Beauty Launchpad Magazine

AUG 2018

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104 | BEAUTY LAUNCHPAD | AUGUST 2018 and instead, describe who she is and from there establish an understanding of the aesthetic that she'll ultimately be comfortable with. "This is the time to see what she's picky about, what she like or dislikes, how she wears her hair—and by having the client talk, she'll become more comfortable in your chair," agrees celebrity hairstylist Dean Banowetz (@dbano), the "Hollywood Hair Guy." Of course you'll be guiding the conversation, but there's an art to it, says Cutler. "I love open-ended comments: Tell me what you like about your hair and what you don't like about your hair," he shares. "Stylists need to establish the likes and dislikes, read between the lines and then start to narrow them down." JUDGMENT CALLS "What I've learned over the years: Nobody really knows what they want until they dissect it," Adams says. Exploration through questions helps guide clients until they begin to realize the service does or doesn't service their interests. And if they remain adamant about a drastic change that won't suit their style, hair, life or fi nances? "If I can't guarantee that I can give a client the outcome she wants, I'm not going to take her money for the service," says Adams. "An unhappy client can hurt your business and reputation." Use your judgment, but always ask as many questions as possible before passing on their business. "Our job is to please people and make them happy—not to give them a half-baked color or cut. So we say 'no' as often as we say 'yes,'" he admits. THE BENEFITS OF BABY STEPS When a client fl oats a drastic change, is there a right time to suggest baby steps? "Defi nitely," says Adams. "They're great for new clients, especially because at that point her version of subtle and drastic could be vastly different than mine." He uses this example: If a new walk-in requests a bright cherry color with no past history of big color changes (that she admits to), you could suggest a semipermanent red fi rst to ease her into the change. "It's a like a fi rst date," he laughs. "Then if she likes it, it becomes, 'Let's get engaged and then let's get married!'" "Change is scary, so fi guring out how we can start to establish change and evolve can be the best path," says Cutler. Whether a slight change with highlights or adding some layers, the goal with baby steps is to introduce comfort and help the client see herself in a different light. "That's the trickiest part: We all see ourselves in a certain light and we feel comfortable in it. But that idea can be molded so that clients see themselves a different way—and baby steps are a safe way of doing that," he explains. GOING ALL IN "Here's the thing: If a client can convince me that she's born to be a redhead, that she's happy to change her wardrobe and makeup, that she's willing to embrace the commitment to upkeep, then absolutely—I'm going to go with you all the way," says Adams. However, going all in with a drastic change can bring about buyer's remorse, Cutler mentions. To mitigate this, do away with any salesman speak. "Hairdressers have big personalities and are good at selling a look, but we have to be careful we don't use those people skills to actually take someone down a path that ends in buyer's remorse," he says. Can you really guarantee that a person who's ready to dive into a drastic change will come out on the other side a happy customer? Maybe not—but you can very well try by being thorough and honest from the get-go. "In the consultation, I let you know every single detail we have to do to get you where you want: the time, the cost and the recommended maintenance and products," says Adams. "But what the client needs to know is: This might all change when she comes back in four weeks. Having this understanding is important to start the process. I want the client to know we're embarking on a relationship together." Preferably a happy one—with many changes on the horizon. A thorough consultation is key to understanding a client's needs and building a strong relationship. GETTY IMAGES

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