Q&A: Training Staff on New Color Line or Technique
âWe have a three-tiered process of training. First, new hires go through our
assistant program. Assistants are learning as they work in addition to one day
a week devoted to theory and then one-on-one work on models,â says Jenny
Grisham, owner of Americana in Alpine, Texas. âAfter completing training,
which has been customized to meet the individual needs of the staff member
and upon completing their first year at Americana, our team members qualify
for off-site training. This spring, three team members are headed to Austin to
attend color classes at the Aveda Institute. All of their travel expenses are paid
and they get to return a month later for advanced training.
âThe third and ongoing aspect of Americanaâs training involves monthly workshops conducted in the salon. Here we work on fine-tuning skills as well as experimenting with new techniques. It is a flexible system where everyone has a say in what we work on. We provide every possible opportunity for learning and we continue developing our knowledge and skills indefinitely.â
âWe invite an educator into the salon to give a class on the line or technique. We generally try to include other salons and their staffs to join us,â says Kim Marshall, owner of Marshall & Company Hair Design Studio in Jefferson City, Missouri. âWe have open communication with other local salons to do trainings in a collaborative way. Being in central Missouri, it can be a challenge to get the education in the salon. So by including as many stylists/designers as we can, it makes it more worthwhile to the educators representing the manufacturers.
âWe are also blessed to have a stylist who is a Master Educator for Matrix, Ruth Markway. She is excellent in passing along her knowledge after she has been to an educational event. We also attend area hair shows to learn new lines and techniques. My staff is also very proactive in seeking information on the internet by visiting YouTube, manufacturer websites or participating in webinars. My goal this year is to take better advantage of rewards point programs to help offset the cost to attend academies. As a salon owner who still works behind the chair at least three days a week, it can be a bit daunting to keep up with it all, but education and learning has always been a shared value of mine and my staff.â
âWe believe education is a painstaking processâ it has to be consistent and it cannot be hurried or rushed through,â says Coral Pleas, owner of Cutting Loose Salon in Sarasota, Florida. âOur salon has a two-week orientation program for new associates that includes a series of informative DVDs that cover a wide range of coloring techniques. At the end of the series, all associates must pass a written test.
Next is the hands-on training phase when associates are allowed to work on single-process touch-ups, pull throughs and various highlighting techniquesâ all on a mannequin. If they do well, they move on to applying color for our designers and senior stylists. Every Monday, new associates continue their education with eight hours of hands-on work on models.
âContinuing education should be a priority for all stylists, no matter how many years theyâve been working behind the chair. We offer the Paul Mitchell color series that can be intermixed in literally hundreds of different ways. Each year, we schedule two full days with a Master Educator from Paul Mitchell to focus on collection color techniques, and we have a model call so we can re-create all the new techniques we learn. Hands-on learning is best, especially when you do it often and in a way that makes it fun for everyone involved.â