ATTENTION STYLISTS! TAKE NOTES!

The salon/spa that I currently work at has a program that prints off my schedule for the day as well as a traveler for every client. Now the travelers have the client’s name, the appointment time, the appointment service, the service provider for all the appointments that client has for that day, as well as a list of products he/she has ever bought with a first date of purchase & last day of purchase & the prices, a list of every service he/she has received with first & last date of purchase, service provider, & price.  There’s a place for me to write how many weeks for the reservation team to book out, a price for the day, & space to take notes.  Now, not every salon has a program like the one at my salon.  I’ve worked at salons where the program is just to put in client name, address, phone number, & program or the credit card machine.  I’ve worked at salons where there the program is just to literally check someone out, the system doesn’t want a name, it just wants to know what stylist did what service & payment. But even if you work at a salon where there is no system for you to store notes, you can still take notes! I’m going to talk about how I took notes at the bare minimum salon, & all the types of notes I take now!

When I worked at those salons where they computer system was just to take & track the money, we had a filing system for color formulas.  You would write down the client’s name, date, & formula on a big index card & then file it so that everyone in the salon could get to it if the client couldn’t see you the next visit.  That was all fine, except sometimes the card would get lost, someone would write hugely on the card and there would be 4 cards for 5 formulas stapled together with no date, or there would be multiple cards for the same person because no one could find the previous card made.  I had a co-worker who kept her own client record system she bought from a supply store.  She would leave it in her station so if she went on vacation, or it was her day off & one of her client’s came in & had to see someone else, the stylist servicing her client would go to her station, find her book, find the formula, update it, & return it to her station.  It was a nice little system & I liked it. So  I went to Sally’s or CosmoProf & bought a client book. I highlighted the section I needed the client to fill out (name, address, number).  Kept notes not just on color but on how I cut the client’s hair. It was an easier way to keep track of those who solely saw me.  And if I was out sick, or vacation, coworkers could easily access & update the formulas, but couldn’t just throw the information in our little filing card system in the back.  I didn’t have to fight everyone’s alphabetical order (which varies by stylist).  It was a much easier system.

But now I have an amazing system! My current salon has a great program as I stated above.  I write things down & the reservation team (or some times myself) types the notes into the system.  I don’t have to do much or be responsible for all the information being kept in a little folder.  It’s all in the system.  If a client can not see me for whatever reason, my co-worker can see him/her & I know everything will be fine because she can see every formula, every note ever taken.  When that client comes back to me, then I can see what she did.  If she needed to change the formula for any reason I will see that (her & I get along great & usually communicate the change, but if I’m on vacation she may not inform me because you know, vacation.)  I don’t have to worry about the client going to another salon, using a different color line, etc.

Now what do I put in the notes besides formulas?  Cutting techniques.  I may razor a little bit on a client, so I will write down where I razored & how often to do it (every other appointment), if I point cut, if I prefer to cut the client dry, how short to cut bangs, etc.  It’s our job as the professional to be able to recreate the previous cut we did on the client.  I can not remember every single thing I do on every client.  Writing down how I did the cut will also help me if the client didn’t like something.  I can look at my notes, consult with the client, & then fix the issue.  A new client may come in with a terrible cut that may take a few appointments to fix. Usually with this type of scenario I write down how she came in, her desired look, what I did that appointment, & what to do at future appointments.  I take notes on all my men clients as well.  By writing down if I use a 4 on the sides & scissor the top, I can tweak the look at each appointment. A lot of my men clients like to switch up their style.  We may decide to switch it up a bit & at the next appointment he may say “ya know, I really liked it the shorter style we did about 3 appointments ago.” Looking back at my notes I can see what I did.  Cutting notes are very helpful!

I have recently started writing notes on products I used & products I recommend.  I started having clients call & ask the reservation desk to ask me what products I used on them to keep their style.  I can not remember that! I can only guess! It was a learning experience for me. Prior to these events I would write down all the products I recommend so that if the client could only purchase one or two products, she could come back in another time (her appointment or not), ask the reservation desk to look into her file on the system, & purchase the products without me having to try to figure it all out (or being called on my day off to be asked what I used because the client stopped by the salon).  But after having multiple clients in a 2 week period ask me what the product was & me not being able to remember, it occurred that I NEED to write down what I used.  Writing down what I used also helps me when the client comes back in and says “Kari, I did NOT like whatever you used on me last time. Please do not use it again.” This allows me to see what I used, ask what it was the client did not like about it, & choose a better product for that client & his/her needs! It not only helps me, but also my coworkers. The reservation desk doesn’t have to call me on my day off or vacation to ask because the client stopped by, they can just take care of the client!

I also take notes on the client’s attitude.  Sometimes a client comes in & has had a terrible day, or maybe just a terrible outlook on life & will take it out on me.  That’s fine. I get it. I know I’ve done the same thing. We are all humans. But I am going to take notes on pretty much the whole conversation. That way if for some reason the client calls to make a complaint my butt is covered.  Some people just like to make other people’s lives horrible.  If a client is usually a happy person, comes in to the salon in the worst mood, & just starts saying mean, unpleasant things I write it down.  I keep an eye out on all appointments after that.  It could’ve been a bad day. But if I start noticing she/he keeps making inappropriate comments for months, I can present the evidence to the owner, talk to her about referring the client to my coworker (or to another salon if things are that bad), talk about the right way to go about it, & making sure she is within ear shot incase a situation arises. She may suggest she talk to the client, or that we talk to my co-worker for an outside opinion & to make sure my co-worker is fine with taking my client. I like to keep the owner informed because she is the owner & I am the employee. She also has some good, creative ideas on how to handle different types of scenarios.

