Posted on: July 11th, 2012 by Beauty Schools Directory No Comments
It’s the age old question of what women want. And men, too. What are customers looking for when they choose a salon? A recent research study from Pivot Point International showed that consumers have specific desires in the types of salons that they visit. Some of the most important factors that clients consider in choosing a particular salon are the sanitation of the salon, location of the salon, punctuality of the hair designers and the cost of cuts. The same research study found that over 50 percent of hair clients visit their salon more than six times in a year. Hair shaping is one of the most sought-after services by clients. It also became apparent that clients want more than a good haircut when they visit a salon. They want to be treated with respect and be in an inviting atmosphere that has a warm ambiance. In addition to these base desires, there are a few other things that clients seek out in salons:
Clients Want Strong Relationships
After a client has visited a particular hairstylist more than a few times, he or she wants to feel like “part of the crowd.” Some elderly people get their only social interaction in the fun atmosphere of a salon. They want to know that they matter to their hairstylists on a personal level. A hairstylist can establish a long and loyal relationship with a client by listening to the client and respect his or her wishes for their hair cut, color and style. The client wants to know that his or her lifestyle has been taken into account when a stylist does his or her hair. For example, a busy mother of five children may want a cute style that does not take hours to achieve in the morning. On the other hand, a young woman in her 20s with no children may have a little more time in the morning may want a trendy haircut that makes her feel like a model and is happy to spend a bit of time doing it every morning.
Clients Want Valuable Services
Clients like to feel like their hairstylists go above and beyond for them in delivering hair cutting, coloring and styling services. Any extra gesture that a stylist can add to an appointment will help a client feel appreciated, and hopefully become a loyal returning client who refers his or her friends for your services. This is a great reason to keep up with cosmetology continuing education - make sure you are continually growing and evolving as a stylist so you can offer new services to your clients. Whether a stylist offers a free sample of a new shampoo product or gives an incredible scalp massage, there are numerous ways that a stylist can add some value to a hair appointment at no cost to the client and make them feel truly special.
Clients Want Clean Salons
Hair clients want to know that a salon staff takes pride in its salon. One way that a staff does this is by keeping the floors swept and keeping mirrors clean, as well as all stylist stations neat and tidy. Clients also want to be able to breathe in a salon space without smelling the vapor of nail polish or other chemical substances throughout their entire appointment – make sure you’re ventilating well. Not only do clients appreciate the cleanliness of a salon, but a salon also benefits from its dedication to a clean environment. Minimize the salon’s liability for injury or infection by keeping cleanly swept and dry floors that are safe for clients to walk on, and sanitize all equipment properly to protect client safety. If you’re proud of your salon’s level of cleanliness, feel free to brag about it a little with signs customers see right when they walk in the door!
This shouldn’t be news to anyone. Every one of us should be living and breathing this model day-in and day-out in the salon setting. In short, clients just want to go to a salon that they know has a professional environment and has hairstylists who are committed to their jobs and want to give great haircuts and styles. So make sure you’re delivering on strong relationship-building, adding value to your services and maintaining a clean salon setting and you will be well-equipped to attract new customers, keep loyal customers, and get lots of referral business from satisfied client.
Some people out of the loop don’t take cosmetology seriously. They think we sit around all day just making people pretty. While that’s definitely part of it and easily the best parts of our jobs, there is so much more to cosmetology school, and you might be surprised at some of the things students learn. Cosmetology students take substantive courses that teach them far more than the processes for creating the latest hair styles or achieving the perfect shade of highlights. In cosmetology programs, students are often required to take courses that educate them about the anatomy and physiology of the body, trichology, and the proper sterilization procedures for hair styling equipment, and so much more. Cosmetology schools help a student obtain a well-rounded, serious and meaningful education so that the student can provide the best services for the client. So check out the top four things you would never guess a student learns in cosmetology school and discover why cosmetology is a career that is valuable and should be taken seriously!
