** I don’t have all the answers but I found the people who did!
Q: I am an independent hairdresser and I am having trouble picking a brand that is not on Amazon:
A: There are plenty of brands right now that are not sold on Amazon. Even brands who do not want to be, are thrown on their by people selling a brand illegally. The diverters are your enemy not the brand. Diversion is a huge threat to our industry and equally as damaging to a brand. It’s a confusing topic and a hot debate. Tough love here but if you are creating the right culture with your clientele it does not matter where something is sold. Find a brand or category that means something to you… like clean beauty!
I am seeing great options in clean beauty and haircare. Many great bands hopped on the band wagon early but clean beauty is making some amazing advancements. Clean beauty is unique and a great healthy option to offer your clients anyway! Right now I am enjoying Oway.
I am not the most educated person on clean beauty. I try my best to be responsible with what I put on my skin, but I admit I could do better. This week on Good Morning America, there was a segment on how much your body absorbs parabens and other potentially harmful ingredients.
Here is the link if you're interested:
Clients will be happy to hear your suggestion on products for this reason. Clean beauty is a lot of research and clients will trust your conclusions. I am a big believer in NOT pointing fingers and honestly I could care less if a product is sold down the street or anywhere.
I feel if I am doing my job and taking ownership of my clientele in the way they should expect, they will not buy from anyone else but me, the professional. I am their hair expert! Not Amazon.
Q: My boss who owns the salon will not let me have my phone on the floor. How do I take pictures for social media if I am not allowed to have my phone:
A: I have been in this situation and it’s not fun. You are an adult and should be allowed to have your phone on the floor. I understand wanting to be treated like an adult and a professional. However, let me ask you a question….. Is that all you are doing with your phone? I do not work with you so that is not me to decide. Salon owners make no cell phone rules because stylists get wrapped up in their phones as may people do these days. The problem is, when a client comes in and does not get greeted the way they should it is a problem for salon culture. If everyone has their heads down in their cell phones, we sometimes do not give the clients the attention they deserve.
If your boss insists on no cell phones, my suggestion is to sit down and try a compromise first. Staff could take turns having their phones. The person with their phone is on social media duty. This person would take pictures for everyone. This controls the awkward atmosphere of everyone distracted on their phones yet always getting pictures for Instagram.
Q: I just got out of beauty school. How do I find a mentor to apprentice?
A: I would suggest offering to do the Instagram for a stylist looking to learn or too busy to do it. This could even be a stylist of a “certain age” who knows everything you need to know about hair. I recently helped a “veteran stylist” (so many meanings to this word) how to look up hair inspiration and videos. Look, your first salon doesn't have to be the coolest salon. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. What I will say is the best hair I ever learned was from a roller set queen. Sets are the foundation of everything!
I am honestly afraid for hairdressers today that they are starting in a time where messy beachy hair is all the rage. Quite frankly, beachy hair is easy: even easier if you have a Sarah Potempa Beachwaver iron! I really wish that young hairdressers starting to assist would attach themselves to a good ole’ veteran and learn some old school hair!
Pretty soon perfectly polished hair is going to come back again and you will need the foundations of hair. Please respect it and let your first mentor be the person you can find who has worked behind the chair the longest.
Q: Why do I keep losing followers on my hair page?
A: Because you're not giving any love. You are so focused on posting what you want to show that you are not liking or commenting on anyway else’s. Social Media is a community. Not interacting is like standing silent in a party and wondering why people walk away!
I love to see what people are doing. Talking is my specialty and sometimes too much, but I love interacting with other hairdressers on social media. The beauty industry is my sport and social media is my girly version of fantasy football. I shouldn't care so much but I DO! Treat it like the community it is and start talking and interacting.
Q: I am having trouble building my social media for my salon. What am I doing wrong?
A: It could be that you are not consistent but it also may be that you are not giving people a reason to follow you. I grew up in a small town and did not really understand a neighborhood until I moved to Jersey City, NJ.
Living in Jersey City taught me what shopping local really means. There really is no competition in a neighborhood. In JC, restaurants worked together because they understood people feel like different types of food depending on their mood. Working together kept all the diners in the neighborhood. Your salon Instagram should be the same. Are you posting about a fabulous new business? Are you giving anyone else on the street some love? This begins to build those relationships and your followers will grow as that is returned.
No one drives that far for their salon. Find who has the biggest following in town and go strike up a partnership. Don’t just post a place you enjoy. Go make friends and work together. I have even worked with salons in the same town that refer clients to the other salon for straightening treatments and that salon refers bright vivid fashion colors to the other. You can both have a specialty. Be a good neighbor and your social media will grow.
Q: How do I find new staff?
A: In the salon industry, poaching stylists is the most frowned upon practice. It is perfectly reasonable to post job ads and social media announcements to make the industry aware that you are hiring. Part of looking for new staff is to be creating a place where a top stylist wants to work. This process starts way before you are actually in need of new staff. If you are creating a positive work environment, you most likely wont even need to go looking. You will have a list of hairstylists waiting to join. Good and bad news both travel fast.
Q: What is the best insurance for an independent hairstylist?
A: I talked to a lot of hairstylists this week to ask what they like best. Insurance is unique to each individual and incredibly personal. Yet I was amazed a lot of you told me you love Salon Gold by Hiscox. I checked the out myself and was so excited to see all that they offer. Check them out and inquire for pricing. We are so lucky to have this kind of resource these days. Total game changer.