Archive for the ‘Business Basics’ Category

Wella Professionals Reveal Top 2012 Hair Trends

by CurlStylist on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011


WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. — Every year, Wella Professionals‘ renowned Global Creative Directors, Eugene Souleiman (Care & Styling) and Josh Wood (Color), collaborate to identify four emerging hair trends using comprehensive research from fifteen of the leading independent trend forecasting experts and agencies around the world. Wella Professionals adapts the four key looks to distill the trends for the year ahead.

The 2012 trends – Grace, Blaze, Celeste and Roxy – are exemplary of female personalities that influence every facet of fashion and beauty. The 2012 portfolio of looks was revealed in New York City to an audience of over 2,000 international top stylists and influencers from Asia, Europe, Russia and North America.

Wella’s creative forces have already tapped these trends for style inspiration behind the scenes at the Spring 2012 fashion shows. We expect to see more styles inspired by Wella’s trends in the year to come!

Here’s what the Global Creative Directors and Wella Professionals’ Celebrity Stylist, Andy LeCompte and Colorist Aura Friedman predict will be the next big trends from the red carpets to the runways, and on real women.

Grace: The Modern Muse

Grace is the leading lady, poised and perpetually glamorous without even trying. The main inspiration for Grace is nature, although there is nothing natural about this look. Celebrity Stylist Andy LeCompte foresees this look’s effortless elegance will translate into an exceptionally premium finish with shine and fluid texture to the hair.

He says, “Grace’s luxurious look is the perfect statement for the red carpet. We’ll see celebrities with more pristine, polished styles and glamorous, bouncy blowouts.”

The voluminous look Eugene Souleiman created for DKNY at the Spring 2012 runway show perfectly illustrates the simple, flowing style Grace embodies. The color palette is soft and light, with a warm glow to emphasize healthy, shiny hair.

Blaze: The Femme Fatale

This trend focuses on stealing the spotlight and overt sensuality. High gloss hair gets even more dramatic with Blaze’s statement styles and Latin flair.

Passionate colors like black, grey and fuchsia will come to life in dark, shiny tones so strong they command attention. Graphic styles and daring shapes heighten the drama for this look.

When adapting the Blaze trend into a hair look, Eugene Souleiman reveals, “I wanted the style to feel like a ’30s felt cloche hat or be reminiscent of a burlesque dancer from the ’20s. The whole trend is about the girl feeling like an entertainer.”

This concept is conveyed with sharper and sculpted styles, much like the look Eugene created on the runway for the Antonio Marras Spring 2012 show.

Celeste: The Free Spirit

Celeste is an ethereal, otherworldly persona of pure perfection that cannot be pinned down, which lends to the futuristic trend she represents. Style and color harmoniously illustrate a clear style and translucent and jewel-toned palette. Shine is very important as it creates the glistening, futuristic sense of Celeste. The style appears simplistic and sleeked to perfection.

Colorist Aura Friedman drew upon this trend when creating rose gold and peach-hued hairpieces for Peter Som’s Spring ‘12 show.

“This look is universally flattering and very wearable for the everyday girl,” says Aura. “Women on the streets are sporting a few subtle tones in their hair for a modern, sophisticated take as the pastel trend has evolved.”

Roxy: The Scene Stealer

Roxy is the natural center of attention as the life of every party and is reminiscent of the ’70s club culture. For hair, this is manifested into a bold and attention grabbing style that does not shy away from size, shape and texture. Eugene styled deconstructed buns at Missoni’s Spring ‘12 show, alluding to this raw, textured look. Color also plays an integral role with a cool red palette, deep enough to make a statement but with an edge of sophistication.

Josh Wood says, “There is a real shift to a cool red tone, rather than warm in this trend. There are also bursts of violet coming through to give depth.”

Wella Professionals has provided the stage for the most creative hairdressers around the world to perform with the brand’s International Trend Vision Competition. Trend Vision offers a unique way to inspire hairdressers and women to evolve with these looks and experiment with the latest in cutting-edge hair fashion.


Losing a Salon Client to a Co-worker

by CurlStylist on Friday, October 21st, 2011

Every hair dresser probably knows how awful it feels to lose their client to a co-worker. The agony in wondering what you did wrong can greatly affect your self-confidence, and you may even start to doubt yourself when styling a loyal client’s hair who has no intention of leaving you for someone else in your salon.

“What is she doing that I didn’t do?” is a question you may be asking yourself. But don’t worry, this situation does happen, and even though it may seem like an embarrassment to you, you can learn from the situation and turn it into a good experience.

