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The Hair salon service and communication

Back2myroots : A place to share thoughts and grow idea’s. B2MR

mike vallance

 The Hair salon service and communication

It is my firm that belief that in this day and age and in such competitive times the only way to increase and expand your client base is through excellence in service, communication and technical ability. This can only be done through. Education. Team work and effective leadership by those who are training new stylists and apprentices .

Service and Communication let’s take a look into a salon.

The main reason for client loss from a salon is dissatisfaction from either the service or the final result. Taking short cuts. Compromising one’s standards and professional ethics. Leading to client dissatisfaction. When a client leaves a salon unhappy how much damage can they do to your reputation?

When a client leaves happy they will recommend you to others, they will get stopped in the street. Potentially a happy client will recommend you to 5 friends who in turn have 5 friends. Guess what an unhappy client can and will do? You got it – 5 friends will leave with them.

Having that edge!

But after building up a strong client base with strong client retention do you ever wonder why every five to six weeks you have a somewhat quiet week with not a lot booked? You start to ask yourself the question, what am I doing wrong? Am I losing my touch? Well, let’s see.

We have all had one of these. That crazy Saturday could be any day you fitted all those extra clients in. You were on a role and had a huge money day. You call your boss and say guess what I did today. You leave work on cloud nine thinking that’s it. Every day could be like this. I really feel I have made it.


Now let’s just think about this and break it down. Was it really a success?

You took short cuts, you compromised your clients who had services booked, you kept clients waiting, you rushed through things. Guess what – you lost clients. Instead of running the show you created chaos and did not give your regular clients your full attention and service. They go else where – and yes, they go with their 5 friends. So by having a crazy busy day it cost you. Short term gain meant long term loss. The key is service. Attention to detail. Making that client feel special. Creating that special time .A memory an experience that your client will talk about and share with others.

You will never get beyond having a 5 to 6 week lull until you look beyond the quick hit money – making day. You need time for the consultation. This is your time to shine, the time that reassures your client that they are special, that you are considerate and that you understand their needs and wants. Your client sees you are prepared to take that extra time to use your knowledge to make them feel comfortable and safe in a professional’s hands. It is this service that gets you talked about and recommended.

Learning the Basics and Building on Them

We assume that if a stylist is working in a salon they have satisfied the examination board and reached a professional NVQ standard of qualification. In so many cases students leave college with a good solid basic knowledge of the industry and newly qualified – the world is their oyster. But after a couple of years they become disillusioned. They blame the industry, the products, the salon owner or other staff but never take a look in the mirror to see the real problem.

In so many cases we like to stay with the safe option, never step outside the box or push the envelope. A certain level ability is attained and then we sit back thinking we know it all [ego takes over]. You might think – the salon has education updates and product reviews. But you think you were at the last one two years ago so why go again since you have heard it all before.

It is very hard to improve without admitting that you have any weaknesses or a lack of knowledge in the first place. It’s like being at school and afraid to raise your hand  because you don’t understand. You worry that your question might be seen as silly but the only foolish question is the one you don’t ask. To truly succeed in our industry we have to learn so many different skills related  to our job. These are not always in a manual. There are some life skills and some that are taught. The key is be honest with yourself. Education and knowledge is power. Know your limits and be honest about your ability and then keep learning.


A good example of this would be to do colour correction one has to have a solid knowledge of colour – both practical and theory. Ask these questions. Can it be done? Should it be done? Can I do it? 9 times out of ten correction is colour that has been messed up at home or by another semi professional stylist.  The question should be will the salon benefit from this being done? Will you as the stylist benefit from doing this? If the answer is yes then question, question question! Look, touch, consult other stylist team members and then decide how to proceed.

Whilst researching information on Wella colour, I came across this review of Koloston Colour on the website. The stylist said “I used the same colour on four different clients and never got the same colour twice. You cannot trust the swatch or the colour!” For me this highlights perfectly all the issues raised. This stylist needs to look in that mirror to understand that the starting canvas was different in each case so the same results couldn’t be expected. what exactly is needed? Let’s look at some technical skills.

Technical Skills – Colouring

  • Fully understanding of the colour wheel and laws of colour
  • Full understanding of specific colour line in salon and full knowledge of the colour manual
  • Basic colour application, re-growth application, balancing colour and refreshing colour
  • Re-growth application on grey hair and colour balancing
  • Colouring virgin hair
  • Full head bleach application
  • Toning
  • Highlighting techniques including foil, paper, cap, freehand
  • Sectioning, formulation, mixing, timing
  • All other chemical processes including perming and straightening hair

Technical Skills – Styling

  • Understanding hair types to attain the best results
  • Cutting and advanced cutting
  • Razor cutting and free style techniques
  • Blow drying
  • Finished looks and up dos
  • Avant-garde looks
  • Full knowledge of products for salon and retail use
  • For any of us to improve, like that stylist who sent in the review, we have to know honestly where are, where our strengths and weakness lie and then build on this knowledge.


Our industry is in constant change but is sometimes criticised for lacking vision in some areas. However, there is an ever growing body of professionals that has a firm commitment to our industry, that have a passion for change to raise standards through education and sharing. Leadership, education, and team incentives will over time and with commitment give any individual that ability to do exceptional work and to create an amazing work environment for all concerned.

Just like having certain skills or specialising in any given field be it Colouring. Cutting. Up/do wedding and event hair. Training is a skill to be learned. Maybe many of us should decide what we really want! Maybe owning and managing your salon should be enough for you if so make it the best it can be surround your self with the right people. 
Never forget that our business is built on what I call

The ‘Three R’s’ 
”Reputation. Recommendation. Retention”. 
It’s not built on that constant looking for new clients it’s looking after what you have! It’s investing in your self and your business and those around you.


This journey, this career, is wonderful – challenging, inspiring, and yes, hard work.

Our industry is in constant change and is sometimes criticised. For lacking vision in some areas. However there is an ever growing body of professionals. That have a firm commitment to our industry, they have a passion for change, to raise standards through education and sharing. Leadership, education and team incentives.Will over time and with commitment give any individual that ability to do exceptional work and to be more creative. Leadership and management help create an amazing work environment for all concerned. So key for success for all concerned.
This journey. This career, is wonderful – Challenging. Inspiring and yes can and will be hard work. but the rewards are worth all the effort.
Thank you all for letting me share some thoughts with you today.These are inspirational, passionate, industry professionals.They have a vision. These are the people I want on my bus to learn from, share with, take a journey with. Get inspired. Connect with driven motivated industry professional. challenge your self. invest in ones /your self 

Are you driver or passenger !

 There are no guarantees in life and ones career and career choice is no different thing happen and its how we deal with them that defines us. Jobs change relationships come and go the one thing that remains after training is our skill both hands on creative and the ones we learn about people and communication about caring about being a team player. Constantly developing new skills staying current is so very important.

I also think that we need to always look at the WhyAsk the question Why are we in business whats it for? OrWhy do we want to go into to business what is success? Why do I suggest this I think by asking and exploring the why we get to the motive behind why we want to be in business what is true success. Why the will also help us to understand our true values this in turn helps us to follow the path to the success we want  and desire. It will help us to surround ourselves with the right team those who share our values and vision.


Remember. Salon success. Stylist success. Business success are all linked together it’s Team success. Its never about any destination only ever about a journey taking the right people on that journey makes it enjoyable maybe even fun!

Mike B2MR

The salon and the S word now available in book and e book format for links to purchase and reviews Click here or on the image.


The Salon & the ‘S’ Word

 Written by Mike Vallance

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