Communication. It's a big one in this industry. Scratch that, it's a big one in life. That's why I have 30 minute paid consultations before doing someone's hair for the first time. And I am always met with looks of surprise when telling other stylists this. My time, knowledge and wisdom are valuable, so is yours. Many of us have invested much time and money into our skills. I'm not saying we all should charge but I am sharing with you why I have decided to implement this. When someone chooses me to be their hairstylist they are investing in me. I want to make sure I take the time to sit down face to face with them and get to know them before performing a service. For me, this is just as important, if not more, than the service itself.
My salon is a sacred space, a space for women to be heard and validated beyond their hair. I have created a consultation process to ensure we are not only hearing each other but we are being understood. We are connecting. At the end of the day this benefits both parties. The client understands my process and why I give the suggestions I do. They also feel comfortable and relaxed in my space and with how we will move forward. For me, I am able to give them my time and attention to understand who they are as a person and how they communicate. I watch them from the time they walk in the door and study them. Doing all of this gives me a clearer look into who they are and what they are wanting.
I also build in some 'insurance' time in a First time client appointment. Extra time so I can interact with them while doing their cut our colour. To make sure we stay on the same page. It allows time for the unexpected and for the whole getting to know each other part. If we need to add a little extra color or retone, or cut the bangs a tiny bit shorter etc, I want to make sure my new clients are walking out feeling in love with their new hair and having had a great experience.
I get asked if this process has affected my business negatively. Not one bit. My clients have responded with gratitude to this policy, many communicate relief from feeling like they have only a couple minutes to spit out what they are wanting to having someone sit down with them and hear them. It communicates that I care and I want to do my best for them.
Now don't get me wrong, I am in no way saying everyone should do this. But am sharing what works for me, my business, and the service I want to provide. I am sharing this because sometimes doing something different is scary, or we think we aren't allowed to because no one else is, and what if we succeed, sometimes success is the scariest of all.