Find Out Why

First off, you want to know what happened, right? Why did she choose my co-worker over me? There may be a few different answers to that question. You can start off by talking to your co-worker to discover why she chose to go to her instead of you. Does your co-worker style hair differently? Maybe her cuts are more modern. Maybe she specializes in curly or wavy hair. Maybe she can straighten out curly hair with an excellent blowout.

Any of these differences may be very important to your client’s needs. Every staff member is valuable to the salon for their different talents, and that’s a good thing! You want the salon you work for to be diverse to accommodate the needs of each individual.

If your client chooses another stylist at your salon because of her specific needs, something you may not specialize in, don’t fret. You have your own talents. Use them, market them and always make sure each client has a great experience, even if that means sending them off to a stylist that is better suited for them.

Be Professional

Addressing the client herself is not a good idea in this particular situation. She is still a loyal customer of the salon and that is important. Your number one priority as an employee is to make sure your salon doesn’t lose business. If you address the client personally, she may feel embarrassed and stop going to the salon altogether. Trust me, you do not want this to happen.

This will only cause problems with you and your boss and with your co-worker, and no one likes to work in a hostile environment. Tension between co-workers affects everyone in the salon, from clients to the staff, and that’s bad for business.

When addressing you co-worker about the situation, be sure to do so in a private setting, keep calm and be professional. Have an open mind. After all, it may not even be your fault. If you co-worker is professional, she will never make you feel bad about the situation.

Shrug it off

Don’t worry so much! Everybody is different, and different people like different things. Maybe you can learn something from this. If a co-worker has a great technique for curly hair, you can always ask her for pointers. Don’t ever think you already know everything; none of us do! All of us could use a little room for improvement.

Losing a client to a co-worker isn’t a big deal if it only happens once or twice. It’s when it keeps happening to you that there is a major problem. If that’s the case, do what you have to do to fix the problem, and fix it fast, because ultimately you are the one who will lose.

Make Curly Hair Men Your Clients

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

antonio gonzales

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.

When Your Client Has a Smelly Scalp

by Antonio Gonzales on Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

antonio gonzales

I was born in Trinidad in the height of a hurricane. I spent my childhood surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells of Carnival and the other Indian, African and Spanish festivals of the Islands. Loving the amazing costumes, I got my start dressing my sisters and doing their hair and makeup. An opportunity came up to work with Trinidad’s leading costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists. After I left the Island, my career evolved with work in Munich, Los Angeles and now New York City. Here in New York, I am a stylist at the Orlo Salon in the Meat Packing district. Vogue magazine recently named me as one of the rising hairstylist stars in N.Y., I was awarded the best haircut of 2008 by shecky’, Gotham Magazine called me a Shear Genius and Allure Magazine featured me as one of the best cuts 2009.

See Antonio’s blog here.

As stylists, we take so much for granted in terms of our knowledge of everything related to hair. To our clients, we can seem like an encyclopedia. Because clients consider us the “authority,” we must be diplomatic when bringing up potentially embarrassing situations to them. Sometimes clients are unaware there is a problem, so they don’t ask for help, leaving us without a window of opportunity to gently address it. This is where finesse and diplomacy come in.

I know, I know, we all should be aware of our personal hygiene, but at some point, we all have had our hygiene mishaps (dirty nails or bad breath). One area in particular where some clients seem to be consistently clueless is when the hair and scalp are dirty and have an odor. Here are some tips on how to make your client aware of something as sensitive as a smelly scalp or hair.

The Approach

Don’t feel embarrassed. It is highly likely they would rather know than not. Here are some gentle lines to get and keep the conversation going.

“You may not be aware, but I have noticed you seem to be having a scalp issue. I’m not sure what may be causing this, but it’s important for me to bring it to your attention to assure you we can treat it.”

Notice I say “we.” This way the client doesn’t feel alone at a time when they may feel embarrassed, vulnerable and insecure.

Continue the conversation by asking the following questions until you find the culprit.

“Do you use any excessive oils or inexpensive silicone products on your hair?”

Share with the client how hair oils and silicones can build up on the hair quickly, especially cheap, low grade silicones.

“How often do you shampoo and what shampoo are you using?”

Recommend they increase the amount of times they shampoo, change their shampoo if necessary and that they get a shampoo that contains tea tree or a detoxifying shampoo that can help with keeping the scalp feeling fresh and clean of build up.

“What conditioner are you using and are you rinsing it well?”

Explain that leave-in conditioners are made to be left in. And regular conditioners are made to be rinsed off.

“When was the last time you washed your hair brushes and combs? Do you wear base ball caps or fabric ponytail holders, and when was the last time you washed them?”

