Ratner Artistic Director Rodney Cutler is helping to lead Hair Cuttery’s “Change it Up” campaign.
Redken’s new Color Lacquers will support haircolor makeovers for Hair Cuttery’s Change it Up initiative.
As a stylist, you’re often the “maintenance maven.” Keep the ends trimmed, the roots touched up, the highlights fresh. But you play another significant role in your clients’ lives. You’re also the source of transformation inspiration, nudging and guiding them along towards fresh style discoveries. When you do—with a new cut or color, or even a small tweak in length or proportion or finishing—it can be life-altering. Your talent and imagination can do wonders for your clients’ attitudes, reshaping their outlook and igniting their confidence.
Ratner Artistic Director Rodney Cutler is a seasoned pro when it comes to transformations. (Remember when Emma Watson symbolically shed her old life with a new pixie cut? That was Rodney’s work.) Cutler is part of Hair Cuttery’s new “Change it Up” campaign celebrating stylists’ transformational skills.
“Our salons offer something wholly unique in the hair styling space,” says Dennis Ratner, CEO and Founder of Ratner Companies and Hair Cuttery salons. “We give our guests the opportunity to change up their look on a whim, with expertly trained stylists guiding their experience and great products to work with--all at an unbeatable price.”
To kick off the Change it Up campaign, Hair Cuttery has launched a pop-up exhibit in Tyson’s Corner, VA. The first-ever Insta Exhibit for hairstyling features a hair drying wind tunnel and shampoo bubbles-inspired ball pits. The experiential exhibit celebrates the fun and whimsy of beauty. ““There is nothing like the joy of changing your hair. It’s fun, it’s momentous, and it makes you feel instantly beautiful,” says Liz Hodges, VP of Guest Experience at Ratner Companies. “We always strive to be our best self each and every day--that's where the change comes in. A little or big change can transform you. Change It Up is an interactive experience like none other; it lets you share your change moment with your best friends IRL and with the world on social media.”
In the spirit of change, here are six of Rodney Cutler’s top tips for being a successful change agent in your salon.
Start with the conversation. “A new hairstyle or color is an easy way to change someone’s look quickly,” says Cutler, “but before I do anything, I start with a conversation about where they are in their lives at the moment. The client must be 100 percent ready to make a big change. Even more than looking good, they must FEEL good about their new look.”
Give your client some homework. Sometimes it’s smart to ease clients into big transformations. Cutler likes to assign “homework” when a change is being considered. “I ask them to bring photos of looks that inspire them to their next appointment,” he says, “which gives me a better idea of what they’re thinking. Plus it gives them time to think about a look that will make them feel great.”
Start small. Not every client wants, or needs, a huge change. And sometimes small details can make a big impact. “I might suggest adding bangs,” says Cutler. “They are a simple way to change silhouette and perception. When it comes to color, I often use ombre' to make a color change. It’s a great way to enhance the hair without the commitment all over color requires.”
Beware of “break-up” hair. Her husband took off with the au pair, and now she’s hellbent on becoming platinum blonde…even though her natural color is a Level 3! Proceed with caution! “I have dealt with clients looking for something really dramatic due to emotional stress,” Cutler admits. “I always try to understand the ‘why’ before I make any recommendations. I think it's the stylist's responsibility to recognize that the client may not be totally ready for a dramatic change, even if they are asking for it. In these cases, I suggest we make changes incrementally. For example, a client who had very long hair may ask for a pixie, but that could be too dramatic. I would recommend a shoulder length bob instead. If she still wants to go super short, we can do that in subsequent visits.”
Men need updates, too! Men are notoriously reluctant to change—if it worked in 1987, why do something different? “Men are definitely creatures of habit,” agrees Cutler. “They are more influenced by their careers and social standing than they are by fashion trends. They want to be sure their hair is appropriate, whether they are lawyers, doctors, financial guys, etc. I find it’s successful to introduce change with styling products that create a different look with the existing style—like a matte paste in place of a gel, for example--rather than with a dramatic cut.”
Remember it’s not about you, it’s about them. As an artist, you can “see” what you know will look best on your client, and no doubt you’re right. But for a myriad of reasons, your client may not share your vision. “I have done major transformations,” Cutler notes, “but only when I am sure the client is 100% on board and has thought it through. It's not about me, the stylist, it's about the client. Using good judgement, as it relates to a transformation, is just as important as the execution.”
Learn more about the Change It Up movement at Hair Cuttery, and how you can be part of it.