Make Curly Hair Men Your Clients

by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Friday, October 14th, 2011

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Guys make up roughly half the population of the world. On top of that, approximately half of them have textured or curly hair. Curly hair men face the same styling challenges as women, and there are plenty of opportunities for the hair cutters out there who are willing to help them.

Here are my top five tips for positioning yourself as an asset to curly haired guys. Help them manage their curls and they will help you to become a highly successful curly hair cutter.

1. Consult with pictures

If a picture is worth 1,000 words with any client, it can be worth a few more with the guys. Different looks and lengths may be tough for guys to imagine. Using a style book and updated men images will help to paint clear images of the end result you have in mind.

2. Use simple language

To a guy, volume is a knob on a radio, not hair fullness. Texture is the feel of the fabric on their jacket, not the way their hair feels. Hair business lingo is a foreign language to guys. Use simple terms and “guy talk.” Talk texture using the word “curliness.” Body and volume can be described as “fullness.” Styling glaze, no matter how fancy and New-Agey it is, is just hair gel to a guy. Don’t dumb it down, but keep it simple.

3. Take them shorter

Less hair is easier to manage than more hair. Short hair cuts are fast to style and easy to work with. The added bonus for you is that curly hair men are a quick cut in your chair and then back again before you know it. Wavy to curly hair that is cut down below the wave will fall in beautifully. Kinky curly hair can be a monster for many guys to manage at longer lengths.

4. Get hands on with take-home hair care product

You must do more than recommend take home hair care product at the front of the shop. Get product out of the bottle, into their hands and onto their hair at the chair. Show them how much to use and how to use it. Do their hair for them so they can see how you do it. Have them do it for you so you can confirm that they are on the same page. Send them home trained and stocked.

5. Rebook commandingly

Tell them. Do not ask them. If it is a four week hair cut, explain the need to be back in four weeks and assist them at the desk in booking their next appointment before they leave. Where you lead, they will follow. The responsibility is on you to take the lead.

The common theme in all of these is all about taking control of the salon visit and experience. Curly hair men will appreciate the direction and clear guidance. You will enjoy their loyal patronage.

Clipper Cutting Curly Hair

by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Friday, September 23rd, 2011

antonio gonzales

Cutting curly hair can be daunting for many hair cutters. Clipper cutting is a great option for curly hair, and your clipper is a great tool for facing these fears. Controlling lengths and creating workable shapes are the goals. Here are my top tips for clipper cutting curly hair.

1. Clipper cut curls dry

Curls expand and distort when hydrated. You will have a better idea of what you are taking, and leaving on the client, if you cut with clippers on dry curly hair. The client will wear their hair dry, so it is better to cut it dry so as to really “see” what you are creating.

2. Leave it longer

When choosing a guide comb, reach for one that is one size larger than your first instinct tells you to pick up. You may be surprised how short curls will clip down. Better to err on the side of too long than too short. After all, we can not put back what we take away.

3. Clip with the growth direction first

Curls will lay down in front of the clipper blade action when cut with the growth direction. This will leave a bit more length, which is what you want. Reverse and cut against the growth direction once you know how these particular curls will respond.

4. Minimize tension

Applying tension to hair stretches out the shape you are working with. Use wide-toothed combs and wide-toothed clipper blades to keep the hair happily in its natural position, state and shape. You will have better control of the shape you are creating if you are not distorting the hair by applying tension. Your hand and your fingers are your best wide-toothed comb.

5. Take large sections

Type 2 (wavy) and type 3 (curly) textures can be condensed into fewer, larger sections for control. This is called condensed cutting. When hair is shifted to a common point to be cut, length increases are created across the shape. Learn to use this concept to create movement within a curly shape. Short hair pushes longer hair. This is a basic principle of all hair cutting. Use this to move hair where you want it to go.

6. Clip and snip

Type 4 (kinky) hair can be individually snipped and clipped one coil at a time for real, wearable shapes. Remember, this hair type gets “short” fast. Take less.

7. Think silhouette

Creating great curly haircuts is about sculpting the overall outer perimeter shape. Step back and assess the balance and proportions of the overall shape.

8. Work from outside to inside

Define the outer boundary of the hair cut shape first. Address hanging length and perimeter lines. Go in and reduce weight, build volume and create shape inside the boundaries once you have set them.