Anatomy and Physiology of Hair, Skin and Nails
Stylists will take extensive courses in cosmetology school that cover the physical make-up of the body and an understanding of anatomy. Because cosmetologists come into contact with the scalp region, it is important that cosmetologists understand its construction so as to spot potential issues and avoid harmful effects of treatments like infections or rashes. Ever heard of trichology? It deals with the scientific study of the hair and scalp, and it’s not something to be taken likely!
Safety, Sanitation and Sterilization
Hairstylists learn how to properly clean hair rollers, irons, brushes, scissors, combs and every other tool they use in a cosmetology program. Cosmetology students also learn how to maintain an immaculate work station for client safety and their own safety. They learn how to spot illnesses in the scalp and protect other clients from being exposed to a client’s dandruff or lice problem. By learning these skills, cosmetologists learn how to avoid negligent situations in the workplace for which they and their salon would be held legally liable, and prevent customers from ending up with serious health conditions that will tarnish your and your salon’s reputations.
Chemistry of Color, Treatments and Beauty Products
The typical program at a cosmetology school requires 1500 to 2000 hours of coursework depending on your state, and that includes real, hands-on practice styling hair and performing other beauty services. A majority of these hours are spent in learning how to properly mix hair color and perform special hair treatments for clients. Stylists will learn how to use relaxers and perform a partial or full set of highlights. A student can complete these hours over a 9- to 15-month course depending on their state. There are specific requirements that must be met within the program in order to take board exams and get licensed. One of the most important requirements a student must meet is a set number of hours (determined by the boards of cosmetology or cosmetology schools) dedicated to theory and the study of chemistry. Studying the chemistry of hair color is one of the most important skills a beauty student learns, because more often than not they will work in a salon where stylists are responsible for mixing their own color.
Business Skills like Salesmanship, Ethics, Client Relations and Shop Management
Working with clients and being able to relate to them is an important aspect of being a stylist or other personal appearance worker. Many salons depend on stylists to market to new clients and promote the salon. A stylist is largely responsible for building their own loyal client base. A stylist will usually study professionalism and communication with clients in a beauty school program. Cosmetology students will often find that sales and marketing skills, critical thinking for ethical decisions, client relations and retention, and salon and spa management are skills they get with the cosmetology school package.
These are 4 things that every cosmetologist should learn in beauty school. Cosmetology school exposes students to valuable information that directly helps them become better professionals in the workplace, and keeps the public safe and satisfied.
Posted on: May 18th, 2012 by Beauty Schools Directory No Comments
Erin Guzik is currently a Designer Stylist in Muskogee, Oklahoma with seven years of cosmetology experience. She is also a Business Marketing major at the University of Phoenix. Before finding her passion in the beauty industry, Erin managed a team in the customer service industry and realized her desire to help individuals grow to their fullest potential. Erin aspires to combine her love for cosmetology and her knowledge in business to educate cosmetology students and new stylists on how to successfully build their business, and stay motivated.
On my first day of beauty school, I was asked why I wanted to get into the beauty industry. Most girls said a typical 4-year university didn’t work for them, but they wanted to make good money fast, and that’s what they were told they could do. Although money did matter to me, I truly wanted to make people feel better. We live in a society that is so hard on the way people look on the outside. Either way, no matter what the goal is, all of these things take time, motivation, dedication, and development. As frustrating as it may seem, it’s rare that a stylist’s clientele grows to great lengths overnight. Sadly, it seems that salons become a revolving door for new stylists. In my first year as a stylist, I worked in 4 different salons. How I did I ever expect to gain and retain a committed clientele, when I wasn’t even really committed to one place to work?