I also write down not just prices for the day for the client but future prices.  When I have a new client I will discuss the price for that day’s services. If it’s a color correction I will usually give a high price & say “It probably will not be this much, but be prepared just incase the unforeseen happens.” I will also give future prices. I usually have two or three future prices for my base/root touch up & highlight clients.  One price will reflect a root touch up, the other will reflect a root touch up & partial, & the third will reflect a root touch up & full foil.  I will write all the future prices out. That way it keeps me honest & the client honest.  I’ve had situations where at the consult a few days prior to the actual service, I see the client has very fine hair & even though I know she wants a full highlight look I may not quote for a full because I plan on only pop in 10-15 foils, & then the client comes in day of appointment & I forgot, didn’t write down the price & she feels she’s being over charged because I quoted her lower a couple days prior at the consult. I’ve also had situations where I know I told the client it would be a higher charge because of the thickness of hair, but since I did not write it down, the client says that I told her a much lower price.  The future prices is great to keep everyone honest!

I have found that the more notes I take the better I can take care of the client & myself. I have only found one person who did not like the fact that I took notes on how she likes her hair cut & how to cut it.  Everyone else is very grateful & loves it! So keep notes! Write down all the things! I promise 99.9% of your clients will love it!

Do you have other note taking ideas or suggestions? Comment below! You know I love any & all feedback!

 

Are We Breaking Up? How To Determine If It’s Time To Leave Your Stylist

So the last few appointments you’ve been disappointed.  The first time you were disappointed you thought “Maybe my stylist is having a bad day. We all get them. It’s ok. We will be back on track next time”. Well next time came and went, a few times actually, & nothing changed. Now you ask yourself “Is it time to find a new stylist?”.  Let’s find out!

Are you getting your desired cut & color? If not, then you need to have a talk with your stylist.  Start with asking “Kari, I have been wanting to cut my length to the base of my neck & my highlights lighter.  Is this something that can be done in one appointment? Or will it take multiple appointments?” Your stylist should explain him/herself. It could be he/she thought he/she was taking your blonde light enough only to find out he/she hasn’t been lifting it light enough.  Informing your stylist that you have not been happy & asking if your desired look is possible will put both of you on the same page & you will have some explanations. 

A complaint I hear from clients seeking a new stylist is that their old stylist was constantly canceling appointments last minute with no other option.  We stylists do have families and emergencies that do come up.  We also do not like to disappointment clients, so we will usually try to come in another day, stay late, or refer to a co-worker to accommodate the clients.  But if the cancelation happens almost every appointment for a long period of time, it may be time to move on.  A stylist’s appointment times are valuable just like your time as a client is valuable. 

Another complaint I’ve heard time after time is “My stylist just started rushing me.  She stopped taking the time like she used to. I don’t know if she’s just getting so busy, but I don’t get to tell her that I want a change.” If you start feeling rushed at every appointment try to schedule a little more extra time and tell your stylist that you feel rushed and you do not like it.  Sometimes we stylists get behind and we may rush.  But the rushing should not be every appointment.  Usually when you bring this up to your stylist, your stylist will start booking extra time for you and usually the try to slow down. 

If you feel that your stylist has become disrespectful towards you then it is time to find a new stylist. Most of us are very fun, loving, caring people but there are a couple of rude stylists out there. As the old saying states “It takes all kinds to make the world go round”.  You should never leave your appointment feeling like a burden or discouraged.  Nor should you ever feel anxious or dread going to your appointment.  If you are feeling any of these emotions you need to just find a new stylist.  You can try to mention it to your stylist, but if he/she is already rude and you are starting to dread going into the salon, the talk is more than likely not go well. You can mention in an email, on the phone, or in person to the owner or manager of the salon that you do not feel comfortable anymore with your stylist.  The person in charge will not want to lose business and will find a solution to the problem, even if you decide to go elsewhere. 

Now I do recommend having a talk with your stylist before throwing in the towel.  Your stylist may not know that you are not happy and feel rushed.  There may be a very acceptable reason to the cancelations that he/she has not disclosed with you yet.  As a stylist, I appreciate being informed if a client is not happy (rather it be management or the client informing me).  Even if the client does not plan on coming back to see me, the knowledge of what I did to upset the client helps me grow as a professional & a person.  

So have a chat and decide! 

There Is 1 Rule In My Hair Book

We’ve heard all the rules of cuts and colors. You have to go darker in the fall and lighter in the summer.  After 40 you have to cut your hair short.  Let me tell you something. NO YOU DO NOT! I don’t follow these rules.  I have 1 rule in my book. Do with your hair that makes you happy (within reason). If you enjoy bleach blonde all year round, then be bleach blonde all year round. “Oh but Kari, it looks more natural if you add lowlights in the fall and winter!” No it does not.  If anyone thinks that someone who is bleach blonde, level 27 from roots to ends is growing that themselves, they are wrong (except for those very rare cases).  Now if you enjoy getting lowlights in the fall and winter then DO IT! And if you like to have copper lowlights in the fall and more natural brown lowlights in the winter then do it. But don’t do lowlights or go darker in the fall and winter if you don’t want to.
Don’t cut your hair short after 40 because someone told you that you need to do it. If you didn’t want your hair cut short at the age of 39, I can promise you that you probably do not want it cut short at age 40.  Now if you are looking for a change and want to try short hair, then try it. But don’t wait until 40 because of the “rules”. But if you are older or have had an injury that doesn’t allow you to take care of longer hair, then yes you should probably cut it to a shorter length that is easier for you.  Now if you have super long hair, always have it up, complain of headaches, then it’s time to take a few inches off in my professional opinion. But if you have super long hair, enjoy taking care of it, then keep it honey! Have styles that make you happy & confident! If you like coloring your hair dark in the summer and blonde in the winter, then do it. Be happy. Be confident. Be you.

