• 5 Tips for Increasing Your Male Clientele

    Specializing in cutting men’s hair is more than ever becoming a very creative and lucrative part of the salon industry. The attention to detail in the craft of men’s cutting is what it’s all about. The Men’s Method by Wahl was created to teach beauty students the importance of honing the craft of men’s cutting.

    “It will instill in the student the basic considerations, skills, and most importantly confidence, which is needed to enter the field and to keep up with advancing their clipper skills through education,” says Laura VanderMoere, director of education in the professional division at Wahl. “Once a student learns and files the foundational techniques and skills into their muscle memory they will then be limited only by their imagination.”

    Here we share tips for recruiting and retaining male customers from David Raccuglia , Creative Director of Wahl Men’s Method and founder of American Crew .

    Ask questions. Always ask in detail about what he liked and didn’t like about his last haircut. Even if you previously cut it, be very interested in learning what could be better. Understanding what he liked about his last haircut is important, but understanding what you could do to enhance his experience or meet and exceed his expectations is more important.

    Educate your guest. When consulting with a new client always explain the benefits of the cut you have chosen for him. Using the right male-specific language is important, as is educating your guest about the quality as well as the features and benefits of the cut that you have designed.

    Pay attention to the details. Be consistent. Find a ritual in your service. Make the sideburns perfect, trim the eyebrows, the nose hairs, clean up the hair on the ears and shave the neckline. These areas are usually the first indication to a man that he is ready for a trim and therefore should never be overlooked. It is this professionalism that will set you apart from other barbers or stylists.

    Categorize your clients. Classic Men like timeless looks that are suited for their chosen style preference. Experimental clients try new trends and are looking for you to help them achieve the looks that are current. It is critical that you have a system to understand a client’s lifestyle and haircutting needs.

    Always re-book. Suggest to your clients that they re-book before they leave. Explain that to remain well-groomed consistent maintenance is a must. A short, crisp fade or tapered lean haircut might need upkeep at four weeks. In contrast, slightly longer textured haircuts might look great for six weeks before the shape collapses.

    Source: ModernSalon: By Chandler Rollins

  • Entry Level Cosmetology Tips

    Fresh out of beauty school, a cosmetologist is excited to get her career into full swing. With school out and a license in hand, she is able to work full time in the hair, nail and skin industries providing clients with everything from innovative hair color to gel nails to chemical peels. But, there are things a new graduate should know that will make her transition from school to career as smooth as a Brazilian blowout.

    Never Stop Learning

    Find a mentor at the salon or spa you work at and ask to watch her perform a service you want to learn more about. Take specialized classes and seek out seminars where you can learn about the newest industry techniques and products. According to Westlake, California, Kelly Kaplan, a 14-year hair stylist who has worked the Red Carpet, “It’s important to take your employer up on any free seminars they offer. Sometimes a salon sells a product line well and, in return, will offer to send the salon’s cosmetologists to a free training session. Always say ‘yes’ to these opportunities because not only are you learning new techniques, but you are opening yourself up to meeting people in your industry.”

    Know Your Limits

    When just starting out, always watch the seasoned cosmetologists working with you and ask questions. It’s important that an entry-level cosmetologist admits to a client when she is not yet confident in her abilities to do a special request. For example, if you don’t have experience with straightening chemicals or cutting certain kinds of hair, say so. “You have to be realistic when starting out,” says Kaplan. “There’s plenty of time to get comfortable with chemicals, for example, but not necessarily on your client’s time. Only perform services you are schooled in and get additional training before attempting anything trendy or risky.”

    Act Professionally

    Realize that your clients and co-workers are assessing you at all times. Style your hair, wear appropriate clothing and carry yourself well. “Working in a bustling salon with loud music doesn’t mean you should be singing along to the tunes while sculpting gel nails,” advises Kaplan. “Working in a creative industry does not mean that manners and good judgment go out the window.”

    Learn to Read People

    According to Kaplan, a cosmetologist is somewhat of a chameleon. “It’s crucial to read your client. Some people view time with a cosmetologist as a free therapy session and others just want to sit quietly and read a magazine. Know which client you have in front of you.” In addition, it’s important to keep your own business personal. Holding a client’s ear captive because you can is not professional and will eventually turn the client away. However, if the client shows interest, you know you have a talker. Engage her, and a mutual friendship might develop.