The frustrations and pressures are high when a student graduates any kind of higher education, and they continue to escalate as the student loan payments roll in. Recent graduates get frustrated as they watch seasoned stylists interact with client after loyal client, while their own salon chair is empty. We’ve all been there. When I graduated, I didn’t know what I wanted in a salon. I didn’t know realistically how much money I needed to make to survive, versus how much money I wanted to make. I also had a lot of debt from school. Working to pay for school full-time while going to school full-time was a crazy juggling act, but dealing with the debt of it all after the fact is even harder. I felt those frustrations daily, especially when there’s no one on the books and I’m scrambling for appointments. How does a stylist work through those frustrations? How can you make the best of what you have, instead of moving on to the next thing you think is going to be better? Is the grass ever really that much greener on the other side?
In the time I have been in my salon, I have seen seven new stylists come and go. Seven just seems so extreme to me, and nothing about them screamed “unsuccessful.” When talking to them before they left, their biggest issue was the fact that they weren’t making any money, and they had a list of other people to blame that spanned from floor to ceiling. Most of the girls had just started at that salon, and some were even in the industry less than a year. According to salary.com, the average hairstylist’s yearly income after two to four years of experience is $23,809.
Recently, I moved from Chicago to Oklahoma. I went from managing a salon full time, to being behind the chair on a daily basis as a stylist. I have only been in my current salon for seven full months, and I am booked about 50% of the time. Five years ago, I used to be the girl with that laundry list, blaming any and every one for my small paychecks and unsuccessful time as a new stylist. When I made the move to Oklahoma, I thought my cosmetology career was about to take a big hit. I was terrified to start out from square one. Rather than keep that frame of thought, I made a list of things that not only I could do, but I needed to do in order to be successful in my new salon. I promised myself, that no matter how hard it got, I would stick to my list, take a deep breath, and give it some time.
Besides, I had tried every other approach; including hopping from salon to salon, position to position, hoping things would change. They say the definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior over and over again, expecting different results. I was one insane hairstylist! In the name of education, these are four key parts to my list. Every stylist and every situation is different, but in the end, we can all learn from one another’s experiences. My hope in sharing this is to add to my list, and reach out to stylists new and old. Hopefully you can add to your list, or start your own path to success!
There is money out there to pay for cosmetology school, and sadly, it isn’t being claimed! I can’t tell you how many times I hear girls say, “Oh, I won’t get that scholarship anyway!” You don’t know until you try! The only way to decrease your debt is by finding a way to do so. The average cost of beauty school ranges from $4,000 to $10,000 dollars. If you don’t find the money to pay for it, that money will catch up to you in 6 months to a year in the form of student loans. If you plan ahead, some of that could be taken care by saving diligently, but you could also get some extra help if you put yourself out there and someone on a scholarship board sees your true potential! Not only is that a true compliment, but it’s a great way to decrease stress as a new stylist! (Apply for the Beauty Schools Directory $2,500 cosmetology scholarship.)
Get Your Feet Wet in the Pond of Research!
I made the mistake of just walking in to a salon, applying, going on one interview, not asking any questions and accepting the job. I also made the mistake of doing that time and time again. Things always look great on the outside, but internally they could be a mess. Check a salon out before you even apply there. Scout out salons in your area before even telling them you are a stylist seeking employment. Get a conditioning treatment, or a quick manicure. Watch how the girls interact. Are they helpful to one another? Do they look happy to be there? Can you see yourself being successful at one of their chairs? Where is the manager? Are they involved in the functioning of the salon, or are they not visible? How is the stylist treating you?
Never Walk Into a Salon Job Interview Empty-Handed
Not only do you need a cover letter and a resume, and hopefully a portfoliowith photos your work, but you need to walk in with a list of questions that matter to you! Do not treat interviews only as employers’ time to get to know you. It is a time for you to get to know that employer, too! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. A stylist has to think about a place of employment more like a home, rather than just a job. You are going to live there, in this salon, with your clients for years to come! You don’t buy a house without checking it out a few times, and asking questions about its history! Some of my favorite questions to ask in salon job interviews are:
On average, how many walk-ins does your salon have on a daily basis?
What are your highest traffic days?