Dreaded bacteria is one of the primary causes of a smelly scalp. Hairbrushes and combs should be washed at least once a week, especially if used frequently. Accessories hold bacteria, too, so encourage the use of washable ones so that they can be kept clean as well.

“Are you using hair powders to remove oil, and how often?”

Hair powders are also another culprit and possible cause of a dirty, smelly scalp.

As difficult and uncomfortable as these embarrassing situations may be, honesty is always the best policy when it comes to our clients and their hair. Don’t hold back. Your client may not respect you for not telling them when they ultimately figure out the truth — from someone else. Be the expert they rely on, and you’ll always keep them coming back.

Searching for Hair Texture Satisfaction

by Michele Musgrove on Thursday, September 1st, 2011

The old phrase, “The grass is always greener on the other side,” refers to the tendency we humans have of examining each other’s lives and believing that others are better off than we are, even when they’re not.

Nowhere does that phrase ring more true than when it comes to contemplating our hair texture. Girls with thin, straight, lackluster locks always seem to be gazing over the fence at the girls with the curly, wavy tresses. And the girls with the natural whirls, twirls and kinks always seem to be sneaking a peek at the girls with the shiny, sleek hair.

And, aren’t we all glad that they do? That yearning is one of the most important motivators for driving clients into your chair. When clients are disillusioned with their hair texture, they seek shelter where a professional can offer them expert guidance and advice, a selection of skilled-based services, and shelves of products that benefit their unique hair type.

And, lucky are those clients who discover the wizened pros who help them understand, enhance and celebrate the beauty of their own texture, and teach them how to mix it up when the urge for change is irresistible.

As the cultures that make up America’s great melting pot continue to blend, a growing number of stylists are seeing the benefits of being able to work with a variety of waves, curls and kinks. By broadening their textural horizons, stylists are finding they can open up their books to a variety of new clients. Many soon discover they are tapping into an unmet need within their own communities, and before they know it, they’re being touted as texture experts and are catering to a whole niche market.

All in all, that’s good for business.

In the next edition of Texture!, brought to you through a collaboration of MODERN SALON and, we share strategies for honing and marketing your curl expertise, reveal the top five common curl mistakes, discover the boom in botanical oil-based products, and look into the new generation of Keratin treatments. As always, the texture conversation continues at MODERN SALON and

Read all of this bi-annual issue of Texture!

Styling Curly Hair for More Business

by Michelle Breyer on Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Styled at The Damn Salon

With many women trading damaged, flat-ironed hair for more natural curls or textured ‘dos, a growing number of stylists are now focusing on curly-haired clients and their different styling needs.

Learning about styling curly hair not only brings you new business, but can also keep your chair full during down seasons. With so many products and tools to choose from, we break down some of the most popular ways to break into this niche and to keep your business booming.

Education is Key

Stylists across the country are beginning to recognize the growing trend for textured looks, which has prompted an increase in education. Classes can be found across the country, the most prominent coming from New York’s Deva certification classes, which can last anywhere from one to three days, that trains stylists on the art of dry cutting, the no shampoo method, coloring, and styling curly hair. Ouidad also has a New York certification and aids in promoting a newly certified stylists through their extensive email database of curlies.

If you don’t want to commit to just one brand, there are several ways to gain more knowledge on the art of styling curly hair. hosts “Texture!” each year at ABS Chicago, drawing hundreds of stylists who have the opportunity to ask questions and watch demonstrations from the biggest names in textured tresses.

Attending beauty trade shows can be the biggest bang for your buck in terms of education with curl-friendly product lines such as Ouidad, Hair Rules, As I am, Jane Carter Solution, Tigi and Mizani showcasing the latest techniques for curls and kinks. These shows are also a great place to catch up on valuable business tips. Premiere Orlando hosts over 50 classes dedicated to building your business as a stylist and salon owner during the three-day convention.

Meetup groups are also an invaluable educational opportunity for both consumers and stylists. One of the largest natural hair meet-up groups comes together in the Dallas area, with over 1,600 curlies looking for advice and education on styling curly hair. Meetups are also great marketing tools, especially for stylists who want to help women transition to natural hair. They have the opportunity to show off their skills to a highly engaged audience.

Getting the Word Out

More stylists and salon owners are finding unique ways to promote their curl expertise through social media, meet-ups, and salon events. With over 500 million active users on Facebook, companies, such as Schedulicity, are helping stylists and salon owners fill their appointment books through their business pages.

Social media can be an especially powerful way for stylists to get new clients. Teresa DeLorenzo of Mademoiselle Salon & Spa in Haverford, PA. says online reviews and word of mouth are her main form of recruiting business.