    Try clipper cutting a curly client and share your experiences here. I hope to hear from you and, if you need any advice on the technique, I am here to help.

    Air Drying Hair is Good For Your Clients

    by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Friday, September 16th, 2011

    antonio gonzales

    Sometimes it is hard to love curly hair. Frizziness and styling difficulty are great examples in which all the fun and love can disappear in a hurry. And, for our curly clients, they struggle with this at home.

    Air drying is one of the best ways to keep the love alive. Here are my tip five air drying hair tips for helping clients build a better relationship with their curls.

    1. Apply styling product – Mousse, gel or styling glaze are best choices for defined curl, reduced frizz and successful air drying. Experiment until you find the one that is best for your client’s hair. Use a shampooing-in motion for thorough coverage and distribution.

    2. Cocktail as needed – Mix products to get optimum result. This is called cocktailing. Mixing gel with anti-frizz serum is one great recipe. Experiment with the proportions. Mixing mousse with gel creates differing levels of hold and crispiness.

    3. Work it in and rake it through – “Shampoo” in your styling cocktail. Make sure to achieve good, all-over coverage. Use your fingers, your big rake combs, to separate and define your wet and cocktail saturated hair.

    4. Do nothing – The Beatles sang “Let it be.” Make that your theme song. Once you have applied your styling cocktail, let you hair dry undisturbed. Avoid the temptation to scrunch, touch or otherwise interfere with the drying process. Go about your other business, from make-up to breakfast to kids and to work. Simply let the hair air dry how it wants.

    5. Reactivate as needed – Enjoy the freedom of your time and the easy of your hair. Dampen your big rake combs (your hands) in the sink and re-dampen your hair if and when needed to pop some life back into it as the day goes on. Let it air dry again to refresh your look.

    Your clients will love their curls and love you for these air drying hair tips.

    Salon Cleaning & Sweeping Tips

    by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

    As stylists, it’s easy for us to get swept up in the latest fad hair cut or a funky new styling product. We think these new shiny objects will help us build our business.

    But, the most important things to many of our clients, the things that keep them coming back, are usually much more mundane. A sparkling clean shop is one of the salon basics that doesn’t get much ink, but is worthy of a lot of time and attention. Funny thing is, these basics typically cost little or nothing, and are available to everyone.

    Proper sweeping of hair clippings is a great example of a basic salon cleaning routine that could use some focus. A clear and simple sweeping policy sends a message to all team members about just how very important sweeping is to the success of your business. Here are my top five tips to get swept up in sweeping.

    1. Sweep every client. No exceptions. A client should never be led back to an unswept station. Each client should walk up to a styling station that is as clean as the first client of the day. We stopped noticing hair clippings many clients ago, but our clients just do not feel this way. You would never return to a dentist if you saw teeth on the floor. To a salon client, hair clippings are the same thing.

    2. Move the broom. If it is not convenient to grab the broom between every client, move the broom to a more convenient location. Sometimes it can be that simple to implement a change in your salon cleaning routine.

    3. Sweep for each other - 80% rule. If we all sweep for each other, everyone sweeps less. I do not have hard math to prove this equation, but if you get all the hair at your chair and 80% of the hair at all the others as you sweep by, there is less hair for the next guy, and so on. It is part of truly working as a team.

    4. Remove the pile. Do not stop sweeping when you get the pile to the corner or near the can. Run the race all the way to the finish line and pick up the pile and place it in a covered can, as the law likely requires. A long handled dustpan takes the back strain out of this step. If clients find a bit of clippings objectionable, then the massive multi-colored hair pile is an even bigger turn off.

    5. Sweep by example.Owners and managers can send powerful messages to their salon teams with the simple act of working the broom. This puts you on the floor, between the chairs interacting with clients and cutters. Listening in on conversations and observing service delivery offers powerful information with which to coach, train and develop staff members.

    Grab a broom and get back to this salon cleaning basic. A clean salon is the real shiny object the clients came to marvel at.

    Helping Clients Make The Big Chop

    by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Thursday, August 4th, 2011

    You can see the fear in her eyes. You can hear the backpedaling in her conversation. You know in your head and your heart that she’s ready for the big chop, but how do you get her there? How do you get her saying, “Cut it, before I change my mind!”

