Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Uh oh…you thought my civility meant softness

As you know, I manage a retail shop/Salon. I love my job. I get excited when I have helped a woman love her hair. Yes, I am 41 years old and I will clap my hands and exclaim “YAY!” when a client thanks me for introducing them to the product that saved their hair, be it KMS HairPlay Molding Paste or SOMA Solace. I show my excitement. I giggle. I clap. If they are a regular customer and we have a good rapport, I even hug. I also show my genuine concern when a client is not happy with a product. I listen to their frustrations. I clarify what exactly was the issue with the product. I ask them how they are using the product and help them figure out if it is the right product, just being used incorrectly, or if there may be a better product for them. I say please. I say thank you. I make eye contact. I also, on some occasions, must keep my cool and stand there as someone loses their cool. Of course sometimes I have to duck – flying flat iron – enough said.

The reason I gave you all a fly on the wall glimpse into my daily life is this – to prove, once and for all that being a happy, positive person does not mean you are stupid and have your head in the clouds. That having manners does not mean you are fake and trying to impress everyone in the room. That keeping your cool while someone is losing it does not mean you have no back bone.

Every once and a while I meet someone who takes one look at me with my blonde hair and big earring and high heels and decides what ever they are gonna decide about me. After they speak to me for a few minutes I seem to hear the same things;

– “I thought you were going to be a snob” – because I said please and thank you and had so much manners. (actually said to me…yep.)

– “I thought you were a diva!” – because I like my bling. (I would so bedazzle this post if I could.).

– “I thought you were too young to know anything about this stuff” …thanks for the genes Mom & Dad

– “I’m sorry”. – said to me after I asked if they were going to calm down or did I need to call the police. Yep, a grown woman lost her shit because I wouldn’t take back a flat iron that had no receipt, no box, no proof of purchase and had a broken plate, which after the threat of police (from your truly) and apology for throwing said flat iron (from said crazed customer) she admitted she dropped it on the ceramic tile floor in her bathroom.

The point of today’s tale is this; be kind and never assume anything of anyone, good or bad, beautiful or ugly – in the end they will show that themselves.

– If you are fortunate enough to meet someone who is kind, do not treat them like they are simple and stupid because they offer their kindness. (see above title)

– When you see someone excited about something, join in the excitement, don’t roll your eyes and tell them “to grow up”.

– When you see someone, lady or gent, impeccably dressed, compliment them. Do not scowl at them – they are not trying to “out-do” you – that’s your problem honey, not theirs.

– When a woman has her hair done, make up applied and is wearing heels, it does not mean that she is after your man, or that she is a bimbo without a brain, or that she is craving attention. Maybe, just maybe, she likes herself.

– When you are talking to a sales person, do not belittle nor berate them. It makes you a bully. A bully picking on someone’s child.

…oh, and never mistake civility for softness.

Beauty, Business, communication, Fashion, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women, writing

How do you look?

So it has been over a week since my last tale. I could come up with every excuse in the book, the truth is I didn’t make myself a priority. As you know, I am a wife to a wonderful man and a mother to a glorious 16 year old young woman. Calm down ladies…I know I am not the only “career” mother out there…this is not a competition nor an episode of “The real housewives”…it is just a tale for today. Now, back to the tale at hand. As you also know I am the manager of a salon/retail shop. Everyday I make sure my hair is coiffed just so and my makeup applied and my pants pressed, and I look good. Yeah, I said it. What I came to realize this past week is I may have looked good on the outside…but my inside left a little to be desired.Not to sound all “Oprah”, I had given away my power. As last week progressed I could see that I wasn’t the only one.

I had a few customers that were, let say, interesting. One woman was being quite abrupt with her answers to my questions about what kind of hold she wanted from her hairspray. So, being me, I asked her if there was something I had done to upset her. She stared in silence. After about 10 seconds she said “I am sorry, I just got this new cut that I didn’t want. My stylist said I was to old for a bob and that I needed a short style.”. (I get severely pissed when I hear this, and I hear this often. Yo Stylists! Who are you to tell people that they are too old for a cut? Seriously…get a grip and become a professional). So, I assured her the cut was cute (which it was) and sold her some KMS Hair Play Molding Paste for some funky styling and she likes her hair to look shiny so we added some SOMA Prism shine spray to the mix…and I also gave her our Salon price list.