Now in my rule above I added “within reason”. The reason I added that is because, it is not good to be bleaching your hair one month, coloring black the next month, and bleaching it up again the following month.  If you are my client and we cut your hair short and you hate it, trust me, I am going to discuss with you the hatred you had for your short hair when you try telling me you want short hair again. We will have a chat. We will discuss why you are wanting the change. We will talk about all the hair styles between your current length and the dreaded short length. We will talk color. We will talk about all the ways to get you to fall back in love with your hair without going back to the short cut that made me satan’s best friend until it grew out.  If you are just so for cutting it short again, I will inform you that you are not allowed to hate me if you hate the short hair again.  At the end of every appointment I want 2 things. I want my client to be over the top in love & happy with their hair. And I want the hair in the best condition & be proud of if myself since it is my work on your head.  If you want a mullet, honey I will cut you the best mullet 2017 has seen and you will be the reason it comes back in style. But I will not fry your hair. Even though I want clients to be happy, I also need to have integrity. I need to be able to know with all my being that I did everything within my power to give my client what he/she wanted without compromising the health of the client’s scalp & hair.

So have the hair you want to have but keep it healthy. Try new things with your hair. But keep it healthy. Follow the rules or don’t follow the rules.  Have HEALTHY hair that makes you happy & confident!

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Getting A Shampoo & Blowout Bi-Weekly!

We all know that going to a salon and getting a shampoo and blowout is a great way to have some you time and relax! But what are some other benefits of this service? Here are 5 reasons you should be getting a shampoo and blowout at least bi-weekly, if not weekly!

  1. It’s a good way to find a new salon & stylist! Test out a new place without a horrifying, costly color experience.  This allows you to see the salon, test out all the stylists, & decide if the salon is your cup of tea. It’s also a good way to find a back-up stylist at your current salon if for some reason your stylist has to take leave or if something has come up in your personal life & you can’t make it in to your stylist. Some times seeing a new stylist for a shampoo & blowout is just the little change you need in your life.
  2. Lift your mood! It’s the best way to get excited about date night and a night out with the girls! After a long day, it is so easy to want to bail on plans you’ve made weeks, even months ago.  Scheduling a shampoo & blowout is an awesome way to uplift your mood & get yourself pumped for the night out! Schedule a makeup appointment with it and you all you have to do is change clothes!
  3. Take your attitude from crab to fab! If you are always stressed or going through a stressful time, you are probably taking it out on others.  All of us have been guilty of it at some point in our lives. Getting a blowout will help reduce stress, give you a boost of confidence, lift your mood, & makes your hair one less thing you have to worry about.  Something about having someone else do your hair puts us in a better feel good mood.  Others will notice the difference in your attitude and you may just see an increase of gift cards to your favorite salon!
  4. Everyone will see you in a different way! Even just alternating your hair from curly to wavy, or straight to curly every so often gets people looking & talking! Hair is one of the first things we notice.  How many times have you made a comment to a co-worker who came to work with a slightly different style? We can’t help but want to say something when we see someone with a new style. And for that day their hair is styled different, we tend to see them differently. Maybe the style adds softness to their face so they seem more approachable. Or maybe it adds more of a rough look & we want to stay away (hey, find out which style keeps people away so you can skip out of work a little early on Fridays!). Either way we tend to see others with new dos in a different light.  And it is not just co-workers who will take notice. Your significant other will take notice and I bet you’ll find your s.o. loves the spice up of different styles!
  5. It’s a good way to try new styles and products! If you have long hair and have been thinking about cutting it, have your stylist pin it up into a long bob or even a shorter bob look! You get to test out a new style without the commitment or need for extensions! It’s also a good way to learn how to style your hair different ways at home! Ask your stylist to style your short style in a new way. You may find that you like to switch the part up or teasing the sides of your bob gives it that more rounded, fuller look you’ve been trying to achieve.  Ask your stylist to try different products on you. You may find that you get better results from a light hold cream than your mousse or hair spray! You never know until you try! And having new & different styles used on you at each visit means you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars & throw away barely used products! Have your stylist write down the products & shampoo she/he used so that you can purchase & praise the products, or report back to your stylist that you did not enjoy them.

If these reasons are not convincing to get you in the salon weekly or bi-weekly for a shampoo & blowout, then maybe this last reason will get you to call your stylist.  You won’t have to deal with shampooing and drying your hair yourself for one day. Take a load off and let someone else deal with your hair.

Do you have other reasons to hit the salon more often for a shampoo & blowout? Comment below and let me know!

7 Ways To Change Your Hair Color!

We’ve all been at that point with our hair where we want a new color but are not sure what we want. “Do I want to go lighter?” “Do I want to go darker?” “Do I want red?” I’ve put together some helpful suggestions for those aggravating times of uncertainty. I hope you find them helpful!