    1. Share stories of other big chops

    Share stories and examples of other clients who have had the same reservations and have come to be thrilled about the cut and the decision to go for it. Use, “It was hard to do, but now I can see it was the best thing I could have done” type of examples.

    It will help, too, if you can have a photo book already made of the big chop transformations.

    2. Reflect back to successful decisions in the past

    “Remember when we tried bangs?” Use “we” statements to show that you are in this with her rather than just an outsider to the decision.

    3. Engage a third party

    Solicit positive reinforcement about the decision from other cutters or clients in the shop. Peer pressure can be powerful when used supportively.

    4. Eliminate negative influence

    For example: a mother, daughter or friend who has come along and is pressuring against a big chop. Put this divisive voice in the waiting area to remove their influence.

    5. Offer incentives

    Sometimes a free cut check in a month, a half price bottle of conditioner or an included manicure is all the push a fence-sitter needs to say yes!

    Sweep fast so as to prevent “cutters remorse” that can occur when she sees more hair on the floor than on her head.

    Go for the big chop and have fun doing it.

    And as always, remember to please share your comments and experiences with big change haircuts.

    Salon Sanitizing Tips for Customer Loyalty

    by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Friday, July 22nd, 2011

    Salon sanitation is not a fun and sexy topic, but the reality is that selling sanitation—in a big way!—can build (and save) more clients than learning the next big trend haircut.

    For best results when selling sanitation, you need to use good sanitation principles and practices to grow your business.

    Here’s how:

    Get Caught Sanitizing

    Sanitizing should happen in plain view of your clients. Disposable razor blades should be changed at the beginning of each service after the client is seated. Remember, if I did not see you change the blade, you did not change the blade.

    Even if all tools are cleaned before the client sits down, a fast shot of spray sanitizer on a clipper blade sends a powerful message. Spraying scissors before you start a cut will be noticed.

    Pulling a nasty hairball off of a round brush in front of a client sends the wrong message.

    Clean Every Client

    Every client should walk up to your chair and see a chair that looks like the chair the first client saw at the beginning of the day. Reset your tools. Sweep the floor. Check the mirror. Each client should feel like the first and only client of the day.

    Don’t Top Off

    When the liquid in your wet sanitizer is no longer bright blue, and the hairball at the bottom is the size of a hamster, it’s time to dump it out and start over.

    Do not just top it off with water. Adding water alters the strength and effectiveness of the mix. The lighter blue color screams of this.

    Accept Gravity

    When a tool is dropped on the floor, leave it there. Grab another comb. Have more combs on hand so you can do this. Kick it out of the way so no one slips and falls. Do NOT pick it up, wipe it off and keep cutting.

    Sanitizers need time to work. If you pick up the comb from the floor then your hands are no longer clean either. Clients notice these things. They may not comment on them, just as they may not come back.

    Make Sanitation Easy

    Spray can products like Andis Cool Care 5oinONE clipper spray are easy to use. The easier they are to use the more likely they will actually be used. Stock all the necessary cleaning products in a convenient place so they can be easily accessed by anyone as needed.

    Move the broom. If the broom is way in the back of the shop and it takes too much time to go get it, use it and put it back, move the broom to a more convenient location. Do NOT just skip it and sweep every few clients (more on sweeping next blog post).

    Good sanitizing practices build businesses and customer loyalty. Word will spread - diseases will not – and that is a win-win for everyone.

    Sell clean!

    5 Tips for Using Hairstyle Photos for a Consultation

    by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Monday, July 11th, 2011

    ivan zoot

    Ivan Zoot is the director of education and customer engagement for the Andis Company and the founder of Zoot! Hair professional hair care products. Ivan identifies, recruits, trains and manages Andis’s team of professional beauty industry educators. Ivan continues to be a featured presenter at industry shows and events, sharing his unique blend of information, education and enthusiasm for clipper cutting and the entire professional beauty industry. Ivan’s background includes experiences ranging from salon ownership to achieving 3 Guinness World Haircutting records. Here, he shares his cutting and business-building expertise.

    Clients frequently bring hairstyle photos to help visually explain the look they want and stylists frequently have stylebooks lying around, either professionally published or just a personal scrapbook. Using these resources can help to ensure a great experience for both the client and the professional.