I had a customer this week that introduced herself as “stupid and useless”. I shit you not, that is what she answered when I asked “How ya doin’ today”. You see, she was trying to grow out her hair for her daughter’s wedding in the fall and gave up because she listened to the wrong people – the people who told her that a flat iron was “too complicated” for her. (Who the hell are these people?!?). I took her over to our flat iron demo display and told her to pick one up as I picked one up. We both were in the mirror’s reflection, so I told her to copy what I was doing. After about 30 seconds a smile crept across her face and she said “I can grow out my hair!”. I looked her straight in the eye and told her to stop listening to the “Can’t” people in her life and listen for the “Can” people…they are out there. They are a little harder to hear over the annoying antics of the “can’t” court jesters.

A woman has lost some weight. She has lost 22 pounds over the course of 8 months. She began to exercise. She began to eat a healthy diet in support of her husband’s health issues. She didn’t lose the weight to “show off” or “rekindle her twenties” or “to keep her marriage alive” or because she was having a “cougar crisis”. The weight loss was a positive perk of embracing a healthier lifestyle, for her family and herself. That woman is me, and yes, the above comments have been directed at me. 10 years ago, I would have listened to the nasty comments and gone and ate a cake…or two. Guess what buttercup…not anymore. I have come to realize that those who are negative, nasty or assholes – take your pick, are empty inside…plain and simple. They are so miserable that they have to pull you down to their level so no one will see how crappy their lives are. Funny thing is, they cannot even fathom the idea that no one really gives a shit, except them and others like them.

I know I say it all the time, but I was raised on Little House on the Prairie and Happy Days so get used to it. BE KIND. Raise others up, do not push them down. Your BFF gets a new cut and loves it? Love it with her. A friend is struggling with her hatred of her thighs? Go to the gym with her – don’t agree and tell her she “really needs to work on that”. A friend loses weight? Applaud her efforts and ask her how she did it. Do not  mock her and ask her “cutting out the calories trying to be a cougar?”.

“If you don’t look good, we don’t look good”. – Mr. Vidal Sassoon

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Tales of Truth – Part 7

Yep…you read it right…part 7. I’m telling ya, between the February “blahs”, the snow and grey days and the full moon, do I have some tales for you. I find myself wondering if my readers are beginning to send these people into my shop to see if I will either write about their escapades or to see if I will finally snap. As I have stated before, these tales are based on true events (sad…but true).

– A woman came in looking for a new shampoo and conditioner for fine hair. She had tried Joico’s Body Luxe, Matrix’s Total Results Amplify and KMS Add Volume and wanted something new. I showed her the Redken Body Full which is formulated for baby fine hair. She took the bottles in hand and then asked me “this conditioner says light, does that mean it is diet?”. …I am afraid I may let some of you down for I had a hard time stifling the giggle in my voice as I explained that “light” meant it wouldn’t weigh down her hair. (I sounded like Mickey Mouse for a moment…not one of my proudest moments but come on….diet conditioner?)

– A woman came in asking what I could sell her to make her roots not grow out so fast….enough said.

– From time to time I will order in a product that we don’t normally stock in the shop, so I take the customer’s name and number so I can call them when the order arrives. I called one woman to let her know her product arrived and was asked how I got her number.

– There is the sound of chatter and blow dryers and you can see women leaving with their hair beautifully coiffed…a woman comes up to the front counter with her hairspray, stands beside our Salon price list and says “do you have a Salon?” – happens at least 4 times a week…every week.

– The phone rings. I answer with my usual happy greeting. “Do you sell sinks?” is what I am asked. I let the gentleman on the other end of the phone know that we are a retailer and we   sell hair & nail products, to which he says “Yeah…so do you sell sinks?”. I let him know that he needs to get in touch with a wholesaler and even give him a number to call. The phone is dead silent except for a few heavy breaths, then he says “So, you don’t sell sinks then?”.