“Having curly hair is like a cult,” she says. “Two curly-haired women meet and right away they start talking about who does their hair.”

Here are examples of how some stylists have taken advantage of styling curly hair to keep their chairs full:

Niche: The Power of the Deva Cut

Shai Amiel
Capella Salon, Studio City, Calif.

Training: Honed curl techniques on his own and trained with Lorraine Massey from Devachan Salon

Background: Since starting in the business fifteen years ago, Amiel has noticed how hard it is for curly-haired clients to find someone skilled in styling curly hair. Over half of Amiel’s clientele has curly or textured hair, and he says adding the curl department has definitely increased retail sales in the salon. “I never really planned on specializing in curly hair, but over the years it just kind of happened,” he adds. “It’s just been a fun ride.”

“So many women with curly hair have been getting bad haircuts as a result of cutting curly hair wet and in big sections,” says Amiel. “I end up fixing many hair disasters by other so called ‘curl specialists.’”

He’s become known as the “curl doctor” and invited Lorraine Massey, author of “Curly Girl: The Handbook,” and Deva product creator to train Capella Salon’s team.

How he Markets His Salon: Amiel also teamed up with Massey to create Charity: Water, an organization committed to bringing clean drinking water to developing countries. The project kicked off at Capella Salon’s Curls Night Out, where stylists demonstrated techniques for styling curly hair, and clients enjoyed wine, champagne, and desserts. Massey was on hand during the event to sign books and answer curly questions. To spread the word of the event, Shai used Facebook and to ensure that all of the area curlies were invited. The raffle at Curls Night Out raised almost $800 for charity: water.

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.

Salon Equipment: Lease or Buy?

by Karen Mcintosh on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

It’s the age-old question when starting a business, lease or buy the necessary equipment? The truth is, both sides have their advantages and disadvantages and the decision rests solely on your personal needs as a salon owner.

Pros of Leasing

If you have limited capital or need equipment that needs to be upgraded every few years, leasing can be a smart option. A lease lets you easily refresh equipment with a relatively short shelf life before it becomes outdated or obsolete.

To acquire salon equipment and furniture through leasing, your initial outlay is minimal and lets you finance up to 100% of the cost for the equipment, including soft operating costs. Compared to loans, leases are relatively easy and fast to obtain, with short applications and 24-hour approval.

Lease payments free up capital and bank lines and provide more liquidity. Depending on how they are structured, leases can be fully tax deductible which reduces the net cost of your lease.

When You Should Lease

• If the equipment has a short shelf life, will be obsolete in less than 5 years
• If the equipment will rapidly depreciate in value
• You want to factor it as an operating expense
• Capital is limited, you want to avoid a large down payment and have a fixed monthly payment structure
• To update equipment frequently

Pros of Buying

Leased equipment is almost always more expensive than purchased equipment, given the higher total cost of ownership than if you purchase the equipment outright. In addition, if the equipment is essential to your business and hard to get, there’s no guarantee that you will be able to retain it at the end of your lease.

Purchasing can be the better option if the equipment has a long, useable life, is essential to your business operations and is irreplaceable or difficult to replace. If you can absorb the high initial costs, you own the equipment outright as a business asset, preferably one that keeps its value.

Tax incentives can also be a good reason to purchase outright. Check with the IRS or your accountant on rules that allow you to fully deduct the cost of some salon equipment in the first year, or whether you need to depreciate.

When You Should Buy

• If a significant upfront discount for a cash purchase if offered.
• The new equipment will appreciate in value.
• If you want to categorize the equipment as a capital expense.
• If you can absorb a large capital outlay or have a more economical line of credit.
• When the equipment is irreplaceable or vital to business operations.

Common Lease Types

There are 2 major types of leases—operating leases and capital, or finance, leases. An operating lease is used for short-term leasing of equipment that tends to become obsolete fast. With a capital lease, ownership of the equipment is transferred to you at the end of the lease and contains a bargain purchase option. This type of lease is good for salon equipment that will not lose value and that you want to keep. The Dollar Buyout is an example of a capital lease; at the end of your lease you purchase the equipment for a dollar.

A Fair Market Value lease can be structured as an operating or finance lease. It typically allows for lower monthly fixed payments than a buyout, with three options at the end of the lease term. You can buy the equipment at fair market value, return the equipment, or renew the lease.

Evaluating Financial Factors

Comparing the lease price to the purchase price is just the beginning of deciding whether to buy or lease salon equipment. Analyze and compare how leasing and buying will impact cash flow, future profits, taxes, and your current line of credit, and how long you need the equipment. Also calculate the total cost of ownership, factoring in tax breaks and resale value.

