When business is good, rebooking rates are on the up, and clients are smiling, it can be tempting to “keep on keeping on” behind the chair. But in a world fueled 24/7 by social media and online referrals, we can never rest on our laurels.
Succeeding in hairstyling means continually embracing what’s ahead of the beauty curve and taking clients along on the journey. Yes, a client may be very happy with a cut she’s worn for several seasons. But never assume that a client’s spoken request for “the same thing” is your absolute assignment. It’s up to you as the licensed hairstylist to open their eyes to possibility.
We live in a visual world, where life is journaled before our eyes through Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. An auditory conversation fails to recognize the very nature of our craft. Has anyone ever asked you to comment on the “sound” of a new haircut? A hairstylist’s work is about appearance and feeling, so interact with your client through visual communication.
Even the most satisfied client enjoys a hairdresser who invests in the relationship and continually tries to elevate service. Here are some ways to reenergize client relationships.
1. Start with the consultation. Yes, the consult is not just for first-time clients. At every visit, ask the client about her life and what she’s been doing. And observe the client. Has she lost weight or changed her makeup? Even a modest change or adaptation can influence how hair should be cut.
2. Take on the role of educator. As the hairstylist, you are an authority when it comes to beauty and style. Don’t wait for the client to initiate the conversation. Talk about what trends are influencing the season’s looks, what you’re reading in the trades, or a celebrity look that’s sparking a lot of conversation in your salon.
3. “Show your work”. Remember, beauty is visual, so don’t rely on words to describe a trend. And be sure to involve your client. Ask permission to photograph her finished cut or color. We live in a world fueled by the sharing of images, so make it part of your client’s experience.
4. Share your passion. Mention a class you attended and never be shy about sharing your published work. People want to be around successful people who are enthusiastic about their calling and influential in their industries. Allowing clients to experience your passion for beauty positions you as an “influencer” in the beauty and wellness realm.
5. Use social media as much as you can. But consider the audience and the channel. Hairbrained.me is a great channel for students and professionals, bringing hairdressers together at the grassroots level. Engage peers and clients by chronicling your daily salon journal on Instagram and Hairbrained. Put yourself in an app mentality by engaging with apps in other parts of your life. Uber has changed the way we travel. Social media apps can change the way we approach our craft.
About: DJ Muldoon is founder of TheFactory, a creative hair production space in San Diego. Passionate in his commitment to education, DJ represents the haircutter at trade shows around the globe. In January 2016, he took on his newest role, serving as Creative Director at Bellus Academy.