– A woman complained that her firm hold hairspray had too good of a hold. I asked her if she found it too sticky, or too hard, or if it felt crunchy. She said “No, it’s none of those. It just holds too good.”. – couldn’t help but wonder…does she complain that the Charmin is too squeezable?

– I would not suggest using your 30 Volume peroxide on household injuries or cuts…you don’t want to know.

– Every month we have a monthly draw. We have a sign and ballots right beside the product that is the monthly draw. Every day, at least 20 times a day, I hear “What’s your monthly draw?”…seriously…did hooked on phonics work for anyone?

 

 

 

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized

Receding hairlines and muffin tops

I hear the familiar chirp of the shop’s door chime. I look up to see a couple. I can tell from the look on the woman’s face she is on a mission, the gentleman looks like a little boy who just received the scolding of his life. Before I have a chance to say hello, the lovely lady sighs and says as she points at his head “Can you help this?!”. In all honesty, the first thought that sprang into my head was “No, but they will perform an exorcism to remove the demon that resides in you at the church down the street”. What I did say was “Help with what exactly? I think his hair cut looks great.”. He smiled. She scowled. “I was talking about his hair line! Look at it!”. I didn’t look at his hair line. I looked at him, right in the eye and asked him “Do you like your hairstyle? Is there a product that you are looking for?”. Again, he smiled, she scowled. I swear she added a “hhmmpptt” with the scowl. I found out he was looking for something that gave hold without a lot of shine and didn’t want anything too sticky. He liked to brush his hair forward a little to cover up his receding hair line. So I showed him the American Crew Fibre – a medium hold cream that adds texture and hold with minimal shine. I also showed him the KMS Molding Paste – great texture and hold with low shine.

Ladies, I have said it before and will say it again…if you want equality, it goes both ways. If your gent pointed at your ass and said “you gotta do something about that!” you know that he would be pushing up daisies. If your gent took you into a store and pointed at your muffin top stating “Can you do anything about this?!?” he would be walking home to nothing waiting for him on the dinner table. So why do women think it is okay to do this to men? I think it is cruel. In all honesty, it is kind of disgusting actually. It takes a lot, I mean A LOT for a man to open up about his insecurities. Throwing them in his face, especially in public is, quite frankly, being a bully.

NEWS FLASH! Men want to look good for themselves. Sure, they want to look good so people will notice them. We all want that. Yeah – I mean you too – you aren’t wearing red 6 inch heels just so you reach the soup can on the top shelf for the little old lady at the grocery store – the jig is up. Men want to have good hair days too. Men hate when their hair is frizzy. Men give up on their new style and just chop it off – just like women have. If you ask  me, it takes guts for a man to walk into a Salon and ask for help. He is risking all kinds of ridicule, be it from coworkers, friends, or unfortunately in some circumstances, the Salon employees. Oh, and a heads up to Salon owners and managers out there – There is a HUGE market that wants  to spend their money that you are neglecting – MEN.

Grow up a little, stop giggling at a man when he asks what the difference is between hairspray and setting spray, or gel and pomade.Yeah, I said it. Ladies – come on – you know how insulting it is, the way we are talked to when we go to get our car repaired. If you giggle at a man when he asks about hair product or you point out his receding hair line, you are doing the same thing that you hate being done to you.

Everyone deserves to like what they see in the mirror, men, women, gay or straight. No one deserves to have their insecurities belted out in a Salon. My goal is to make every customer and client feel beautiful and leave with a spring in their step. At our shop/salon we aim to bring out the beauty that is already there. As for the ugly remarks and attitudes…you can leave those at the door.

 

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized

Do you want a sale or a customer?

Customer service. A term that we all know, a term we have all heard, a term we have all been taught. Unfortunately, as of late, a term many are not utilizing to their full potential, if at all.

It happened again today. I had a customer come into the shop and when I asked her “can I help you find what you are looking for?” it was met with a scowl and a snap of “I’ll let you know. Can’t I just look around?”. I have heard this many times and just let it roll off my back, nine out of ten times it has nothing to do with my question. After a few minutes I said “Just so you know, if you can’t find what you are looking for, many companies changed their packaging this year. Let me know if you need some help.”. She was quite happy with what I had told her. You see, she was looking for a KMS product and her stylist said it was discontinued. It wasn’t discontinued, the packaging changed and they renamed the product – KMS Flat Out anti humidity seal is now KMS HairStay anti humidity seal. She was over the moon with excitement. We got to talking about product and she ended up apologizing for her response to my greeting, telling me “I’m not used to getting service and dealing with someone who knows what they are talking about.”. I thanked her and told her not to worry about it, I know just how she feels.

