© Tom Zappala | All rights reserved | License Number 286247 | ABN 27 306 081 547
Reference photo only. Tom does not photograph clients.
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 principles I adhere to within my practice today.
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 their salon looking polished to an Instagram finish. While these efforts do support a lot of clients, it doesn't seem to serve an equal if not increasing percentage of individuals. In fact, an over-styled salon presentation likely doesn't suit anyone who desires a more low-fuss natural look and spends little time at home themselves. Many of these clients simply don't own blow dryers and need a cut which is high performing on its own. This is where the issue beings. Hairdressers often lack sufficiently refined cutting skills which can enable a design to perform on its own with minimal engagement from outside hands. Instead, their stance typically 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. A hair professional should work in a manner which helps each client achieve what they are after within the parameters of their skills, time and day-to-day aesthetic preferences.
Good hairdressing strongly considers clients existing routine and skill set, then meets engages with then in a way which can absolutely be duplicated at home. It serves no purpose unless specifically requested, to over style a clients hair in a way either they aren't comfortable with or lack the ability or desire to do themselves. A client who comes in for a haircut is often seeking just that, a haircut. A cut which they themselves can manage. A haircut which can grow out exceptionally well and make them feel beautiful. To a woman who prefers a natural aesthetic, an overachieving style 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 their 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 finishing skills. Trouble is most salons are primarily concerned with their finished look. They feel every client represents the salon and needs to look perfect walking out the door. 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 the styling means which the industry has engaged with for far too long.
These days time is a great commodity. Busy lives require the time and money spent in the salon to yield results which support a chosen lifestyle. While certain clients have tools at home to style their hair when specifically needed, what they all 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 contentment for days, weeks and months ahead.