    Of course, one of the biggest disconnects in the industry arises from unrealistic expectations created by the promise in a discussion around an image.

    To avoid this communication disaster, follow these top five tips for using hairstyle photos during a consultation.

    1. Seek similar textures

    A client with kinky curly hair offering up an image of a sleek, straight style will be setting themselves up for a problem — or setting you up for a big ticket straightening service and a pile of take home hair care products. One scenario is a win/win; the other is a lose/lose. Try to match images and expectations to similar textures.

    2. Keep colors close

    For the previous reason alone, and then some. The same haircut can appear very different when sculpted on different colors of hair. Issues of depth and dimension reflect quite differently across the range of hair color choices. Encourage clients to share hairstyle photos in target colors that you know can work.

    3. Match facial shapes

    Many stylists have the ability to imagine a style on different clients. Clients may lack this vision. Compare a client’s facial shape and bone structure to that of a target image. How well will the shape translate? Can you find an image of the cut on a closer matching facial shape? If not, explain your vision to the client and encourage them to seek alternative photos and examples.

    4. Align for age

    Share hairstyle photos of models of similar age to the client with the client. Female clients generally like to “shop” images only a few years younger than their actual age. Going too young puts them ill at ease with the consultation and change process. Sharing idea images of models noticeably older than the client most always meets with resistance, too. Creating a scrapbook of your work on your clientele’s average aged models will encourage them to choose more visual explanations and help you to give them exactly what they are looking for.

    5. Mine Internet galleries

    A fast Google search of hair cut length and style keywords reveals an enormous number of valuable image galleries. Other folks did the work of accumulating good shots to work from so use these galleries to build up your stash of images to share.

    Update your image collection frequently. Adding new hairstyle photos is needed to keep things fresh. Deleting passé styles is important as well so as to keep clients from getting stuck in the past or from “going retro” before retro becomes hot again.

    Remember, you are your client’s last line of defense. Don’t let poor communication and lack of vision ruin an otherwise great appointment.

    Hair Gel Tips: Shampoo in Your Gel

    by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

    ivan zoot

    Ivan Zoot is the director of education and customer engagement for the Andis Company and the founder of Zoot! Hair professional hair care products. Ivan identifies, recruits, trains and manages Andis’s team of professional beauty industry educators. Ivan continues to be a featured presenter at industry shows and events, sharing his unique blend of information, education and enthusiasm for clipper cutting and the entire professional beauty industry. Ivan’s background includes experiences ranging from salon ownership to achieving 3 Guinness World Haircutting records. Here, he shares his cutting and business-building expertise.

    Here are some hair gel tips I have used with much success.

    The problem is that clients have a hard time applying styling mousses and gels. They do not know how much to use and how to apply it for maximum results and satisfaction with their finished style.

    The solution is called shampooing in your gel. Many clients struggle with styling liquids because they get some here, a bit there and none in many areas. They need to apply the styling product thoroughly, evenly and consistently—this is always more difficult with curly hair.

    The two key elements of the technique are coating your hands and transferring the product to ALL of the hair.

    Place a sufficient quantity of mousse or gel in your hand. How much is sufficient? Likely you need to use a LOT more than you regularly do. A ball of mousse should be golf-ball sized if the client’s hair is quite short. Baseball-sized for mid-lengths hair that is above the shoulder and more as hair is longer and thicker. Liquid gels should be a puddle big enough to risk spilling out of your hand (hands over the sink please, watch that carpet). Styling liquids should then be “washed” into/on to your hands. Use an interlacing motion much like hand washing to coat your hands on both sides and between your fingers. This will set you up to truly coat the hair with product.

    Then it is time to shampoo the hair. We call it shampooing because the application motion is just as you would do when you shampoo your hair. Work it in and all over and around and through. Most of the time clients apply product “on” their hair. The product is placed on the surface, the top of the hair and mainly in the front where they can easily see it and reach it. The shampooing motion is effective in working the styling product in and around and through all of the hair. This complete coverage and distribution will make a big difference in the styling results clients achieve. This is especially true with products intended to manage frizz and add shine. Missed areas have no chance to benefit from all the good these products can offer.

    Shampoo your shampoo in the shower…but shampoo in your styling product for maximum results.

