11 Habits That Are Holding You Back Behind The Chair

11 habits that might be hindering your business behind the chair, and the income you take home.

#1 Being Messy

Does it look like an abstract work of art when you're working? Does your guest have color on their face? Is your color tray organized? Is there more color on the floor than in your bowl? Applying color in a clean and organized fashion and keeping your station tidy while you work is SO aesthetically pleasing to your guest. They may not color hair as a profession, but anyone can tell when something is being done with intention vs. when something is being done carelessly. Take pride in your work space and application!

#2 Being Unaware Of Your Surroundings

Are your team mates SLAMMED while you have down time? Are the towels folded and stocked? Is the salon clean? Do all of the salon guests have a full beverage? What can you do to elevate the guest and employee experience of being in your place of work? When you are unaware of what is going on in your environment, it spreads throughout the salon. Take care of each other in every way possible.

#3 Consultation

THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. This is where we figure out what our guests expectations are for their appointment. THIS POST contains the 9 main questions I ask during my color consultation. This is done with EVERY GUEST, EVERY TIME. Really LISTEN to them and let them tell you what they want!

#4 The Shampoo

We've all had a guest say to us at some point in time "I'll give you an hour to stop doing that" while we are shampooing, or even worse, moan the whole time. It's no secret that nearly 100% of guests favorite part of their service is a luscious lather. If we rush their shampoo, don't massage their scalps in all of the right places, or don't get their hair as clean as we should, WE HAVE DROPPED THE BALL. This is the EASIEST part of their service! You don't have to talk, you don't have to control your facial expressions, nothing technically challenging is taking place. Just a wonderful 10 minute time period where your guest relaxes, you get to relax, and you take away a little bit of stress that they've been carrying around all day and pamper them. Take time at the shampoo bowl and learn your pressure points, you'll have guests for life.

#5 Customer Service

While our job is to transform hair by way of cutting, coloring & styling, our customer service is just as (if not more) important than the execution of our guests hair. When paying for a service, our guests want to feel like they are getting the deal of the century, and not by way of your pricing. We charge for our time and services, but everything else that we provide is what gives our price tag value. Offering your guest a beverage, keeping it filled throughout their entire service, hanging their coat for them, remembering what products they have at home and following up with them on their at home hair care experience, remembering details of their life such as family members, trips they may have just taken, changes at work, etc. are all SO IMPORTANT to our guests. Everyone wants to feel memorable and cared about, so why wouldn't we offer them that? Memory skills aren't something that come to everyone naturally, so utilizing tools such as our computer system or formulation cards to take notes on our guests can be greatly helpful!

#6 Boundaries

Knowing what is okay to share with our guests and what isn't is SO IMPORTANT. They are coming to us for an experience, and a service. The last thing that a paying customer wants is to hear all about how hard your life is, you aren't making enough money, that you and your significant other are on the rocks, or any other drama in your life. You know what our guests want to talk about? Themselves. They come to us to unload and feel better. If they don't want to talk about themselves, ask them questions! They will answer, I promise you. Remember that even though it feels like a deeply personal relationship, it is a relationship based on THEM. They are paying for our time, and they don't want to pay to hear about you and your issues. Keep professional boundaries at all times.

#7 Integrity

People don't love a sales pitch, and being trapped with wet hair under a cape is no extenuating circumstance. When recommending services, products and scheduling to a guest, do it from a space of honesty and true care for their hair. They will always be able to tell the difference between a genuine recommendation and an up-sell.

#8 Content Of Conversation

How tasteful are your topics of conversation? The things you talk about will attract your clientele. If you complain about things with your guests their entire appointment, you're going to attract people who complain and nitpick. If you're positive and productive, that is the clientele that you will attract!

#9 Re-Booking

This is a hot topic for me behind the chair. As hairdressers it is no secret how we get paid. We make money when we do hair, plain and simple. If you have a guest IN YOUR CHAIR and you check them out without re-booking, you're doing a disservice to yourself AND your guest. Re-booking your guests guarantees you a paycheck in 4-8 weeks, and it guarantees a time slot that works for their schedule. If you aren't walking up to that register with the re-booking seeds planted knowing the date of their next recommended appointment to seal the deal, you aren't taking your job seriously. Set yourself and your guest up for success!! Make 100% re-booking your immediate goal.

#10 Retail Sales

Statistics show that guests who purchase services AND retail are more loyal to their salon and to their hairdresser for longer lengths of time. Regardless of if your salon offers you as an employee a retail incentive, selling retail is important to your personal business behind the chair! This sets you up for success in future appointments by ensuring the integrity of your guests hair, that you KNOW what is on their hair, and that they are following a custom tailored regiment at home.

#11 Education

Trends change. Techniques change. Color technology changes. The only way that we can keep up on this is to maintain our education! Many states require continued education hours to renew your license, but some states don't. 6-20 hours every two years is NOT ENOUGH. Strive to be the best that you can be behind the chair. Continue to grow and evolve as much as you can! We owe it to ourselves and to our guests to be up to date on the world of hair color. There will always be hairdressers that keep up on their education, don't let them lap you! Be at the front of the stampede.

Be the absolute BEST service provider that you can be 100% of the time! If you haven't yet, purchase a copy of Dreaming In Color to read more about how we can better service our guests, and take more pride in what we do. Until Sunday...



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