2014 is all about revolution; it’s about hairdressers embracing change by saying and doing things differently. This year, I’m focusing on helping stylists take back their chairs by communicating differently. Saying the same old things over and over yields the same old results, but approaching conversations in new ways with innovate new words catches attention, creates excitement and starts conversations.
For instance, instead of saying "asymmetrical," try saying "tilted." Your clients will most likely say, “What do you mean?” and that’s exactly what you want them to say. You want them to hear a new word and want to learn more; change the language you use behind the chair to get the conversation started again so that it fits today’s world. Keep it simple - everything today needs to be simple and quick.
Instead of saying "versatile," say "double identity." Clients again might say, “What do you mean?” and you can explain that if you use rectangular sections, they can get multiple identities out of one haircut. Instead of saying "disconnected," which they’ve heard a million times, try saying "detached." The idea is that once you get a key word in play, you can develop the conversation and therefore expand on the services you offer.
Changing language to start conversation, there’s your revolution. Not always starting cuts in the back, using new patterns to cut hair faster, there’s your revolution. And it’s all done with precision, intent and purpose, there’s your revolution!
I was recently teaching a class where I picked up a mannequin head with a Dorothy Hamill inspired look and, turning to the class, said “Ah, you’ve never seen this before…” as an example of how we keep doing the same things over and over again. I then explained that by using rectangle sections, they could create new identities all in one cut – the Hamill, a bob, comb it a different way and then you have an asymmetrical look and then parted in the middle it looks like a one-length bob. It’s not about teaching one look, it’s about providing techniques and patterns so that everyone can find a piece of the pattern they can use, either by incorporating it into cuts they already do to make them faster and better, or by using them to create new looks that can be cut faster.
Rectangle sections aren’t new, they’re just more in sync with the times. Everything is about quickness, not sacrificing quality, but delivering it in new and exciting ways that meet clients’ expectations in a short period of time. Rectangle sections allow a stylist to deliver texture and movement quickly, but in a controlled way.
The same goes for blow drying. Women are busy, they want you to do their hair quickly and they want to be able to do it at home quickly too, so show them tips on the fastest ways to achieve the looks they want. I’m inspired by fashion, so very often my techniques correlate. In 2014, my finishing is built on different patterns for blow drying inspired by different cuts of fabric. Using various patterns, such as bias sections, can produce very controlled results in a short period of time.
In essence, it comes down to delivering more value to your clients, and by value I don’t mean an added service, I mean value in terms of knowledge. Take control of your chair and use new language to start a conversation to share your knowledge – that’s what adds value to your service. If a client mentions a movie, comment that you liked the hair and give tips on how to achieve the look. It’s up to you to share your knowledge; your value as a hairdresser is your knowledge.
This year, I’m taking the industry and shaking it upside down. Either you’re with me or you’re not - hope to see you on the road!
-Sam Villa, Founding Partner of the Sam Villa® brand and Education Artistic Director for Redken 5th Avenue
[Image courtesy of Glow Communications]