    Hair Styling Tips to Build Your Business

    by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

    ivan zoot

    Ivan Zoot is the director of education and customer engagement for the Andis Company and the founder of Zoot! Hair professional hair care products. Ivan identifies, recruits, trains and manages Andis’s team of professional beauty industry educators. Ivan continues to be a featured presenter at industry shows and events, sharing his unique blend of information, education and enthusiasm for clipper cutting and the entire professional beauty industry. Ivan’s background includes experiences ranging from salon ownership to achieving 3 Guinness World Haircutting records. Here, he shares his cutting and business-building expertise.

    Have you ever had your clients tell you, “I wish you could come to my house every day to do my hair”? As a stylist, this comment fills us with pride. Our clients love us and they love the way we do their hair. But if you stop there you have missed their real meaning and your big opportunity.

    The comment is not a compliment. It is really a cry for help. They are sharing their fear that they lack the skills and information to recreate the style. They are inviting you to teach them how to do their hair. They are begging for hair styling tips and take-home hair styling products to allow them to get that look.

    By the end of the visit, styling time, things are rushing along, your next client is waiting and you have mentally moved on to the next appointment. Fight that urge. Take this time to slow down.

    Here are my top five hair styling tips for making the most of the training (and selling) opportunity while your salon clients are in your chair.

    1. Show them what product you are using to style their hair

    Hand them the bottle. Explain what it is and why you have chosen it for them.

    2. Show them how much of the product you are using

    You and the client both know that too much or too little of any styling product will sabotage the styling product. Too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing. Not enough is not enough.

    3. Show them how to apply the product

    We know the difference between putting hair styling product “in” your hair vs. “on” your hair. Help your client to understand this.

    4. Show the client how to achieve the look

    Explain the hairstyling tips, tricks and techniques you’re using on their hair while your clients are in your chair. You do so many things when you style hair that you don’t think much about. Many of these things are keys to success that you assume the whole hair world understands. They don’t. This is your opportunity to share these things.

    5. Let them style their hair while you watch

    A bit of steering as they try to do it themselves will go a long way to making sure they know how to do it and have the confidence to try.

    Notice, all five hair styling tips are action and doing steps. It is not enough to tell. We need to show through demonstration. Hold their hand and walk them through the process.

    Then they will really love you AND their hair.

    How to Find the Best Conditioner for Your Clients

    by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Monday, May 23rd, 2011

    ivan zoot

    Ivan Zoot is the director of education and customer engagement for the Andis Company and the founder of Zoot! Hair professional hair care products. Ivan identifies, recruits, trains and manages Andis’s team of professional beauty industry educators. Ivan continues to be a featured presenter at industry shows and events, sharing his unique blend of information, education and enthusiasm for clipper cutting and the entire professional beauty industry. Ivan’s background includes experiences ranging from salon ownership to achieving 3 Guinness World Haircutting records. Here, he shares his cutting and business-building expertise.

    Last time we discussed how to help clients find the right shampoo product for home hair care. Today let’s talk about helping them find the best conditioner.

    When I had my shop and my salon branded product line we offered several conditioners. We found that clients were very interested in their hair’s condition and the proper conditioner for it, yet they were often confused as well.

    This confusion frequently led to decision paralysis: better to buy nothing than to buy and use the wrong thing. We needed to find a way to help our clients find the best conditioner for their hair quick and easy.

    I developed the hair food vs. hair medicine conditioner idea. The basic concept was that “healthy” hair just needs to be fed good “food.” If you are not sick, there is no need for medicine. “Sick” hair will never get “better” with “food” alone. “Medicine” is needed.

    We looked at all of our conditioners and decided whether each was a hair “food” or a hair “medicine,” and then began to discuss and describe them as such.

    Light weight detangling rinses = hair food

    Reconstructing, deep conditioner = hair medicine, and so on.

    This was an easy concept for clients to grasp. Use of this description led to much better client understanding of the intended uses for our conditioner offerings. This in turn led to higher sales.

    Take a good look at the labels of the conditioners you offer. Determine which is a hair food and which is truly a hair medicine. A simple printed chart is a good selling tool to help facilitate this discussion with clients.

    The words we use, the images we create and the stories we tell form the basis of good customer service and long term, satisfying customer relationships.

    Here’s to healthier hair!

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