoughtful parent) but you didn’t teach me much about business when I was young.
3. Convenience for me and other mothers who also tote kids with them everywhere.
I am always spotting little salons that are out of business. I could also quickly move into a small houses that would be easy to convert because the separated rooms are already in place. It is just a matter of getting the upfront funding to open, and marketing for the clientele. Which I have learned is not that difficult if you have done it before and know what works and what doesn’t.
In all honesty, it is a dream, but will probably only ever be a dream because it isn’t worth it for the two problems. If over time we overcome the second, the first will always be a deal-breaker.
The best way to build your clientele is by referrals.
The only way to get referrals is by doing your job well.
What does it mean to do your job well?
In no particular order here are a few ideas:
Get technical skills: https://heididelmuro.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/secret-2-get-technical-skills/
People are busy.
They did their homework to find you, why do someone else’s too?
Free service or product you say? That just might work.
Offering incentives for your clients to spread the word costs much less than print advertising, and consumes less of your time than any other form of marketing.
Whenever your client comes in and says,
“I get so many compliments on my hair!”
That should be your cue to say,
“Great, I am so glad to hear that!”
But don’t stop there- next you could say,
“You know, for every referral you send me you earn ‘X’.”
I like the choice of words with earn, because it is work for them. They have to keep track of you, and make the effort to communicate with another about you. You have to keep track of their work, too. Because you already keep your client files up to date, note in your clients file who they referred so the next time they see you, their incentive is honored.
If you aren’t sure what type of incentive to offer, or what will work; think about your business.
What types of things can you afford to offer if you have 2 more clients in your chair?
There are two main things at your convenience; services and products.
Services cost you time (and money if chemical).
Products cost you money.
The incentive I have offered my clients since 2006- For every 2 new clients you send me, you earn the same service free. If you send two color clients, you get your color free. Two haircuts, free haircut. I do this to reward my clients who are loyal.
A lot of people offer an incentive for first time clients. I don’t usually do this because first time clients are more work for me, I can’t do more work for less. Also, there is less incentive for them to come back to you because next time is costs more. Besides, they can go down the street and get their hair done as a 1st time client with a discount, ahem. Notice a problem here? I can do a client for less who has been in my chair repeatedly, who is a joy to work with and who loves my work. They deserve an incentive because you don’t have to find them over and over again, they are coming back- so don’t gouge them.
Wedding season is always a fun time of year for hairdressers. We get to experience the joy and excitement of love, and we get the privilege creating another person’s dream. Well, at least their dream hair.
I absolutely love doing hair for weddings.
It is always a day full of sweet memories. I get to observe families and loved ones spend important moments together, laughing, crying, reminiscing on times past. People gather for weddings to celebrate love, friendship, companionship, loyalty, and many more valuable traits marriage brings to life.
I have been very lucky this year to be working with a wedding consultant, Hope Schalck, owner of The Wedding Studio. If you need help with your wedding, believe me, she is your gal. Visit http://www.theweddingstudiocolorado.com
More to come on Hope and The Wedding Studio once this season calms down a little and I can catch her for an interview.
Visit my “Fancy hair” page to see a few clients I have done. These are mostly my own photos, and I am a terrible photographer. I finally put some photos up after being asked on numerous occasions, and I will get some professional photos up soon.
So, this is something I have been aware of for a long time. Unfortunately, it’s just part of who I am and as much as I take heat when boundaries are crossed, it will not change who I am. I have learned throughout the years when to remain silent, and I am very respectful of others.
Just like someone who feels as though they are too quiet, this is my personality defect.
In defense of those who tend to talk instead of remain silent I want to clear up a few misconceptions.
- I am paying very close attention.
- I listen. In fact, I listen very well.
- I think out loud.
- It isn’t that I like to hear myself talk.
- I feel compelled to share thoughts, experiences, and laughter with others.
- This conflicts with people who need or prefer silence.
- I am not self-obsessed. Just open.
- It is just one form of open communication, which I require to do my job well.
- I can relate to most people this way, and connect on a personal level.
- I am nervous, just like you. If we can laugh together, things are better for all of us.
- I know when to shut-up. Ok, most of the time…
When you work in a profession that requires you to break the ice with a stranger, daily and on a regular basis, you learn what works best for you. My way of navigating this otherwise, very uncomfortable environment, is to talk. When I open up, others will understand that this process is intended to engage them, so I can find out what their needs are. When I know a little about who you are, and what you like, then I can make you happy with your hair. I will continually put myself out there, on the front line, so you know I am not judging you. I am open to whoever you are, whatever you like, and can most likely help you meet your goals through connecting.
It’s all about connecting.
If you are one of those people who hates their hair on their neck, have you ever tried cutting your hair short?
As a female there is some crazy stigma that you must fit a particular profile to have short hair, don’t pay attention to that crap, it is really just judgments placed by others who aren’t brave enough to try it themselves.
I used to notice how women with shorter hair had a different sort of confidence. They don’t grasp on to things the same, there is a unique liberty available to them.
With the summer months approaching, and warmer weather well on it’s way, I would encourage you to consider cutting it short.
Depending on your texture there is one warning to heed, though. If you are used to just pulling it back or up, you won’t have that freedom. There is some level of styling necessary to make it look like you want.
This is the trade-off. You have long hair that takes about 30 minutes to style “pretty”, or 5 minutes if you just pull it out of your way. You cut it short and now it takes 10-15 minutes everyday. Not longer than that, but you can’t get away with doing much less.
So, if time is the issue, completely understandable.
There is also the grow-out. If you just simply hate your hair short, can’t find any style that agrees with you, and you must grow it out… well the road is long. At least a year if not more before your hair meets your shoulders and is luscious again. Be prepared for this.
If you have never cut your hair short, and it is on your mind… I would consider it. You only live once, and it’s just hair right? What a fun way to re-invent yourself!