As a manager, what kind of development opportunities do you offer your stylists?
Does the company offer any promotional tools to new stylists like referral cards, sales or promotions?
Is there any ongoing training offered by the company?
What is your management style? What are your expectations for a new stylist?
So once you’ve done the research, found the perfect salon, and have a schedule and a chair… now what?
Stay Motivated! Find Clients! Don’t Expect Them to Find You!
Don’t just think that the walk-ins are going to roll on in, and everything is going to be great without you putting out any effort. We have all seen it before. You don’t have anything on your books, so you grab the latest fashion magazine, and start reading till a walk-in lands in your salon. What is that doing to proactively build your business? Nothing. If your salon has samples, create a little information packet for new clients. I like to put together a sample, a menu, and a business card. Walk around the area and pass them out to people. If you’re in a corporate setting, like a store, chances are you can work the traffic in that store. Strike up a conversation. I like to find something I like about that person, and something I can improve for them. For example, if I leave the salon to scout clients, and I see a lady with a great pair of shoes, I’ll stop her and compliment them. Then I can introduce myself as a stylist. The person now feels good about their shoes and good about you because you noticed them. It’s perfect timing to tell them about how great highlights would complement their hairstyle. Either way, if your backside is in a chair, instead of a client’s back side, you aren’t making a dime! You can’t blame the salonfor not supplying you with clients. You have to get out there and find them yourself, and it isn’t as scary as you think. In the sales game, for every five people you ask, you may only get one return. I think that’s the wrong way of looking at things. If you go out every day you work, and you get one person back in your chair, that is five new clients a week – hopefully ones that keep coming back for more! If those five clients love your work (which I know they will), and refer one friend each, that’s 10 new clients! The results will snowball, and your business will grow in no time!
Stay Patient! Give it Time!
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and that bad haircut you got doesn’t grow out overnight, so don’t expect to be double-booked your first week out of school. Stylists have to be patient, and it’s really hard. By looking for scholarships, reducing your debts, finding the perfect salon for you, and regularly scouting out new clients, you will give yourself more time to grow your clientele in one place faster than if you hop from salon to salon. You typically will not start to see returns until six weeks after you see your first client. It is hard to track success if you’re gone before people can come back to you. Clients need time to associate you with your salon. Give it a chance, and take a deep breath. Share your frustrations with a manager and ask for help before you start applying to new salons. Track your growth and your numbers so nothing is a surprise, and I promise that you will see improvement.
There is much more to my list, and I would be happy to share it with any stylist needing help, so feel free to email me! I would also love to see your lists. What are you going to do to launch your career into success? In the end, it’s all up to you!
Interview with Kathy Jager - Cosmetology Author It takes more than just being great at cutting hair to be a huge success in the beauty business. It takes top notch client consultation, relentless marketing, a growing and steady clientele, professionalism and poise, and much more. We interviewed author Kathy Jager, who has more than 30 years of experience in the beauty business, about what it takes to really make it in the cosmetology business.
Interview with Meg Haas - Blowdry Bar Owner Blow Dry Bars are the hottest new beauty salon on the scene, and one has opened up in the heart of Kansas City. No cutting and coloring here, though – it’s all about hair design and styling! Parlor is Kansas City’s first blow-dry and cosmetic bar. We checked in with Meg Haas, the owner of Parlor, a “beauty bar” located on the Kansas City Plaza to find out more about what a blowdry bar is, what kinds of clients they serve and services they perform, and what she looks for in blow dry bar employees as a salon owner.
Interview with Brenda Corona - Scholarship Winner It was an incredibly special moment when the Beauty Schools Directory team was able to surprise Brenda Corona from Las Vegas, Nevada on Skype with a $2,500 scholarship for esthetics school. We would like to thank every single applicant who told us their story and applied for the scholarship to pursue their dreams and attend a beauty school or cosmetology school, and everyone who had a hand in making this scholarship possible. Congratulations, Brenda! We are so excited for you!