You see, I am not only the manager of our retail/salon, I am also a customer. I am a customer of our distributors and manufacturers and I know how frustrating it can be when you are not being listened to or given the proper information about the product you have purchased. In my opinion (you know I have to give it), in business, it all comes down to customer service. The better the customer service the more business you will receive. Personally, when we need a product at our shop, the owner and I tend to buy from the company that offers us the best customer service and support. Back to the tale at hand.

After speaking with my customer about her hair, I found out that it was over processed at her last appointment at her salon and she wasn’t happy at all. So I gave her a few samples of the Kpak Revitaluxe treatment to try and let her know that it would help her hair look and feel better and would help repair some of the damage. I asked her what she wanted her hair to look like. I asked her what products she used at home. I asked if she liked to blow dry or air dry her hair. She laughed and said I asked more questions than her stylist. I told her that was my job, to help her find what she needed so she could do her hair and like the results. I asked a few questions and showed honest interest in her and ended up selling three products and she left smiling and hopeful, and with our Salon price list.

Take the time with your customers. Customer service isn’t just about making the sale. It is about building a relationship with your customer/client. If you build a relationship and trust, not only will you have a sale, you will have a customer.

Beauty, Business, communication, entertainment, Hair Care, Uncategorized

Out of the mouths of….babes?!

Yes, I am forty years old and yes, I am working all weekend. My PTG (part time girl) is going away for a weekend of fun before school begins so here  I am. In honour of my weekend of retail bliss and salon escapades I thought I would share some of the life changing comments I receive on a daily basis and the questions I never tire of answering. Seriously, I wish I was making this stuff up.

– “If I use a Nail Strengthener, how strong will my nails get? Like could I use them to nail a picture on the wall?”

– “Why does the OPI Shatter nail Polish make your polish look like it is shattered?”

– “Do you work here?” (I am standing behind the counter ringing through a sale on the computer)

– “Are you wheelchair accessible? Your sign says Walk In’s welcome.” (give it a minute….we have a Salon….there you go).

– “I thought for sure the hair color would stop my regrowth coming in gray” ( Yep – grown women actually think that hair color seeps into the scalp so when their hair grows the new hair grows out the color the had applied…sigh…)

– “I have errands to run, will the hairspray can blow up in my trunk?”

– “I want more volume in my hair but I don’t like using products or a blow dryer.”

– “I only use vegan and environmentally friendly products, I care for our children’s future” – then gets into her Hummer wearing leather boots and a fur coat.

“Why can’t I return this shampoo? It was crap!” – the bottle is a 1/4 full. I guess it took weeks worth of use to realize this.

– the door chimes and before I can say hello the purse clunks down on the counter and the demand of “get me 1 Sebastian Shaper Plus and a KMS Molding Paste.” – hmmmm….I don’t see the golden arches and you are not in a car and I am not at a window, so guess what….

– “Can you watch him while I look around?” – child covered in snot and what I can only hope is chocolate ice cream.

– “Well….like …don’t you like know everything?” – after asking me the difference between mousse and root lift.

– “Oh…my…gawd! Like…can you like ….geet like ova youself? Like ….I seriously doubt…for sure …that I could actuaaallly go blonde!” – a conversation I hear between two girls at least once a week.

– “Are you open?!?!” The door is locked, the lights are off, the “open” sign is off…a woman is pulling on the door and banging on the window.

Enjoy your weekend everyone, I am damn sure I will have some doozies for you on Monday.

Beauty, Business, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized

Goin’ back to Cali

KMS California. A wonderful professional hair care line that I am constantly surprised that more Salon’s don’t carry. The packaging is updated with funky colors and bottles that fit nicely in your hand as well as on your shelves. The bottles are pretty enough for the ladies and cool enough for the gents.Yes…packaging is important! Many men want to use professional hair care products but will not even pick up the bottle if it looks the least bit girly. Yeah, I said it.

