Hair Styles CLOSEUP with Eufora Co-Founder Don Bewley: Is Long Hair Ruining the Salon Industry?

Eufora co-founder Don Bewley shares his thoughts on what trends he believes both benefit and hurt the salon industry. His latest mission is getting the word out about why long hair may be ruining the industry.

Celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston and Kim Kardashian sport beautiful, long hair styles. Clients who aim to mimic these celebrities spend a longer time between services, roughly 3 - 4 months. Don says that a stylist needs about 200 clients with short hair to be successful, while the same stylist would need about 600 clients with long hair. According to Don, changing the long hair mentality starts with the salon staff. If the staff wears amazing short cuts like a great clean bob or a chin length graduated haircut, clients will come in and see how fantastic the stylists look and begin to request similar styles.

Another important step to leading clients away from long hair is with a great dry consultation. The stylist should tell clients how to accentuate their best features with their cut rather than bringing attention to their lesser features with long, straight hair.

Launchpad spoke to Don to find out more about his consultation philosophy, get some advice about how to prepare clients for a new look and talk about the latest short hair trends:

It must be a challenge when clients want a celebrity's style that doesn't work with their features. What is the best way to guide them towards a different style?
The most important thing to establish with your clients is trust. If they don't trust you, they won't listen to your opinions no matter how right you are. The consultation is the most critical conversation you have with your clients and it often helps to develop that trust between the client and stylist. Most of the time clients have no idea what will look great on them. This is where you come in. You must explain to them why the style or cut won't work for them in a way that makes sense. It may be that they have a bone structure, hair texture, density of hair, forehead height or hairline that won't work for the cut. Whatever the reason may be, you have to explain why this style won't work in an easy-to-understand clear way. Next, try to identify what it is about the celebrity style they like. From there, you will be able to design a style with similar features that will work for your client's hair type, face shape, etc.

If a client has their heart set on long hair, what are some services that you can offer to get them back to the salon more often?
Just because a client wants longer hair, doesn't mean that you can't design a beautiful hair cut for them. Not all long hair has to be plain and straight. If the hair is long, but has a designed cut, it will need to be maintained with visits to the salon. In addition, long hair needs to be healthy in order to look good. Unfortunately, longer hair often has been chemically treated, colored from an early age, etc. To combat this, encourage clients to keep regular appointments for professional deep conditioning treatments and trims that will ensure they come back to keep the hair in great shape. I also believe that long hair is the reason for the rise in popularity of the "blow out" bar. Keep your stylists busy by offering stylish blowouts to compete with these venues or add in blow outs as an up-sell to other services.

If a woman does not have delicate features can she still look stylish with short hair? In your opinion, what shaped face looks best with short hair? Is there a hairstyle that works on everyone?
I don't believe there is a one-size fits all approach to short hair. The haircut is art. The stylist should design it based on the client's facial features. If the guest has soft features, then they should wear a hard line. If they have hard features, the client's hair should have soft lines. The stylist should also take into consideration if the client has round face, square face, oval face or heart-shaped face. Its important for stylists to look at a cut with an artistic eye in order to determine what will look best on his or her client.

Do you think Miley Cyrus has started a trend for younger women who usually sport long hair to cut their hair short?
I hope so. I imagine young women who follow her will be inspired to cut their hair or to at least try a new look. I truly believe that we need to bring the art of the precision haircut back to the salon. Eufora has always been committed to precision haircutting and this is why we have a comprehensive Academy in California. We teach master cutting, styling and finishing skills in several core disciplines.

How do you prepare someone for short hair who is used to having long locks?
It's often quite a shock for the client to make a significant change. They are accustomed to looking in the mirror and seeing themselves one way and a change, even though it may be beautiful, can take some time to get used to. The most important aspect of making a big change on a client is to communicate with them. As I said before, the consultation is critical. It will help prepare the guest for the change they are about to make. I also suggest that every stylist have a "look book" of work they've done on others. A picture is worth a thousand words and being able to show the client what you're talking about will help put them at ease. Clearly communicating with the client before the change will eliminate the "freaking out" result.

Have you ever seen a client freak out over a major change even though it is what they asked for and how do you handle that?
I have only had this happen a few times and you always have to keep the guest relaxed. I never cut a client's hair without feeling the guest was ready. However, when this does happen you need to stay focused and finish the look. From there, I try to explain to the guest how to style the look at home and show the versatility of the cut.

What short trends do you think will be hot this fall?
I love the designer looks that are created for the individual rather than a general trend. The trend is not necessarily one celebrity look like the "Jennifer Aniston" in the 90's. I think those days are over. The new trend is definitely the individual look that is right for each and every person.

[Image courtesy of West Public Relations]

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