    Market Yourself

    It’s not enough to wait for a client to walk through your door. In order to be successful, says Kaplan, a cosmetologist must market herself everywhere she goes. In fact, many salons depend on their employees to promote the salon and bring in new clients. “It’s easy to drop your profession into every day conversations,” explains Kaplan. “Because a newly trained cosmetologist is largely responsible for building her own clientele, she should offer new-client discounts, specials on combo services and referral coupons when just starting out.”

    by Lisa Finn, Demand Media

  • Best Practices on How to TEACH Students to Cut Kids Hair….

    A crash course in the basics! Everyone deserves and wants a great hair cut… even kids!

    Getting your haircut can have a powerful effect on the lives of many people no matter what their age is. It is a very personal experience that has a big impact on the way they will feel when they leave your chair.

    Now, that is a big challenge that every student has when they have an adult client, but the goal is just the same with kids. Only this time with a new set of challenges for you the teacher to teach your students.

    So what can you do to help your students overcome the traumatic experiences that they may go through with cutting kids hair? How can you prepare them for some of the unforgettable, yet memorable moments they will endure, while maintaining their professionalism and building the trust kids need? Here is a crash course in the basics.

    Teach your students WHY… The first reason why so many kids dislike getting a hair cut is because of what they are afraid of. The word cut! Kids don’t know yet that it is a good feeling to get your hair cut. They think they are going to get hurt when they see these shinny silver scissors coming toward them or a buzzing noise headed to their ear or neck, their hair all wet, a plastic cape on, looking at their selves in the big mirror. It’s scary for a kid, especially if it is their first time.

    Be Professionally Prepared Make sure your students have all their equipment ready. Remind them of how important it is to NOT be looking around for their tools, water bottle, scissors, etc. Share the importance of having the right equipment and how it will help them build the confidence they need to perform, and develop good habits that will prepare them for that “anything is possible moment” that can happen during a kids hair cut service.

    Take your TIME Some students are just as scared as the kids! Help relax them by coaching them slowly during these trying times and teaching them to go in waves with the haircut. If they feel like the kid is sitting nicely, tell them to try real hard to get as much done as they can while the child is calm. If the child is starting to move around, or starts to cry, or tries to get out of the chair, you need to tell the student to STOP take a break and just wait to resume. Sometimes the hair cut goes on for a long time, and the student needs to know that they have to adapt and adjust to the situation. Over time they will discover little techniques that will make them feel more at ease, as you know practice and experience are always the best teachers.

    Make it FUN Going to get your hair cut can and should be fun. It depends on the person doing it. Teach your students to remind themselves of the things they like. Perhaps they can choose some fun music or listen to an audio book to help distract from all the other things and people in the salon. Tell students to try using a pad to watch a video or offer a little healthy snack in-between the breaks of crying, or too much moving around. Remind them to not feed them while cutting; it is very messy and unsanitary.

    Help your students know the importance of going the extra mile even with the kids. Recommend that they have a SPECIAL cape for their young guest, and that will help make them feel like they are special; they will think they are the only one who gets to wear it. Make sure it’s soft and not plastic and has something playful on it that makes them remember and want to wear it.

    Teach students to get playful, to let their tools come alive and create some memory with them. Share little tips like, you can take the fear out of the water bottle by telling kids that when you are wetting their hair down it’s kind of like a bird getting a bath. Another great trick is to let your young guest be the stylist by giving them your comb or brush to pretend with. Maybe even let them try it on their parent or sibling.

    Tell students to try to always end with some nice smelling talc and a super soft neck brush, this helps get rid of all the little itchy hairs and ends their time with you pleasant and positive.

    A great class project you can try is to simply ASK your students about their personal experiences as a kid for their haircuts; what did they like or dislike? Or create a field trip and bring them to a few kid friendly salons to observe how they treat their young guests.

    As we all know, you never know how it will go with clients, let alone the challenge of kids…best advice, treat each young guest with TLC and watch the magic happen in your chair.

