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, product pushing and up-selling 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 client's best interests and is therefore seen as unethical.
Throughout the 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, clients 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 are not shared among all equally. Many are content with the traditional offerings, and these clients 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 individuals who have become keenly aware of the salon game and are no longer willing to play along. These clients have needs and desire the traditional model simply does not support, at all. Unsurprisingly, these people often have a texture of hair 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 purchase expensive retail products. To them, the entire salon environment is one they dread going to. They 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 clients needs and desires in a manner which support their 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 after thorough consultation a client or hairdresser feels as though they are not an ideal match, this too should be stated before starting the service. 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 for everyone involved.
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