  1. Highlights: Highlights aren’t necessary bleach blonde.  They are any color lighter than your current base color.  For my clients that do not have highlights but are wanting to try them I recommend putting a few under the part line. That way you do not have to touch up as often & it gives you an overall lighter look without seeing the “streaks”.  Adding highlights just around the face is a great way to brighten you up, without feeling all over lighter (and without paying for a full highlight).  You can also do balayage highlights as well!
  2. Lowlights: Lowlights are any color darker than your base color.  If you are predominantly  blonde, lowlights can be 1 shade darker than your blonde.  Adding lowlights to blondes gives dimension & makes the lighter blonde strands pop! If you do not have color & never have, lowlights with a demi are a great way to color introduction!
  3. Pops of Color: Adding just a few pieces of a more bold color here and there is also a wonderful to spice up your color while still looking professional! The bold colors do not have to be hot pink or green.  They can be a chocolate brown, deep red, beautiful copper, or anything you desire! I love adding a few little pieces of copper under the part line to my blondes in the fall! They love it because they are still blonde but they have a nice pop of fall color! If you are a medium to light brunette adding a few little pops of blonde can spice you up! Of course you can always add a pop of purple, green, pink, or blue!
  4. Just Do It: The first 3 tips are to help you gradually get into a new color or just add a little something to your current color.  Tip #4 is just do it.  Just find some pictures of blondes, red heads, brunettes–whatever it is you are wanting to do, take it to your stylist and just do it! Dive right in! You think you want to try being a red head, just do it! Never been a blonde? Do it! Sometimes it’s best to just jump in!
  5. Give Your Stylist Freedom: If you have a general idea of what you want, inform your stylist then tell him/her to do what they feel best with that information.  If you don’t have any idea, but you know pink & blue is not acceptable at the job then inform your stylist of that & let the stylist be creative and give you a new look! I usually ask my clients “Are there any colors you do not want to see in your hair?” That way I don’t put copper in a client’s hair when the client HATES copper.  So if you don’t know what you want but you know what you do not want, let your stylist know! Often times, knowing what the client does not want is better than knowing what they do want!
  6. Clip In Extensions: I have clients who can’t commit to pink strands all the time. But they desire to have some pink strands.  Clip in extensions are a great way to add those funky colors without getting wrote up at work & the commitment! You don’t have to buy the funky colors, you can buy some brown clip ins if your blonde & want to try some lowlights or to just add some depth every once in a while.  If you are a brunette buy some blonde clip ins for damage free highlights that you can pop in & out whenever you want!
  7. Let Your S.O. Choose: A coworker of mine recently sent me an article about women letting their significant others choosing their hair styles.  The s.o. would talk with the stylist about what he/she thought would look best on their partner & why! Your significant other may secretly want you to be a brunette, but may not vocalize it because he/she knows you love your blonde hair.  If you can’t decide on what to do, ask your partner in crime!

I hope you found these helpful as usual!

Have you made a drastic color change? Comment below & let me know how you went about it? Did you just do it? Did you like it or hate it?  What’s your advice to others struggling with color change? As you know I love hearing back from everyone & gaining new insights!

Why Hair Treatments Are A MUST!

There are many types of hair treatments.  Let’s break them down into 2 categories: Salon Treatments & Home Treatments.

Salon Treatments come in a variety.  There are treatments prior to a color to remove minerals from the hair, equalize porosity, add moisture, protein, & other necessities your hair may be lacking.
Let’s talk about treatments that remove minerals first.  These minerals can cause a chemical reaction with your hair color. Where do you get this mineral build up from?  Swimming in a pool, the ocean, or a lake.  Your well water & even your city water can contain minerals that will cause a reaction.  These pre-color treatments give your colorist a clean slate & helps ensure the integrity of your hair & color.
Another type color treatment is a porosity equalizer.  These treatments can go into your color bowl or on your hair before a color service.  This type of treatment is great for anyone wanting to go 2 or more shades darker or anyone who is predominately blonde and/or damaged who is wanting low lights or all over color.  If your hair is very porous it will not hold color very well. This can result in your hair not taking color at all or only a percentage, your hair not taking the color evenly- the color on your roots is nice & right but towards the last few inches of your hair your color is faded even though you just had it done.   A porosity equalizer treatment helps ensure your color takes evenly from roots to ends & that the color stays.
Treatments that add moisture, protein, & other necessities put back into your hair that you are lacking.  Dry hair results in static hair, & lack of protein results in weak hair.  Usually these in salon treatments are products that are not sold for retail because they are highly concentrated.  Some hair care lines do not have an exclusive salon only treatment.  But the salons who carry those types of lines will use the retail on back bar.  Now, I know what you are thinking “Why even offer an in salon treatment if I can just buy it in the salon?”. Well, the answer is simple: Not everyone has the time to do a treatment at home, or they simply do not want to do a treatment at home.  Sometimes just coming into the salon & receiving an in salon treatment is more convenient for some.

Now let’s talk about at home treatments.  At home treatments can be anything from a mask you leave on for 20 mins, to an oil, to a shampoo you only use once a week or so.
At home masks usually replace your conditioner once a week or so. Typically you leave them on between 5-20 mins.  Please talk with your stylist about what type of mask you need & follow their instructions. Do not use a protein based mask every day.  Protein will dry your hair out & cause your hair to break! So always read directions & listen to your stylist!
Oil treatments are either pre-shampoo treatments or leave in treatments.  Pre-shampoo oil treatments are applied to dry hair, processed for 5-30 minutes (depending on the brand), & then shampooed out.  Leave in oil treatments are applied after you have already shampooed & conditioned.  Pre-shampoo oil treatments are great for those who like to treat while drinking coffee in the morning, before they shower, shampoo, & get ready for the day.  Pre-shampoo oil treatments are typically used once or twice a week. Leave in oil treatments are less concentrated, can usually be used daily, & are applied after shampooing/conditioning.
Treatment Shampoos are typically used once a week or so. They are highly concentrated, so you must not over use them.  They can be ultra hydrating, ultra repairing, used for dandruff, brightening gray or blonde hair, & used for oily scalp.  If you use them too often you can cause more harm than good. Once again talk with your stylist.
There are also treatments you can sleep in.  They usually hydrate, repair, & regenerate.

Now all of this information is a generalization.  Depending on the brand your stylist recommends will depend on how & when you will use them.  This is why it is important to talk with your stylist.

Call your stylist & try a new treatment!

 

 

5 Consultation Tips For Stylists!

As a stylist I have developed a few consultation techniques as a result of failing to thoroughly communicate with clients.  We’ve all been there. We all learn from our mistakes.  We also learn from other stylists’  mistakes and from them informing us of situations where they made a mistake.  Situations also occur when a stylist asks a few more questions or picks up on subtle clues.  Today I want to share some of my consultation tips that I’ve learned and fine tuned through the years.

