Students Treated to Priceless Info from Austin Curl Expert
by Aileen Passariello on Friday, August 14, 2009
Ron King offers drying tips to a class at Avenue Five.
CurlStylist recently hosted a curly education class for the students at Avenue Five, a cosmetology school in Austin. Curl expert Ron King, owner and head stylist at Bo Salon, was the day’s educator.
King, who says his clients “just can’t stay away,” began the class by explaining that the most important key to success is customer service. Ron attributes his success to the relationship he builds with each client, the trust he develops, and most importantly the customer service that all clients receive every time they enter his salon. Staying consistent with their experience and cut is what makes customers loyal, he says. King emphasized the importance of “contact” by touching the hair, touching the customer’s shoulders, listening, and understanding to gain that trust needed for developing that strong bond between a hair stylist and their customer.
Also, he advises, stylists should not assume that they know what their clients want before they sit down in the chair. “Don’t just assume you know what your client wants because they will surprise you. Always sit down with them, listen to them, discuss how they are feeling and then give your opinion. Clients feel different each day and maybe that day, they are looking for something different. It is important to always listen.”
The students thoroughly enjoyed the class, taking away a wealth of useful information for their future careers.
“Today’s class was very informative and inspiring. I learned how to think about textured hair in a totally new way,” says student Hilary Lowry, who is known on ChairTalk as hil214.
King learned to cut curly hair with Deva. He attended a class in New York and has perfected his technique over the years.
He says he always cuts curly hair dry and always starts from the inside, using a bricklayer pattern. When separating the hair, try to avoid disruption of the curl, he suggests; don’t rip or tear. When cutting, always cut in the bend of the curl to enhance the spring action and create lift.
“Cutting curly hair from the inside in a bricklayer pattern made total sense, and trying not to disrupt the curl as much as possible makes a huge difference in the outcome,” says Lowry.
King addresses the important difference between cutting curly hair and straight hair. “No two curls are the same,” he says. Therefore, each strand has to be treated as an individual, he reminded the class.
“Pick up the curl, shake it out, and cut down the curl,” he emphasizes. Ron believes that the optimal shape for curly girls is the oval shape, as this shape avoids the “bozo the clown look or the mullet look.”
King told the class that after cutting, it is important to condition your client’s hair. Curly hair tends to be dry, so King recommends that his clients cleanse (not shampoo) their hair once a week. Once the washing and the massaging of the scalp is complete, King uses paper towels to absorb excess water. Regular towels have too many fibers and break the curls, he counsels. Fun tip: Sham wow towels also work great! King recommends using fingers to detangle the hair (or a wide-toothed comb) and then with a mixture of product on a paper towel, he mixes Deva B’Leave-in Conditioner and AnGel.
King uses a diffuser on his clients in the salon, but he recommends his clients air dry their hair as much as possible to avoid too much heat. Ron uses as many as 15 duckbill clips on top of the head to achieve root lift. He also recommends the students always diffuse from the bottom of the hair — not the top. King recommends setting your dryer on low speed and high heat setting. He suggests spraying the hair with Deva Set Me Up! pomade. The heat activates the pomade and gives the curl a shinny look.
Lowry was thrilled with all the real-world information King imparted. “I was also eager to learn how much online reviews and networking in the right ways can help your career,” she said.
And ChairTalker AndieJ22 added, “By far it was one of the best classes I’ve seen here. I graduate on Thursday and I couldn’t be more excited and I hope to learn more from Ron in the future.”
Top 10 Tips from Ron King
1. Stylists need to embrace curls and get over their fears before they can cut curly hair
2. Make contact — gain trust by listening and understanding your customer
3. Stay loyal to one product line — keep it simple for your customers
4. It is very important to educate your client about taking care of her hair
5. The majority of your clients are not looking for a shock effect
6. Be consistent with customer experience
7. Don’t get too comfortable with customers; they will surprise you
8. No one curl is like another
9. The best look for a curly hair is an oval shape
10. Cut in the bend of the curl