Denis DaSilva mistake 3:
Not Listening to Your Client.
“Let the client talk, don’t talk over them. Just observe them,” says Denis DaSilva, co-owner of New York’s Devachan Salon. “If you try to disagree, you’ll never win. Agree with them and then change them a little to the right or left according to what needs to be done, but never say ‘no.’” “No” is not a word your clients are going to accept easily. So, experts say, be certain you understand what they want before you react. “You’re going to have to really listen,” adds curl expert Christo, of Christo Fifth Avenue. “You’re going to have to analyze their hair, so you can give them options and ideas.”
Not Communicating Well
Curl experts say your words matter—a lot—when working with curly clients. “If you say, ‘I know exactly what I need to do,’ it just blows up in your face. Even if you do know, it just puts [the curly client] on the defense,” Ouidad says. “It’s essential to talk about how you’re going to work with the hair, what kind of movement you want to put in. You want to be able to verbalize and explain how it’s going to t and what it’s going to look like when the hair is dry.” Ouidad says you can ease a curly’s fear by saying things like, “I know layers would be too rough for your hair or it would shrink too much.” You really want to make sure curly clients know you’re not going to give them ledges, a pyramid or some other shape they dread. You need to reassure them you do understand their texture. “Make your client as comfortable and trusting as possible by saying things that resonate with them,” Ouidad advises.
Letting your Curl-Phobia Get the Best of You
Although you may feel fear when first approaching curly clients, don’t give in to it. “The first 10 years as a stylist, you’re so afraid of clients. When they want what they want, they make you concerned about that. The second 10 years, you learn how to present what is better for them, but the end result is they will push you, even though you gave them whatever they wanted,” DaSilva says. “The third 10 years, now you’re smarter. You listen, but learn how strategically to put them in a spot where you can always give them more.” Especially when it comes to color—DaSilva warns if you give the client too much control, it will be hard to get it back. “I don’t have confrontations with any clients, but if they say I want a lot of blonde highlights, I’ll put the blonde strategically in places where they will see more blonde, but not necessarily do more blonde,” he explains. “If they say I want a little red, I may know that warm brown for them is red.” DaSilva says it’s all about understanding how to interpret and balance a client’s wants and needs.