First tip: do more than a 15 minute consult. A lot of stylists will say that if the consult takes more than 15 minutes, you should pass on the client as the client probably can not be pleased.  I have found that clients (whether they are new to the area and looking for a stylist or are a referral) don’t want to feel rushed.  When consulting on color, the client’s hair language is not our language and it can take some time to decipher what they want. I’ve had clients who have come in saying their hair was too brassy even though it was on the cusp of being violet.  Turns out, their definition of brassy is cool instead of warm.  In cases like this, the reason why the client has been to everyone in the tri-state area is because no one has taken the time to figure out exactly what is wrong. I personally book consults for 30 minutes. They do not all take 30 minutes, but I’d rather have more than enough time especially with a new client. During a consult, we talk about the desired look, the price for the current service, maintenance price, maintenance schedule, length of appointments, etc. After discussing it all, I repeat back our agreement and take notes on it all. I have found that not rushing through a consult results in fewer communication errors and can make the client feel more relaxed.

Use your swatch book! When doing a consult for color, I use my swatch book. I know a lot of colorists do not.  Let me explain why I do. I love red. To me, there is no such thing as too much red! But to someone else, gold might be too “red”.  I will tell the client “I’m going to show you some colors.  I want you to pick out colors that you like, whether you want to see it on your hair or not. If you see a color that you like but it’s too dark or too light, let me know.” We then start at the beginning and work our way to the back.  Typically clients will pick out all cool colors or all warm colors.  They will also inform you what levels are too dark, what colors are too warm or red, etc.  Many times I’ve had someone bring me a picture of a red color and then tell me they do not want red but love the picture. I show them the swatch book and ask them what is red to them and it’s typically gold or copper. I’ve also had a client tell me she wants “almost black but not black”. I’m thinking a level 4 (black not black), I show her the swatch book and she picks out a level 7.  Because she was light, her black was a darker blonde.  Had I not shown her the swatch book and gone with a level 4, she wouldn’t have paid or rebooked. I’ve had a client come in tell me that her highlights are always brassy, yet her hair was very cool. I showed her the swatch book and asked her what colors were brassy to her. She picked out all the cool colors. I asked what colors she liked and she loved the golds. She had a hard time finding a stylist because her hair vocabulary doesn’t match a stylist’s hair vocabulary. I nicely informed her that in the hair world, the word brassy means warmer colors, and that’s why she was having the issues. Once I establish what colors the client likes, I will pick out 2 or 3 colors, discuss with the client and then inform them that I will be mixing a couple of colors together to make the color unique for them and also to better fix whatever issue is happening.  More often than not, a client may really like one swatch but it may be too gold or too dark or too light.  Maybe the client likes a level 6 copper but wants  to see some gold in it as well. Or maybe your color line doesn’t have a level 6 copper but it has a level 5 and 7 copper. So your client may ask “this one is too light, this one is too dark is there something in the middle?”  I have also found that with pictures that clients bring, they still say ” I like this but it’s too gold,” or ” I like this but its too dark.” I’ll bring out the swatch book to see what “too gold” and “too dark” is to her.  For me, showing the swatch book gives me more information and helps me decode the client’s hair language.

Have client bring in multiple pictures! I also like for clients to bring in pictures.  When I have a client who wants a new look, I will tell them “Bring me at least 4-5 pictures. You are not going to find one picture that has the cut and the color. If you see a picture of someone with all over blonde, but you like the color of blonde bring that and let me know that’s your highlight goal. If you see a picture of a girl with shorter hair but you like her bangs, bring that to me.” This is very helpful because I can’t be told “I like her bangs but I want them shorter and more to the side, and I want more highlights than she has also more lighter and maybe more cooler….” and the next thing you know, what she’s describing is nothing like the picture. And if you do the picture, she won’t be happy because her highlights are lighter, and if you do what she describes she won’t be happy because it does not look like the picture.  When she brings in multiple pictures she can’t focus on how the model in the one picture looks.  A lot of clients want to look younger and more fit (don’t we all), so they bring in their ideal look. The ideal look isn’t just about hair, it’s the whole package. Having clients bring in multiple pictures not only helps nail down the exact look – length, bangs, layers, base color, highlights, and low lights – but also helps keep the client focused on the hair of each picture instead of the model’s body. If the client does not bring pictures or they have only one picture with multiple things they want different, I will ask questions about how they want to style it. “Do you want to blow dry this style?” “I know you said you wanted to wash and go and you want more volume. In order to get the volume you want like in this picture you will need to use a root lifter and blow this dry.” “Do you still plan on blow drying this new style the same way as you blow dry now? If you want this look, you will have to style it differently than you are used to.” Clients see a picture and think “oh I love this!” but maybe their schedule doesn’t allow them to spend an hour blow drying and curling a new style. Or maybe they’ve always blown their hair back and now they want a style that has to be blown forward.  They may not realize that it has to be blown a different away or may not be able to blow it forward since for 30 years they’ve blown it back.  I also ask “How often do you want to come in to maintain this look?”. If she wants a root to end blonde, but only wants to come in every 12 weeks, I need to explain why we need to discuss a different color style. I may discuss ombre, or highlights under her part line.
I want to make sure that no matter what look I create for her, the client can style it at home.