How will the new equipment increase your bottom line?

Determine the overall cost and lease payments, then calculate how many services you will need to sell daily or weekly to recoup the cost and profit. The income from the increased services should be greater than the cost of the equipment.


To calculate total cost of ownership, factor in not just salon equipment costs but also operating expenses such as insurance, maintenance, installation and training. If you choose, you can also include these costs in a lease agreement to spread out payments.

How long will you need the equipment?

Project your business needs and direction out for that length of time as well as the length of the lease. If your business changes direction and you no longer need the equipment, you still have monthly payments for the entire lease term. Some leases give you a cancel option, but also include hefty early termination fees.

Choosing a Leasing Company

Research your financing company carefully, especially if they have an Internet storefront. Most reputable leasing companies are members of the Equipment Leasing Association as well as regional leasing associations, and have referrals or testimonials from clients. A careful buyer will verify those references. Almost all salon equipment companies are partnered with a financing company and will make a direct referral. In addition, as with any large expense, get several competitive quotes to compare terms and cost.

Karen Mcintosh (Suburbanbushbabe in CurlTalk) is grateful to the straight hair gods who ignored her. Share your views with Karen in CurlTalk or her blog Starry Eleven Twins.

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!

How to Become a Stylist & Keep Your Individuality

by Antonio Gonzales on Saturday, July 9th, 2011

antonio gonzales

I was born in Trinidad in the height of a hurricane. I spent my childhood surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells of Carnival and the other Indian, African and Spanish festivals of the Islands. Loving the amazing costumes, I got my start dressing my sisters and doing their hair and makeup. An opportunity came up to work with Trinidad’s leading costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists. After I left the Island, my career evolved with work in Munich, Los Angeles, New York City and now Miami. Vogue magazine recently named me as one of the rising hairstylist stars in New York, I was awarded the best haircut of 2008 by, Gotham Magazine called me a Shear Genius and Allure Magazine featured me as one of the Best Cuts 2009.

My fellow hairstylists, I want to talk today about our industry and the significant part each one of us play in it. After many educational classes worldwide and intense salon training, I’ve realized that somewhere along the way I starting leaving behind was my sense of my personal creativity and originality. As you already know, after beauty school, there are endless cutting, coloring and styling classes. I believe you are never too old to learn, and it is important for us to keep a fresh perspective. I also believe as hairstylists we have something that no one can teach us: the gift of individuality.

My Personal Experience

Like most hair stylists, when I started my career I wanted to learn how to become a stylist from the inside out without missing a single detail. While being mentored by hairstylists, I paid attention to every detail of their philosophy and personal techniques. The feeling of really understanding what works well for someone else’s success was so liberating. This meant I would stand a chance of being a success in my industry and making a good living. I worked very hard on becoming the best version of what I saw in my mentors. Can you relate? I was rewarded with opportunities I will forever be grateful for, and I was able to build a strong clientele and mentor other hairstylists.

Now something is changing in my approach to my craft and you guessed it—it’s my individuality. This installment is to remind you that you too have something special, something apart from the cutting classes, philosophies and product knowledge. No one can teach you individuality. Our uniqueness is something each of us is born with, and it sometimes gets lost in all the information we must retain.

Apart from learning from others, I spend a lot of time thinking of what “defines my style as a hairstylist?” If asked what my specialty is, what would be my answer be? How do I set myself apart from other hairstylists, in my salon, my town, even my city? Am I becoming a salon robot with my focus working as fast as I can or selling as much product as I can? Remember when we first went to beauty school and we were afraid, but not knowing also gave us the “just go for it” attitude? Well, that’s exactly what I am talking about, taking chances in a safe environment will only allow you to break out of the mold we sometimes find ourselves in after years of being in the industry.

Tips on How to Become Stylist

Here are some helpful tips on how you should move forward in re-discovering the old-new you:

1. First you need to dedicate a certain amount of time per week to your craft out of the salon. This time can be at home in private where you can have time to work on all the ideas you may have had where cutting, coloring or styling is concerned. Separate yourself from the everyday “salon robot.”

2. Purchase a long hair mannequin with a tall tripod mannequin stand to work on.

3. Start recruiting friends and family as your personal models for cuts and coloring.

4. The most important thing to keep in mind is if we keep doing the same cuts, styles and colors the results are going to be the same. Dare yourself to take chances in a safe environment.

This may not be for everyone. There are some of us who call ourselves hair burners. If that is where your head is at, then I urge you to think differently. We make people feel and look beautiful. Thankfully, we can support ourselves and our families with this amazing craft so be proud and be the best…always.

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