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7 Steps for Dealing with Salon Drama/Diva Stylists

by Trash Talk with Anna Craig on Monday, October 18, 2010

anna craig

Hair has been Anna Craig’s passion since she was 12 years old, this has always been her path in life. In 2001 she went to school in Tempe, AZ, at the Carsten Aveda Institute. After doing hair for about 5 years, she realized that precision haircuts were her specialty, after years of thinking that color was her calling. After doing hair in Arizona for several years, she took the plunge and moved to Texas, and her career took off. She soon opened her own salon, Trashy Roots Salon & Spa. There she became a Certified Deva Stylist, specializing in Curly Girl haircuts. She is also an Artistic Educator for Pravana, which gives her the opportunity to go out to different salons in the area and educate them on new products and techniques. She is also very involved in her community; holding annual cut-a-thons, participating in benefit hair shows, and helping with local beauty schools.

Save the drama for your mama! There is always one stylist in every salon that thinks their s*** doesn’t stink and that they don’t have to arrive on time or clean up after themselves. Dealing with Salon Drama has been one of my most difficult issues. It has been one of the hardest things to learn how to handle. Having one bad seed can ruin the atmosphere of an entire salon. I felt like it was holding us captive in our own salon. When I opened my salon two years ago, my goal was to be a great, friendly and understanding owner, not like some of the owners I had worked for in my past. I was going to be different. But it didn’t take long to get run over by a freight train of cancerous stylists. My feelings kept getting hurt, and it was hard to handle. I was about to throw in the towel several times and just give up. I had to get thicker skin, and I had to take charge of my investment, my love, my life, my future, my salon. This didn’t happen overnight but slowly I have come to take back salon and learn how to deal with drama.

Here are ways to take back the control in and get rid of the cancer in your salon:

1. Set your standards from day one—put it in writing up front so they understand your salon’s expectations. Have a detailed handbook that explains exactly what you expect from each stylist.

2. Lead by example—don’t be a diva yourself. No one wants to work for a diva, either. Being a positive force in your salon is always key. If you have rules, you have to follow them, too.

3. Choose to be a friend or a boss. Which is more important to you; your business or being popular? Sometimes you have to be the bad guy to get the job done.

4. Don’t let it get out of control. Avoiding an issue will not make it go away. Stop the situation before it goes spinning out of control. If a stylist is taking charge in a negative way don’t wait until it’s too late. Nip it in the bud.

5. Let them go. Don’t be afraid to fire the stylist who is ruining your business. This is a hard one, but in the end you and your business will benefit. Keeping them around will only make things worse for you and everyone else in the salon.

6. Don’t let the drama spread to other stylists. If you have one bad seed it can spread to other stylists. Other stylists might start picking up bad habits by watching this Diva Stylist. If she doesn’t clean up, why do I have to? If she doesn’t have to show up for meetings, why do I have to? If she doesn’t show up on time, why do I have to? Stop it before it runs in your salon like wild fire.

7. The biggest point of all, it’s your name on the door. It is your reputation at stake. Don’t let one stylist ruin your dream. Once you are free of the drama you will be so glad you took control back. You will walk into your salon every day with a smile.

Take your salon back!

2 Comments for “7 Steps for Dealing with Salon Drama/Diva Stylists”
  1. by stevev363

    On October 18, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    YAY ANNA! That’s the way to rock it girlfriend! Great article. we had a half-staff housecleaning 4 years ago and purged a couple of cancerous leeches who were just too ****ed up to keep dragging along. Talk about a different air- our whole salon is so nice now, everybody is happy to work and the clients have really noticed. It’s impossible to be a friend and a boss, people get hurt feelings trying to be both. Keep up the good work!

  2. by 7 Steps to ENDING Salon Drama « networkhair

    On January 7, 2011 at 8:01 am

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Begin having frequent staff meetings and collaborate on business building techniques used by others that you work with. Every salon has success right inside. Get the top booker to explain how they do it. Pair the weakest with the strongest and let them work next to each other. They can learn from what they hear and see. Do the same with retail sales. Share the ways that the top stay on top.

With cross marketing other services, know who the salon leaders are and copy them. Your staff becomes a resource to each other and by sharing dialouge that works, we all win.

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