Talk about pricing during your consults! If it’s a corrective color, figure the price at a higher point.  If you estimate that if would cost $200 if all goes right, figure what that price might be if all goes wrong. Or add an extra $100 to the price. I may figure the color will be $200 but I will quote at $300. I will say “I’m going to figure high for the service, $300. That will be the most it will cost. ” I do this because I have, in the past, quoted a firm $200 and then things happened that I didn’t expect. But, since I had already quoted a firm price, I couldn’t charge any more. The extra $100 is a safety net for me as the stylist. Quoting high for the client prepares her and her finances for the service.  If you do not talk about price prior to performing the service, your client may not be prepared to pay $250 and will be upset. If everything is absolutely perfect until she goes to pay and she is unprepared for the high bill, the perfect experience is now a sour one, and the chances of her coming back will be slim. If you quote her $300, and she informs you that she can’t spend that in one appointment but her budget allows $200, you will need to have other options for her.  Instead of a full head of highlights & lowlights, you can suggest either a full head of highlights or a partial head of highlights & lowlights.  Do not let her walk out of your salon without giving suggestions for alternatives. Don’t confuse giving other options with lowering your prices.  Giving other options is just that, suggesting other services in her price range. It is not doing $300 worth of services for $200.  After pricing her for the big service, give her prices for future appointments.  It may cost a client $300 to fix her color and have her leave with a base color, highlights, and a cut, but it may only cost $150 for a root touch up and cut 6-8 weeks after the big appointment. Let her know that. She may think you will charge her $300 every 6-8 weeks and that may be a turn off.  She may be willing to pay the $300 for the color correction if her maintenance price is less.  Inform her of how long it will take for the first big service and then maintenance services. It may be she can’t schedule a 5 hour color correction on a Friday, but she can schedule her 2 hour maintenance appointments on Fridays.

TAKE NOTES! Please take notes! Write down what her hair looked like when she came in for her consult, her desires for her color and style, your plan of action, the estimated price for the initial first service, future/maintenance prices, estimated time for service, etc. I have learned the hard way about writing down prices.  Please write down the prices you discuss with your client.  This keeps you and her honest.  I’ve had clients say that I told them it was a certain price when I know I did not but had nothing written down.  If you decide to charge for a partial highlight but take the foils down to her hair line in the back because she has very fine, thin hair, write that down to jog your memory. Write down how her color looks prior to the service, after the service and her reaction.  If you haven’t had the experience of someone being so in love with their hair that they are crying tears of joy and hugging you, only for them to talk to your salon manager or owner the next day demanding their money back, you most likely will at some point in your career.  Having notes that she was happy helps your owner and manager handle things in a better way that may not involve in a full return (depending on your salon’s policies). You can never take enough notes. Seriously. If you only take away one thing from me today let it be the note taking. Note taking covers your butt. It jogs your memory, it keeps everyone honest, it helps you formulate, etc.

These are just things that I’ve learned over the years that work for me.  I hope these tips are insightful and helpful to you!

If you are a stylist and have other helpful tips please leave a comment!

How To Have A Consultation When Looking For The Right Stylist!

Looking for a new stylist can be frustrating. Will he/she listen to my wants? Will I be able to get my wants in one appointment? Will things be explained? Will he/she be nice? Hopefully the following tips will help you with

When looking for a the right new stylist it is important to discuss your chemical service history, your current complaints about your hair, your end goal, pricing, and how often you desire to come into the salon. These things will impact your end goal and possibly change your end goal.
-Some chemical services can not/ should not be done if other chemical services have been done in a certain time frame. You do not want to put bleach on your hair same day you relax or perm. Depending on the health of your hair, bleach may not be an option for you changing your end goal to a different look. If your stylist is not informed of your chemical history, your stylist can accidently cause more damage.  Think of your chemical history as informing your new doctor of all the medications you are on.  Just like certain medications can not be taken at the same time because of interactions, chemical services can not always be done in the same appointment or ever.
-Your current hair complaints about the color being too gold, too red, too ashy, too heavy, too flat, lifeless, etc gives your stylist a direction where to take your color and/or cut.
Your end goal may be achievable in one appointment or it make take multiple appointments.  If the end goal is achievable in multiple appointments your stylist should take notes on what you currently have, your chemical history, your current complaints, your end goal, and a plan of action.  Of course your stylist will inform you of the plan of action.
-Price.  It is okay to ask about pricing. Sometimes we stylists get wrapped up in our plan of action thoughts that we forget to talk price.  If you are set on paying a certain price please let your stylist know.  You may pay a higher price upon your first appointment because your color may be a color correction, but appointments after the first may be less.  Ask your stylist how much it will cost to maintain the color you are wanting.  How often you desire to come to the salon and the price range you are looking for may result in considering a new style.
-Discuss how often you are wanting to come into the salon to maintain the color or cut. If you desire to come to the salon once every 5-6 months your price (depending on your look) may be the same higher price of your first appointment.  If you have long hair and desire a color with 3+ colors as well as coming in to maintain every 5-6 months you will be paying a higher price.
After all has been discussed you may feel that you’ve really connected with this stylist and proceed to schedule your service.  Or you may feel that you did not connect but you really enjoy the salon so you may want to schedule a consultation with a different stylist in the same salon and that is ok! If you did not make a connection with the stylist or feel that he/she is on the same page as you and you do not enjoy the salon enough to try another stylist, it’s ok to go elsewhere.  Finding the right stylist can be a challenge.  If you are moving to another area, ask your current style for your color formula or at least permission to give his/her number to your new stylist so the two of them can discuss your color and cut.  Sometimes this is best as things can get lost in translation or if the new stylist is not familiar with your other stylist’s color line and has some questions.

I hope these tips are helpful!

 

Kid Cuts.

I love cutting kid cuts! Kids are wonderful, hilarious, tiny humans.  Now not all stylists enjoy this particular type of clientele.  Kids can be hard. They move around a lot, they scream, they cry, you end up cutting yourself more times in one hair cut than in 2 years,  etc.  But let me explain some things about the world of kid cuts.
Since kids are tiny humans they have bad, stressful, emotional days like we adults. The difference is we adults have learned over the years that we have to do things we don’t like on these hard days & we’ve learned to find things to help make rough days better. We adults have far more coping skills than a 4 year old. For a lot of adults going to the salon or spa help make the rough days one million times better. This is not typically the same for kids. In fact we stylists know that 9 times out of 10 a trip to the salon after a hard day at school for a child is the last straw.  We see the fit throwing battle a mile away and it takes a toll on us.  We understand your child needs a hair cut. But forcing a child who is in the middle of a mental breakdown into a chair to get a hair cut is ZERO help. The following tips are things that I as a stylist have learned and put to the test to help with the stress of a child’s cut.  These tips are great for stylists and parents!

