© Tom Zappala. All rights reserved.
Without a doubt one of the most common complaints women have after a visit to the hairdresser is, "my hair never looked as good as it did when I left the salon." This exact sentiment has been echoed repeatedly in every city I've worked in across the globe. After hearing the same thing over and over again, a committed hairdresser should always aim to dissect and resolve the issue. The following opinions on the matter actively influence the philosophy I adhere to within my practice today. The main influencing factor behind this topic will be covered in the next post.
Hairdressers will typically operate from a place of their skill set and vision, not their clients. To this point, they see their objective as to have everyone leave the salon looking polished to an Instagram finish. While this does suit and support a lot of clients, it simultaneously doesn't serve an equal if not greater number of individuals. An over blown, over styled look doesn't suit ladies who desire a natural look and spend little time honing their aesthetic at home themselves. Many simply don't own blow dryers and need a cut which is high performing on its own. This is where the issue beings. Hairdresser often lack supportive and refined cutting skills which can enable a design to perform on its own with minimal (or no) engagement from a client. Their stance is "if a client wants the cut to look right, they will need to style it as I do." It's all too easy to see the problem here. These hairdressers see themselves largely as "artists" and not as a considerate facilitator to help each client achieve what they are after within the parameters of their skills, time, and day to day aesthetic.
Good hairdressing strongly considers a clients existing routine (and skill set) and meets them on a level which can absolutely be duplicated at home. It serves no purpose (unless specifically stated otherwise) to over style a clients hair in a way either they aren't comfortable with, or lack the ability (or desire) to do themselves at home. A client who comes in for a haircut is seeking just that, a haircut. One which they themselves can manage, with their skill, time, and desires. A haircut which can grow out well, and make them feel beautiful. To a woman who prefers a natural aesthetic, an over achieving blow wave, and sometimes - any blow wave, is entirely unproductive and inconsequential on the day. The haircut has missed the target entirely if a client isn't ever able to have it perform outside of the salon visit. To support this, a hairdresser must develop both strong cutting and communication skills. Both of these must be performed to a much higher level than any blow dry skills. Trouble is most salons are primarily concerned with the finish. They feel every client represents the salon and needs to look perfect in their eyes. This is entirely misguided. Clients don't represent a salon. Hairdressers should use their skills to reflect their client's needs on an individual basis. They should always integrate with a client and not default to round brushes and irons.
These days time is a great commodity. Busy lives means needing time (and money) spent in the salon to yield results which support a lifestyle. Ladies have tools at home to coif their hair when needed on the weekends or for special occasions. What they want is a cut that actually looks amazing on the days they don't have the time (or desire) to put in the effort. Hairdressing should always strive to meet this goal and by doing so, a client will be rewarded with an experience which brings enjoyment for days, weeks, and months ahead.