Us hairdressers are known for our strong opinions. From what hairspray they prefer to use to hold a bouncy blow-dry, to which brand of scissors they favour. Our strong opinions do not stay enclosed in the salon environment either!
Often hairdressers learn from others, more often than not mimicking the person who mentored/trained them. If you ask a hairdresser why they do something the way they do, a lot of the time they will struggle to answer in a way other than “just because I do”.
Lets talk about the salon essential tool - the hairdryer. Are you a “nozzle on” or “nozzle off” user? Those in the “off” camp will argue that if a hairdryer was supposed to be used with a nozzle, why is it removable? Those in the “on” camp, may counteract with the argument that it is removable to allow a diffuser to be fitted and make the hairdryer more adaptable.
When the nozzle is fitted, the airflow of the dryer is changed. The air is blown in a more direct manner and allows the hair to be somewhat sleeker. With the nozzle off, the hairdresser may feel that they are out of control and the hair is blown bigger. This is true because of the airflow and circular flow of the air.
I was trained by one of the most successful hairdressers in the world and he dries hair without a nozzle. As I got deeper into the educational part of my career, I started to question everything and why we do what we do. The nozzle on vs nozzle off was one of my first case studies.
My suggestion is to learn to dry hair with the nozzle on, and with the nozzle off. The importance here is not what your preference is, but that you understand that there is a difference between the two. They will each have their positives, and negatives and as long as you know this, you will be able to decide which is the “right” way for you personally.
Spend some time experimenting with your dryer. What differences can you notice? What other things could you look at exploring more?
clients are learning to manage their own hair through practise, social media, you tube tutorials and are more aware of what their hairdresser is doing. What are you doing to ensure that you are staying two steps ahead?
looking at the salon as a factory - machines. all staff should be trained to run each machine. colour, cut, extentions, hair up, mens. Blinker vision - staff dont want to work on all machines. Teaching the salon owners to help staff remove and motivating the hairdressers to find the enthusiasm to become all rounders.
30 second rule
We've all heard of the 5 second rule haven't we? You know the one. The time in which we deem it socially acceptable to eat something after it has been dropped on the floor. The 30 second rule in Hairdressing is a fundamental, yet fairly unknown rule that every single person in the industry should be taught. It is a simple yet extremely effective way to give each and every client the best hairdressing experience possible.
Put yourself in the salon. It is Saturday morning and you are fully booked. You have many regular clients and a couple of new ones you have yet to meet with. The majority of hairdressers will take it for granted that they are with familiar faces and will go about their day as normal when performing their services. Sue loves to talk and Sharon enjoys hearing about your turbulent love life, Hayley barely says a word and Frank likes nothing more than to rant about his stressful time at work.
You will take time getting to know the new clients. You will talk with them, assess their personality and get to the root of what they are hoping for you to achieve in their salon visit from both a hair point of view, and a salon experience. Am I right?
This has always worked for you so why on earth would you want to change this? Let me tell you about the 30 second rule.
This is the time that a hairdresser has to work out how the client wishes us to perform and what he or she is feeling. Imagine yourself on an imaginary platform with the area around the chair a mini stage, You have 30 seconds to walk upto your client, do your introductions and treat that client as if he or she is completely new to you.
How is your client feeling today? Usually quiet Hayley walks in with a huge beaming smile. In sticking to your presumptions that she likes her hair cut in silence, you are letting her down. Last night, Hayley won the lottery. She is fully of excitement, positive energy and is desperate to share her story with you. Without applying the 30 second rule, you miss this golden opportunity to allow her to do so. Using this time properly, you will provide a personal service that leaves Hayley with amazing hair, and a spring in her step because you have treated her as an individual and honed in on her feelings and emotions.
Sue is in next and you are still bursting with excitement at Hayley’s news. Sue loves to talk so you sit her in the chair and are bouncing with positive energy. You cant wait to tell Sue about your last clients good fortune. What you have failed to notice is that Sue looks harassed and not her usual talkative self. Sue has had a nightmare morning. Her 3 year old daughter Amelie has been like a thing possessed. The threenager stage has well and truly kicked in. Henry, her 8 year old son had an important football match and his inability to find his football boots, shorts and lucky pants means that they arrived late with his final words to Sue being “you are the worst mum in the entire world”. Today, Sue wants to lose herself in a book and enjoy an hour of peace and quiet. How do you think Sue will react to you babbling on and misjudging what she wants from her salon visit?
How would applying the 30 second rule here benefit both yourself as the hairdresser, and sue as your client? Think a little about this. What did you discover?
Let me introduce you to “no mans land”. No Man’s Land is a place to take yourself to in-between clients. While Sue is being greeted by the friendly receptionists, take yourself to the back of the salon and give yourself your own 30 seconds. Use this time to focus on your own feelings and emotions. Take everything that you are feeling personally and hang them up with your coat and bag. Allow yourself to then walk into your mini stage area to greet your client with a clear mind and no preconceptions or assumptions.
Do you think that the 30 second rule would bring a positive influence to the way you work? What other areas in your life could the 30 second rule benefit you and the people around you?
Do you have colleagues or members of staff you believe would be able to improve their service by implementing this rule? Below is a role play exercise you could use to promote use of the rule and put into your in salon training regime.