Education Key to Building Curly Clientele
by Michelle Breyer on Wednesday, October 3, 2012
For Paul Mitchell’s master associate, artistic director and stylist Stephanie Kocielski, a little education can go a long way toward helping a curly client learn to love their curls.
And clients who love their curls, love their stylist.
“Some people with curly hair hate their hair,” Kocielski says. “They think it’s the worst hair in the world. When you don’t know how to deal with what you have, it’s an issue. It’s our job as hairdressers to help them fall in love with what God gave them.”
This fall, Paul Mitchell launched “The Truth About Curls” campaign to “inspire people to embrace their natural texture and to inspire conversations about what life with curls is really like. The campaign is in conjunction with the launch of the Paul Mitchell Curls collection — products designed to be used the way curlies actually use products.
With the launch of the line, which adds to the tools available to stylists to help their curly clients, there is a great opportunity to teach their clients about how to work with their natural texture.
“Educating your ‘curly’ is a great opportunity for both you and your guest,” says Robert Cromeans, global artistic director for Paul Mitchell. “Education can help create trust between the stylist and the client. Never take for granted that your guest already knows how to take care of their curly hair.”
And the benefits go far beyond the chair, helping bring in new clients,” Cromeans says. When you show your client how to style their own hair so that they can duplicate the curly look by themselves, “they are a walking billboard for you.”
“Curly haired people are naturally drawn to other curly-haired people and when they see great curly hair that is colored beautifully, cut to perfection and styled well, they want to know who the hairdresser is,” he says.
1. Get to Know Your Client
Education starts when the client first sits in your chair. You need to get to know them, asking them questions that aren’t necessarily related to their hair.
“It’s like speed dating,” says Kocielski. “When you get them into the chair, you need to understand who they are and what image they want.”
This helps you understand their lifestyle, their frustrations with their hair and can set the expectations of the cut and styling regimen you create for them.
2. Teach Your Client How to Cleanse and Detangle Their Curls
Then it’s time to cleanse their hair. She recommends the new Paul Mitchell Curl Spring Loaded Zero-Sulfate shampoo.
“Teach them how to tame the lion in one step,” she says of the shampoo, which also works as a detangler, softening their tendrils.
Make sure they’re using enough water pressure to get through the hair onto the scalp. After applying the shampoo, make sure they’re using enough pressure to thoroughly cleanse the scalp. Comb it through the hair with a wide-toothed comb.
“That’s where the magic comes,” she says. “By lightly combing it through, it enables you to detangle the hair.”
She stressed the importance of rinsing before cleansing, especially if the curls are dense. She shows her clients how to squeegee the water through their hair after rinsing.
3. Show the Client How to Apply Products
While the hair is wet, she applies the styling product. She stresses applying the product to wet hair because the curls are perfectly defined when the hair is wet. She pumps out some Paul Mitchell Full Circle Leave-in Treatment, emulsifying it between her hands and applies it to the edges first and then working it through. By showing them how to apply it, they can feel what’s enough and then can do it themselves at home.
Depending on the texture of the hair, she’ll apply either the Twirl Around Crunch-Free Definer or the Ultimate Wave Beachy Texture Cream-Gel. She starts at the bottom of their hair and works her way to the top, taking horizontal sections and placing it in the hair. To define the curls, she’ll show them how to take a section of hair and twirl it with product. Twist and twirl to the bottom of the strand and then move to the next section. Continue over the entire head.
“It’s a very repetitive motion, so guests get good at it quickly and it has a great end result,” Cromeans says.
“At my salon, the clients ask about the technique by name: ‘The Snake.’”
If the client wants a natural curly look, she’ll show them how to use a diffuser. If they want a more defined, consistent curl, she might use a curling iron on certain pieces.
“I ask them ‘What is the overall outcome you want to see.’” she says.
In addition to building business for the stylist, it also is very rewarding to know that you’re truly helping your clients feel better about themselves.
“You can help them conquer the world,” Kocielski says says. “It’s the best feeling. We can help spread empowerment.”