  1. PARENTS please find a stylist that enjoys kid cuts.  If you have a stylist you see on a regular schedule ask him/her if he/she enjoys kid cuts.  If he/she does not enjoy the service ask for a recommendation.  Do not make your stylist cut your child’s hair if he/she does not prefer to do this service. Typically your stylist as hard as he/she may try to put on a great game face will still give off a subtle vibe or nervousness or dread that your child will pick up on and the tantrum will more likely follow (think of how your printer smells when you are in a hurry and decides to take it’s time and break down multiple times before finally printing the 2 pages you need).
    STYLISTS please be honest with your clients when asked about kid cuts. If you do not prefer to do them, then express that.  There is no need to go about a service that is going to stress you out.  It’s ok to recommend a stylist in your salon (if you have one) to your client for the kid cut service. Your client will respect your honesty and you don’t have to worry about stress and disappointing a client. Very professionally and respectfully say “Kid cuts are not a service that I personally do, But my co-worker Tina is GREAT with kids! I highly recommend her for your child! When I get a chance I will set up a consult with you and Tina to talk about your child!” This conversation between Tina and the client can happen during a process time, or if need be a different day. It’s ok to refer. If you are a stylist who only cuts and does not color, you wouldn’t attempt a color on a client that has never had color would you? No. You would refer to someone in your salon. And that is okay!
  2. PARENTS when you find the right stylist for your child (remember this does not have to be your stylist nor do you need to change stylists because of your child), keep making appointments for your child with that stylist! Kids usually start getting their hair cut around the time of the Stranger Danger talks.  You’ve been having the Stranger Danger talks now for a bit, and then boom you are taking your child (who you have told to not run with scissors to a stranger (who plays with scissors for money). Most parents take their child to a new stylist/salon every single time they need a cut. This can cause stress as they have never been to these salons so its a strange place, with strange new people, and very strange sounds. When you find the right stylist that your child likes getting your child to the appointment will be easier. “Little Johnnie, in 2 days we are going to go see Mrs. Kari for your hair cut!!! Aren’t you excited?!” Seriously, this is important! Little Johnnie gets to know Mrs.Kari and then starts looking forward to the once stressful event as a much needed relaxing, fun experience!
    STYLISTS be cheerful! Be understanding that this child is going to be a little fearful.  They don’t know you. They may have had a terrible experience in the past (being cut, being yelled at, etc). Be as understanding, cheerful, and fun as possible! Before we got our new mirrors with lights them at the salon I work at,  I would wet the child’s hair down with my water bottle, turn the nozzle to a hard stream and allow them to spray the mirror. THIS GAME IS A GAME CHANGER! SERIOUSLY! Kids love it! And your mirror gets cleaned, as well as the floor! When we got our new mirrors, I decided I would turn them slightly and allow them to squirt my Doctor Who Pop Figurines (nerdy I know, care I do not) that I keep on the windowsill. The Pop Figurines are also a great conversation starter. I get a lot of  “Who are those guys?” I explain, conversation flows, and the child is more at ease. They also are wonderful to let the child hold and play! I’ve also for regular clients have made a little “gift bag” for kids. I’ve printed off coloring pages, made those “time out” water bottles (they are pretty, kids like to shake them and watch all the glitter glow-n-flow). These are just tips for you the stylist, and parents to try! Remember how you feel when you are meeting a new doctor (nervous, wondering if the new doc will listen, be nice, & not treat you like a down payment for their new indoor pool) when seeing a child for his/her first hair EXPERIENCE with you!
  3. PARENTS Costumes are amazing! First off find a costume (past Halloween costume for example) of a princess, prince, character, whoever/whatever your child is fangirling/fanboying over and either change them before the appointment or at the appointment in the bathroom.  This does so many things. One: when it is something that can only be worn at the hair cut appointment it will make the child feel more comfortable being in something that makes him/her feel like a super hero/princess/their best and it associates the two things together. Iron Man costume = hair cut with Mrs. Kari= less negative feelings and more positive feelings because I the child am the GREATEST AVENGER!  The costume also acts like a hair cutting cape. Keeps the hair off your child.  Capes can seriously make or break an appointment. I can not tell you how many times a parent has MADE their child wear a hair cutting cape when the child did not want to and the fight that ensued. If your child does not want to wear a hair cutting cape DO NOT make them. Either do the costume idea, or bring a change of clothes. Seriously it is not worth it. NO ONE wins. NO ONE!!!
    STYLISTS if the child comes in with a costume talk to them as their character. THIS WILL MAKE YOU 5 TRILLION TIMES MORE AWESOME! ALL THE BROWNIE POINTS WILL GIVEN TO YOU! Seriously. Try it. If the child does not come to the appointment with a costume, suggest/ask about not wearing a hair cutting cape to the parent. I also will ask the child (the children are tiny humans with the capability of answering). I have a child client who sometimes wishes to wear the cape, and some times wishes not to depending on what type of day he has had. Whatever makes him tolerate me more on his terrible day is fine with me.
  4. PARENTS talk to your child during this time in a calm voice. Do not stress. Do not yell. If you reserved the appointment weeks ago, your child is now in no mood for the cut, you know it won’t go well, reschedule the appointment. Seriously. Your stylist will not be upset. We typically reserve no more than 30 mins for a kid’s cut. If you call and explain the situation to the front desk or stylist it will be no big deal. Your stylist will be relieved that you did not put him/her through Dante’s 8th circle of hell, and will be able to sit, eat, or pee (or all 3 depending on the day amirite?) for 15-30mins. Your stylist may have had something happen and is running behind and you rescheduling relieves some of that stress. Don’t fret over it. Just reschedule the appointment on another day that works best for you, your child, and stylist.
