The most common mistakes I see our inexperienced hairdressers making are:

  1. Cutting holes in a recession. They cut too much where the hairline recesses and end up with too little hair. It looks like a hole.
  2. Not being color-sensitive. They'll highlight without paying attention to what's already blonde, so they'll get a result of blonde buildup.
  3. Being unskilled at texture. We do a lot of ethnic hair and a fair amount of relaxing. We also do perming to give texture but not curl. Inexperienced stylists don't like to perm. Our new girl hadn't done a perm the whole time she was in school.
  4. Having poor posture and body positions. We work long, hard hours. If you're going to do this for the long haul, you'd better have good posture or your back, legs and shoulders are just going to kill you. That's the first thing I teach our new hires.
  5. No business skills. They don't understand about health insurance, budgeting and planning for their future. I feel somewhat responsible to teach that, but I'm not their parent. We put it out there, and sometimes I guide them toward financial advisors. Ultimately, it's each person's choice what to do with money. Being young is not an excuse as far as I'm concerned. You can be young and still be informed.

Charlie Adams, Salon XL Color & Design Group, Ann Arbor, Michigan

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