Hairdressers who post on Instagram can easily become like a wedding photographer who only takes selfies. Focused on the wrong persons needs. Make no mistake, if a hairdresser puts considerably more time and effort into styling than you normally would, they are not helping. Let's be honest, you'll smile and say it's great but you really have no idea if the cut is any good do you? You probably leave the salon wondering if it will still be flattering when you attempt your normal, day to day, non-professionally styled reality. Fingers crossed hey? Maybe you'll get lucky this time and it won't resolve in exactly the same disappointment as so many times before. Are conventional hairdressers even capable of thinking from the clients perspective, or are they just consumed with their own creativity and getting 'likes' when someone sits in the chair? A potentially harsh statement, but one which needs to be asked.
Many think my lack of photos online solely relates to a position of being anti social media - something which I've been vocal about in several interviews. While that position is not at all incorrect, it contributes to only a very small, insignificant part of the overall decision. This topic resonates to the very core of my professional philosophy and consequently is a large reason for my reputation and continued success here in Australia. In fact, many of the posts on this websites blog if not the entire point of it existing is a demonstrative response to this.
Okay. Let's get into this. First off, my client list is incredibly diverse. Literally early 20's to late 70's and a mix of African, Asian, Caucasian, Middle Eastern, Pacific Islander - literally every race and (almost) every possible hair type. Attempting to visually capture what I do and for whom would be an unrealistic, arduous task which I do not have the time for during or after anyone's session. To that point, any attempt to post photos online only serves to alienate those who feel they are not equally or at all represented. Bottom line, photos are riddled with bias, something which is necessary to avoid as much as possible.
Most importantly though, I work with a number of women who have a variety of personal and private situations - from public personalities to camera shy and Transgender through anxiety, high functioning ASD, pre and post chemotherapy, various forms of Alopecia and Trichotillomania. For these individuals, they desperately search online for someone who might be different from the rest and who also just might have a private space which wouldn't cause them the sensory or otherwise emotional distress a typical salon would. An Instagram feed full of perfectly styled images is exactly the sort of thing which would likely make them quickly gloss over what I am offering here. Above all I respect my clients privacy, confidentiality and anonymity regarding the posting of photos. Quite appropriately, their written testimonials have been tremendously helpful in attracting others like them.
Let's get into those photos themselves though shall we? Instagram hairdressers put out work which is either product heavy, over-styled or both. An image has to be in order to have any emotional resonance (social media 'value') for the intended target audience. The hairdressers (curl specialist or otherwise) who put these images online are largely operating from a place of 'in that moment' creative expression and marketing intentions - not client satisfaction the next morning, week or months forward. Consequently these women will likely go home and find their haircuts to be less than ideal and certainly nothing like the initial photo captured. This all too frequent contradiction is the very essence of bad hairdressing and again, the focus of so many posts to this blog on this website.
Look, even if I was to compromise my integrity and join in the Instagram obsession, many of my clients would simply refuse to have their photo taken. Those who would oblige, the photos themselves wouldn't garner any sort of positive reaction online as they wouldn't look styled in that expected social media sense. As mentioned above, to do so is idiotic. In this era, the most important thing a hairdresser can and should do is to 'stress test' their work. Not with their professional skills but in a manner which simulates what a client will actually do themselves at home. If the cut doesn't look great, that hairdresser needs to learn how to cut hair better. It's that simple. A quality cut should never be reliant on a hairdressers effort in order to look great. If it can't, that hairdresser needs to up their game. Period. To be crystal clear - any attempt to photograph my clients would be an invasion of their privacy and categorically under-represent what I am about as a professional and thus serves no purpose what so ever.
As a specialist practitioner the type of clients I tend to attract are looking on Google, not Instagram. It's why I spend many hours each week on SEO so that a precise type of individual can find me. Once they make their way to this website, there is a plethora of pedantically written copy, the blog and hundreds of wonderfully written testimonials which I am ever grateful for. Fittingly, the women who do come in and regularly go on to become happy long term clients are often the sort of thorough, well read, research based individuals who can articulately engage in consultation and conversation. This is an elemental requirement for reliable, consistent, quality work - people who can and want to communicate effectively.
There is no way any one professional is going to be a perfect fit for everyone. As such, it is a foolish endeavour to try and attract every type of person - regardless of hair type. In fact, it's entirely misleading to state that you are great at everything for everyone. No one can be. My practice and how it presents online is designed to align and resonate with a certain type of individual. When I learn of the frustrations from some who wish there were Instagram feeds and photo galleries, I know what I'm doing is correctly calibrated to attract the exact type of success I have achieved. Some people are looking for a hairdresser. My clients are looking for anything but another hairdresser.
While online comments are always closed, I encourage any readers to email me their thoughts directly. I will always respond in kind.
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