“This is not what we discussed. Look at my hair! What am I going to do? I can’t go to work looking like this!”. – you are picturing a woman right now, aren’t you? Yes, most people picture a woman uttering these phrases when she has received a bad hair cut…and that is the first problem. Women are not the only ones that suffer from bad hair days and bad hair cuts. Our lovely gents do as well. Actually, in my experience, men seem to be the victim of bad a hair cut/style more often than women. For some reason, many stylists seem to think for their male clientele. A gentleman comes in looking for a new style and ends up walking out with the same cut his father gave him sitting in the kitchen with the #1 guide…when he was 4 years old.
As you know, I manage a retail shop/salon. I have many men come into the shop for their hair products, from KMS HAIRPLAY Molding Paste to d:fi molding cream. Some of my lovely gents like to spike up their hair with Joico Ice Spiker and some like to slick it back with American Crew Firm Gel. Some gents like a bit of shine – SOMA Prism spray is a great choice -no hold, just lovely shine, and some like a matte finish – AG STUCCO is great and a big seller. What all my lovely gents have in common is they want to look good. They want to look professional and creditable in their profession – from Welder to Physician. What they don’t want is the “Charlie Brown” head, or as mentioned above, the cut they had from dear old Dad.
Many times, unfortunately, men come into the shop asking me “Do you sell clippers?” – they ask this because they feel their only option is to shave their head because they just cannot face another bad cut, or having another stylist not listen to them when they tell them what they don’t want their hair to look like. I know, believe me, I know that clients/customers do not always explain themselves very well. It is our job, as managers, owners and stylists to take the time to be sure we understand what it is our clients/customers want. When the gentleman in your chair says he wants it short – ask him how short. Place your fingers on his head as a point of reference if need be – every stylist has had a client that when they said take a few inches off, they really meant half an inch. What the client pictures as short may not be what you, as the stylist, pictures as short. You need to clarify. You need to be clear. You need to stop thinking for your client. If you are not sure of how to cut men’s hair, or you only know 3 cuts for our gents – pick up a copy of Canadian Hairdresser, or Salon magazine or hop on Google and go to http://www.behindthechair.com and check out the images and tutorials.
Think about this for a minute, I mean really think about it – what would happen if a woman sat in your chair with shoulder length hair and said she wanted something shorter and you gave her a pixie cut, because that’s what you thought she wanted and you thought that would be best…what would happen? A meltdown of Nuclear proportions, that’s what. When a woman is sitting in your chair looking for a change or something shorter, as a stylist, you may spend up to 20 minutes on a consultation, to be sure you know exactly what it is she wants, how she styles her hair at home, what products she likes to use on her hair and what she has done with her hair in the past. I believe our Gents are worth the time as well. Men are a key component to a successful Salon and retail business – they deserve our attention.
In my 20 years of customer service and in my 10 plus years in our beloved biz of Beauty, I know one thing with absolute certainty. Women may give you a second chance. Men will not, and honestly, when they aren’t being listened to…who can blame them?