As per usual, not let you down, I have compiled a list of the KMS products that fly off my shelves and and have been known to reduce a grown man to a pout when his favorite KMS product is sold out.

HAIRPLAY Molding Paste – adds texture and definition with a pliable hold and low shine. AWESOME for shorter styles for the ladies and great for faux hawks and textured/messy styles for the gents. (this is the product that causes the pout when out of stock)

FREESHAPE Quick Blowdry – reduces drying time by up to 50%, conditions the hair and protects from the heat of the blow dryer, also adds a little shine.

FREESHAPE Hot Flex spray – a humidity resistant flat iron spray. Terrific to use to protect your hair from the heat of the flat iron. Offers a medium hold and shine. *FREESHAPE is the replacement to KMS FLATOUT.

HAIRSTAY Anti Humidity Seal – 24 hour weather proofing for your hair. A 24 hour humidity blocking formula that adds awesome shine and shields your hair from frizz. It also offers heat protection. Use once you have the style you want and VOILA! No frizz and beautiful shine. * Used to be FLATOUT Anti Humidity Seal

HAIRSTAY Maximum hold spray – an ultra-firm finishing spray that offers shine and 24 hour humidity resistance and hold.

ADDVOLUME  Styling Foam – Adds up to 70% more volume, adds a little shine, offers heat protection and is alcohol free.

SILKSHEEN Polishing Serum – Adds up to 75% more shine to your hair, adds softness and a silky texture. Offers all day frizz control and heat protection. * Put on dry hair at the ends to seal up split ends.

SILKSHEEN Leave In Conditioner – Instant detangler. Conditions and provides shine and manageability.

HEADREMEDY Sensitive Shampoo – a gentle and soothing shampoo for a sensitive scalp. Fragrance free and dye free.

MOISTREPAIR Leave In Conditioner – A weightless moisturizing leave in conditioner. Great for fine hair.

CURLUP Control Creme – a curl creme that offers a frizz free finish, lasting curl separation, medium hold and some shine.

Give’em a try, you won’t be disappointed. The worst thing that can happen is you will love the products and when you find the shelf empty, you may begin to pout. Don’t fret, another order is on the way.

Beauty, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized

Save your shoulder checks for changing lanes…

Dandruff. The enemy of the little black dress and the tuxedo jacket. The bully to our self esteem. No longer will you have to check your shoulders each time a greek god or goddess approaches you, no longer will you be referred to as a human snow globe or asked if it is snowing outside. Sad but true – these nasty phrases are uttered by children masking themselves as adults.

There are many reasons for dandruff. Sometimes it is hormonal changes, sometimes seasonal changes. It can be a cruel genetic joke that runs in your family. There is hope, I promise you. The products of which I speak are professional Salon quality products and they only cost about $2 more than the department/drug store brands. The active ingredient in the following products is Zinc Pyrithione, which helps reduce itching and flaking. It has antibacterial properties which can help reduce dandruff and scalp conditions that cause dandruff.

KMS Head Remedy – Dandruff Shampoo – gentle cleansing and color safe.

AG Control Dandruff  Shampoo – Gentle cleansing, Canadian made & cruelty free, color safe.

JOICO – Daily Care Treatment Shampoo – * this baby is created for any scalp problem – not truly a dandruff shampoo, many clients have had luck if their dandruff was due to hormone/seasonal changes. Color Safe.

If you suffer from severe dandruff, psoriasis or seborrhea try the following (you can hug me later)

SMART SOLUTIONS Problem Hair & Scalp Shampoo – ***AWESOME RESULTS*** This little gem is paraben free, sulfate free, sodium chloride free and color safe. It also helps reduce frizz. This product relieves dryness, controls the oil on the scalp and hair and eliminates flaking.

Steer clear of the cheaper brands – they mask the problem. Sure, no flakes as you use it but once you stop flakes come back. The products I have listed for you are formulated to treat the dandruff/scalp condition and in many circumstances, the dandruff becomes a thing of the past.