Do's and Don'ts in your first year as a hairstylist

Joelle Ray | July 10, 2011 | 10:11 AM

I've seen hairdressers make a lot of mistakes just because of inexperience. This list of "do's and don'ts" will keep you from making the same ones.

  1. Do:
  2. Find the right salon for you by being thorough in your job search. Look for a mentoring atmosphere where the other stylists have a lot of experience and are willing to share. When you find it, give 100 percent to the salon's vision and programs.
  3. Commit yourself to excellence, and work hard toward building your clientele. Education is only effective when you put that knowledge to work.
  4. Remember: It's always about the client. Give clients your best, and you will be rewarded with a strong clientele.
  5. Be a sponge. Observe and soak up everything, and then emulate successful stylists' good habits. Pay particular attention to the "superstars" in the salon and do what they do.
  6. Maintain a strong, positive, upbeat attitude at all times. Your first year is crucial to help you achieve the fabulous career you envisioned when you decided to go to hair school!
  1. Don't
  2. Get involved in any salon politics or gossip. Mucky situations just get you dirty. Remember: You are at work to accomplish something. Stay focused on your career, not other people. Keep your eye on the prize.
  3. Get discouraged about re-dos. If clients call back to ask for modifications, it means they feel comfortable enough to contact you for a "fix." It's normal for this to happen early in your career. Thank them for giving you the opportunity to make them happy.
  4. Act as if you're new. Notice what other stylists do as they are performing services, and copy their movements. Sometimes new stylists stand out because they forget to lift the chair or turn the client. A comfortable and fluid stylist appears experienced.
  5. Sell your self short. Passion, talent, and training are the ingredients to success behind the chair. Don't get caught up in your own inexperience. Trust in your abilities and go out there ready to show what you can do. When asked about your experience, include cosmetology school in your calculations. I always tell people, "Passion, talent and training don't care how long you've been a stylist."

Joelle Ray is co-owner of Samuel Cole Salon and Salon Moxie in Raleigh, North Carolina

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