    Source: Kathy Jager-educational solutions

  • Cosmetology: Not Just for Women Anymore!

    Just as some fields of work were once reserved exclusively for men, the field of cosmetology used to be viewed as a women-only zone. Times are changing, though—increasingly large numbers of men are enrolling in cosmetology schools across the nation. Now that the beauty industry is roaring, talent is no longer limited by gender. Some of the most successful makeup artists and hairdressers in the world are men, and the sky is now the limit.

    Iconic male figures aren’t hard to find in the beauty industry. In fact, some of the most cutting-edge beauty products to hit the market were invented by men, including laser treatments that actually stimulate collagen growth. This isn’t really news, though—men have been rocking the world of cosmetology for a very long time.

    In 1914, Max Factor, a young Polish peddler of wigs, hair products, and cosmetics, created a revolutionary alternative to the thick, clownish makeup being slapped on the faces of Hollywood’s silent film stars. He went on to work with legendary starlets such as Jean Harlow, Bette Davis, and Judy Garland.

    Then, around 1955, Vidal Sassoon, a former political activist, began honing the only craft he knew: Hairdressing. By imitating the upper-class accents of London’s high society crowd, he gained high-profile clients, and by 1963 he was known worldwide for his groundbreaking, modern hairstyles. He went on to work with some of the world’s most famous females , including Rita Hayworth and Mia Farrow.

    Makeup legend Kevyn Aucoin knew what he wanted to do with his life by the age of 11. After practicing diligently for years and moving to the Big Apple in 1983, his innovative techniques convinced the likes of Cher, Tina Turner, and Cindy Crawford to join his star-studded client list . Though he passed away in 2002, his famed cosmetics bible, Making Faces , still ranks among the top twenty best-selling beauty and fashion books.

    While males currently make up only about 16% of beauty industry workers, more opportunities are cropping up every day, leading to a healthy boost in male interest regarding cosmetology. With American jobs being outsourced and downsized all the time, the benefits, growth, and success of the beauty industry are starting to look pretty attractive to today’s job-seeking men.

    Enrollment in cosmetology school has also become a choice based on logic and shrewd planning as well as passion and personal interest. In other words, men don’t have to be mascara connoisseurs or hairspray fanatics in order to succeed in the beauty industry. Caring for one’s personal appearance is now embraced by both sexes—the male grooming products industry is expected to boast $33 billion in new revenue within the next couple of years alone. Knowing this, it’s not surprising that an expanding number of men are realizing what they’re missing by not getting in on the beauty boom.

    Some male cosmetology students want to gain a skill that can benefit them later in life; some want to enjoy the perks of a lucrative career path ; and some just want the overall happiness that comes from working one of the most rewarding, flexible, and stable jobs in the country . Whatever their reasoning, jumping on the cosmetology bandwagon has proven to be a smart choice for countless men.

    Cosmetologists have always benefited from the stability of their occupation, and it doesn’t look like that will be changing anytime soon. Not only do salon-industry professionals have an extremely high rate of self-employment ( 33%, to be exact ), but they also have an unemployment rate that’s a good 2.3% lower than that of the rest of the nation . As an added bonus, big-budget companies will never be able to dominate the market: small, locally owned beauty companies have the upper hand when it comes to prime locations, carefully-honed technical skills, and area-specific marketing. After all, a huge corporate chain will never be able to cater to a Texas native the way a true Lone Star salon can.

    As far as the future of the beauty industry goes, it’s looking pretty darn bright. Revenue growth is expected to skyrocket to $49.3 billion by 2017, and overall employment for cosmetologists is expected to increase by 14% (that’s 100,900 newly-hired people) by 2020. The future isn’t the only time that shines, either: beauty professionals enjoyed a rare state of security during the nation’s disastrous recession. While the United States’ private sector lost almost 2 million jobs in the years between 2000 and 2011, the beauty industry added 75,000 jobs during the same time period. Imagine what a powerhouse it will prove to be when the national economy is thriving.

    In short, cosmetology is open to people from all walks of life, men included. The chance to jump into one of the strongest, most prosperous industries in the world is well within reach. All you have to do is take it.

    Source: Ogle School of Hair, Skin, & Nails