Healthy Hairdresser

Fresh Start

Lauren Salapatek | January 4, 2016 | 10:12 AM

"I don’t know that I believe in making a New Year’s resolution,” says Paul Suttles, Pivot Point’s director of field education domestic and this month’s Healthy Hairdresser Hero. “I believe we should continuously make goals to be our best selves,” Suttles says. “Whether it’s January 1 or August 20, if you can do something to enhance your wellbeing, then do it! Don’t wait.”

Healthy Hairdresser agrees! We give beauty pros health tips and information year-round. But because it is January, we might as well take advantage of the 12 blank months ahead to shed whatever bad 2015 habits we’re still lugging around. Suttles, who splits his time between his Pivot Point role and styling hair at Hairspray by Shawn David in Indianapolis, offers three resolutions you can make this year to give yourself a fresh start:

  • Take classes. Suttles recommends signing up for education in technique, business, life skills or anything that interests you.
  • Get a spa service. Every so often, treat yourself to a massage or a facial, and consider switching the venue so it doesn’t feel like you’re just going to work. “I’ll go to a salon that doesn’t know me, so I can be there as a client and talk about nothing other than my service,” Suttles says. “Hairdressers are so busy giving to people that we don’t take time to rejuvenate ourselves.”
  • Keep the break room positive. The break room can be a great place to grab water and fruit or nuts between clients, leaf through magazines or pull up a tutorial. However, Suttles says that too often the break-room atmosphere becomes emotionally charged. “If your break room breeds negativity and gets gossipy go outside, take a walk and pass out your business cards,” Suttles says.

Suttles developed a class that instructs hairdressers how to DASH their way to the top: Desire, Attitude, Skills, Habits. The class targets hairdressers who have lost touch with their passion. Suttles reconnects them by reminding them of all the things they’re doing right.

“When we talk about habits, we tend to focus on bad habits—smoking, overeating or needing more sleep,” he says. “Try thinking about your good habits. Maybe you conduct a thorough consultation or deliver a great shampoo massage. In our self-assessment, we can be very hard on ourselves.”

When we backslide on a resolution, we tend to give up. Suttles suggests thinking about it as just a mistake.

“If you make a mistake on someone’s hair, you don’t say you’ll never do hair again, right?” he says. “You correct it and try to keep it from happening again. Think of it the same way if you pick up a cigarette after you’ve decided to stop smoking.”

In the manual, Salon Success, A Designer’s Approach, Pivot Point provides broad-ranging guidelines with specific action items to improve your life in three critical areas: money management, time management and stress management.

Your Financial 2016

Who isn’t trying to build the bank account in the coming year? Just about everyone would like to widen the margin of income over expenditure. One way is to cut expenses—find more affordable housing, trade in your car for a less expensive model, stay off internet shopping sites. But for many people, increasing income is the more attractive way to tilt the balance. To take home more money from salon work, Pivot Point suggests:

  • Book more appointments, and take walk-ins.
  • Increase the average client ticket.
  • Sharpen your customer-service skills to generate bigger tips.
  • Earn interest on your money by keeping some of it in a savings account or certificate of deposit (CD).
  • Continue your education to ex-pand your job opportunities
  • Sell unwanted items.
  • Ask a professional accountant to make sure you have an appropriate amount of money withheld from your paycheck for taxes.

Time management requires setting priorities. The Pivot Point system recommends the “ABC” technique:

A =  Absolutely must be accomplished today—high priority.
B =  Be done before the end of the week—medium priority.
C =  Complete within the month—low priority.

Make a list of everything you want to accomplish, from errands to larger goals, and assign a letter to each. At the end of every day, go over your list to check off items you’ve completed, reassign priority where necessary and add new tasks. Avoid the five most common enemies of good time management, which are, according to Pivot Point:

  • Procrastination. Instead of putting off tasks you like least, try to do them first to get them out of the way.
  • Poor sleep habits. Schedule in enough quality sleep time, or you won’t have the focus to achieve your goals.
  • Cluttered work spaces. Staying organized eliminates time spent searching for things. Try to leave your station each day in good order.
  • Poor planning. Using the ABC method will help. Further, build time cushions into your day to handle unexpected delays.
  • Saying “yes” to everyone. Learn to say “no” politely. Use your time to finish the things that are important to you, not to someone else.

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