As a hairdresser, work can be the furthest thing from relaxing. You know it all too well, the tired feet and aching backs that come from long hours on the salon floor. But, aside from mastering cuts and colors, one of the most important jobs you have is making your client feel comfortable, and, in the midst of busy schedules, it's easy to forget how intimidating it can be to be a new client sitting in your chair. In honor of National Relaxation Day, we talked with a few salon owners and educators on how they make their clients (and staff) feel comfortable and at ease in the salon. Take a well-deserved break and read on.
"There are a few best practices that help promote relaxation in the salon and put clients at ease. First is the consultation: a sit down, eye-to-eye, conversation about them and what their needs are. Be sure that you are really listening to the client and doing your research to put together a plan customized for them. Once they feel you have listened to them, and that you understand and care about their individual needs, you're starting off on the right foot. Next is the shampoo: A nice relaxing shampoo is essential to calming whatever chaos they came in with. No 30-second miracle whips, even if they, or you, are running late. It sets the tone for the whole experience." —Thomas Osborn, TIGI Creative Director & VP of Education
"One thing clients have always said about our salon is that they feel like they are at home hanging out with friends. We have a large table for conversation, coffee and charging electronics that clients are seated at during their color processing time. People watch TV, chat with each other and sip their troubles away while we apply color services. It’s like a Cheers episode, but in a salon. I also have a "no attitude" policy; consultations are done at eye level so that we are conversing with the client, not talking down to them. From the start, it puts them at ease that we are listening. You come in, chill out with our Renaissance family and leave with great hair."—Jessica Wall-Innella, Aloxxi artist and owner of Renaissance Salon in Ronkonkoma, New York
"I try to keep a light scent constant in my salon space, something fresh but cozy smelling. The music for me is a huge part too. It needs to keep me moving, but also be relaxing. And of course, everyone gets a scalp massage after shampooing and conditioning their hair whether they are current or new clients."—Anthony Barnhill, Malibu C Lead Platform Artist/Educator
"With regard to maintaining a stress-free, relaxed vibe with the staff: a fish rots from the head. As a leader in your environment, you've got to keep your cool and stay relaxed and stress-free yourself. It can be a bit of a pressure cooker at times, but you've got to stay cool as a cucumber. If the leader of the salon is running around like a stressed out lunatic, that energy will be projected outwardly onto the staff and can create unnecessary tension. If you want a stress-free relaxed atmosphere, you've got to stay calm yourself. Think of it like controlled chaos. For me, having music on at all times is a massive stress reliever."—Thomas Osborn, TIGI Creative Director & VP of Education
About: TIGI was conceived by the four Mascolo brothers providing them with the ‘liquid tools’ to style and finish their hairstyles. Inspirational educational programs motivate and inspire hairdressers and provide them with the information to create the latest haircuts using TIGI products.
About: With over 100 colorful ways for salon customers to express themselves with hair color, Aloxxi transforms formulas into fun, interactive salon experiences.The concept of hair color personality hails from a professional beauty Industry icon, OPI Founder, George W. Schaeffer. Infusing 30 years of passion for color and quality professional products into Aloxxi, Schaeffer has set out to both educate clients about the salon experience as well as highlight the role of the hairdresser as an artist and expert by creating an entirely new way to experience and care for color treated hair.
About: As the Pioneers of Wellness Solutions in the Beauty Industry since 1985, Malibu C’s mission statement has been tried and true: to solve problems for every human being, using nature-inspired, patented technologies. Malibu C is a solution-driven professional hair and skin care brand based in science, not marketing hype.