    STYLISTS if a parent is stressing, annoying your tiny human client, ask them to sit in the waiting area. I have a child client who comes in with dad and I cut both of their hair. Dad typically sits in the salon with us no big deal. One day child was being terrible. Dad caught on and said “I’m going to wait in the waiting room since he’s mad at me and won’t be good for you. Come get me when you are ready.” Sure enough, the boy stopped acting out 2 seconds after his father left the room. The son was in fact upset with his father (the son was about 6 at the time), and was acting out, and not sitting still to anger his father. If you’ve being cutting a child’s hair for a while now and see a behavior pattern, nicely ask the parent to wait elsewhere, and then strike up a conversation with the child client.  If the parent calls and says “I’m sorry, I’m going to reschedule Little Johnnie’s appointment because he is in a terrible mood and no one will win.” Know that the parent probably feels terrible about this. DO NOT make it a big deal, after all you get to have lunch/empty your whole bladder/sit/relax (whatever that is) cut foils that you haven’t had time to do for that tight full head foil client with hair down to her knees, etc.  Take the time to meditate.
  5. PARENTS & STLYISTS talk to the child like an adult. I don’t mean talk about the Kardashians but don’t baby talk the 5 year old.  Seriously.  I have found that kids hate this. Kids are hilariously sarcastic at the of 3 or 4.  Talking baby talk to them is just a mood changer. Kids will respect the stylist more when talking to them as an adult. Ask how their day was. “What are you doing this weekend? Would you like to see pictures of my new puppy? What movies do you like? What’s your favorite football team? What video games do you like?” I have observed that when stylists ask the child how he/she wants his hair and the parent allows the child to answer that respect is given to both stylist and parent. It is just hair. Now I know that most parents do not want their 5 yr old son to have a Mohawk. If the child suggests that, the parent will more than likely say no. Stylists offer a fohawk. Both sides win. Everyone is happy.
  6. PARENTS & STYLISTS let the child sit/stand wherever. If it’s one of those days and the child is kind of fighting the chair, ask the child if he/she would rather sit on the floor, or stand. Also, some 4 year olds are way too cool for kid capes.  Put the kid cape on then a black adult cape to cover it.  Some kids will sit better if you yourself put on a kid’s cape as well! It’s fun, you’ll feel like the happy, laughing, non tax paying child you once were when wearing a kid’s cape. Try it.
  7. PARENTS ask if it’s ok to stop by a few times and allow your child to watch the stylist who will in the future be cutting your child’s hair, do other people’s hair for 5 mins at a time. This will show the child that this person knows what he/she is doing. The salon starts becoming a familiar place when pulling into the parking lot. Trust will be built. Trust is most important.
    STYLISTS inform the tiny human client’s parent to stop by anytime with the tiny client. It will do all of the above benefits plus more respect will be given by both tiny human client and tiny human client’s parent.
  8. PARENTS of special needs children of all ages inform the stylist of the special needs. Don’t worry we aren’t going to judge. This information is important.  If the stylist is not comfortable with special needs humans for lack of experience this will help prepare the stylist or allow the stylist to make a referral. Do not judge the stylist if he/she makes a referral. Not all of us stylists have experience with special needs.  We can be afraid of doing something wrong and you losing respect for us as well as ruining the whole experience.  Inform the stylist of what works or doesn’t work with your special needs child. I had a co-worker who had an adult special needs client. She would always cut his hair while he sat in a specific corner. That corner is what made him happy. That is perfectly fine.  It may be your child needs quiet, if that’s the case your stylist may offer to come in early, stay later, or cut it in another room/area of the salon/spa.  It may be your child needs to bring in a certain blanket, toy, or some other kind of comfort item, and that is perfectly fine. Just let your stylist know.  We stylists are very chatty, if your child will do better not being talked to that is great information to have.  If your child is deaf, your stylist may know sign language and may reserve extra time to be able to communicate with your child! I’ve had a pre-teen special needs client who couldn’t talk. I would ask her yes or no questions to make her feel comfortable and not make it a weird atmosphere. If the child can hear but not talk like my pre-teen client ask if it is ok to ask yes or no questions. The parent may say yes but inform you the child will answer yes or no in sign language or some other form of communication. Whatever the need is, please let your stylist know because we stylists are a lot of things but we have BIG, SOFT, HEARTS and we enjoy making every client feel like they are at Disney Land!
    STYLISTS be honest with your client. On the first appointment with a special needs client do all you can to make it a special, non stressful experience! Ask questions prior to the appointment. Ask what you can do to make the appointment go smoothly. It’s ok if you haven’t had a lot of experience with special needs.  Asking the questions, and getting the answers shows you care, and you want to make the appointment a wonderful experience for the client.  If the client has issues with fabrics it may be best to go capeless. If the client has issues with sounds, do not use clippers. Yeah it may be harder and longer to scissor over comb that hair cut, but the service will go 7 million times smoother. Listen to the client’s parents on what works, what sets the child off, etc.

I hope you have all found this helpful! Please comment on and let us know if these tips have helped, comment your own tips! If you are a parent but not a stylist PLEASE leave a comment or more on tips you have for us stylists! Let’s use to help each other make kid services more enjoyable for everyone!

Cheers!

Such a Slacker.

It has been such a long time since I’ve posted. I’ve been busy like the rest of everyone. But the past year I’ve done a lot of soul searching.  One of my goals is to keep up with this blog better.  To write helpful hair tips for stylists and clients.  Tips that I’ve learned as a stylist to help stylists and clients to be able communicate in a better way.  The first two topics I will be covering will be kid cuts & communication.

So stay tuned! I promise you will not have to wait a year for the next post!