Part two of three. Hairdressing, particularly within the conventional salon environment, is an industry geared largely for the monetisation of a woman's beauty needs. Under the guise of being a professional, up-selling and product pushing via emotional manipulation is key to meeting the bottom line. For a traditional salon owner these principals are often the foundation of their business model. Creativity is wielded as a less than subtle means of distraction. This approach does not, by default, serve or benefit a clients best interests and is therefore unethical.
Throughout 25 years working as a hairdresser, the complaints I've heard concerning these practices has been identical regardless of the city and country I've worked in. Countless times over, women have shared identical stories where a hairdresser or other salon staff member has attempted to use emotional manipulation to sell a service or product, often both. Together with less than favourable results for the service they initially went in for, its no wonder so many women have developed an acute fear of and apprehension regarding hairdressers and the salon environment. To be fair, this reality and experience is not shared among all women. Many are content with the traditional offerings, and these women certainly have a multitude of choice when it comes to heading into a salon to spend money. Trouble is, the traditional salon tactics and practices are definitely not a perfect fit for everyone.
There is an increasing number of women who have become keenly aware of the salon game and are no longer willing to play along. These women have needs and desires the traditional model simply does not support, at all. Unsurprisingly, these ladies often have a texture of hair (curly, wavy, thin, fine, etc) which is considered challenging to live with and cut well. Others though simply hate being made to feel inadequate for their choice of not wanting to engage with chemical services or expensive retail products. To them, the entire salon environment is one they dread going to. These ladies wish to be treated with respect and have their specific needs met and supported without judgement. They want a hairdresser who will help them with an aesthetic which presents a realistic, sustainable, and manageable result.
Transparency as a hairdresser means meeting a woman's beauty needs and desires on a level which support her best interests, not the other way around. With that, a hairdresser should only ever serve interests that are sustainable long term, support hair texture both in design and in health, while providing a maintenance schedule which a client agrees to and can live with. Alternatively, if through consultancy a hairdresser feels as though they are not the best match for a client's needs, this too should be stated. This is all achievable with professional integrity, ethics, and effective communication. Hairdressing which is transparent facilitates the type of mutual respect which can foster a lasting and trusting relationship.
© Tom Zappala. All rights reserved.