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What type of shop do you work in?

As a stylist I have worked in only a few shops to date as I like to stay in one location and grow roots. I began asking myself in 2014 What type of shop do you work in? Is this place professional, elegant, organized, productive, or convenient? You may even have a combo shop where there is more than one of these attributes to mention. I want to discuss these attributes and what they look like from a professional point of view, and how I determined the shop type I’ve worked in along with reasons why they did/didn’t work for me. There are a growing number of beauty/barber shops opening up all over the world! That makes it fair to say that no matter where we are, looking good is a human trait we all share. Now that puts the ball in our hands to ensure the shop we work in is living up to the satisfaction of our markets. Please feel free to share your thoughts on the shop you work in and why it works best for you and your goals.

The Professional shop

Have you ever walked in to a place of business, and everyone just stops and stares right at you? Well that is the opposite of what this shop is about. The minute you walk through the door you are made to feel like you’re taken care of. Whether a warm smile, a simple hello, or clear direction of what to do next, this place is in touch.

That’s just the beginning of the trait, customers are next welcomed with a clean and neat area to wait for services as this is what reception is about. Receiving your guest is where impressions are made and comfort is top priority. There are no outdated magazines, tasteless TV, and music made only for a few to enjoy! No one is perfect, and we often get caught falling behind schedule so the wait should be nothing short of admirable.

Now they’re seated, draped, and ready for services now here comes the consultation. We’re professionals right? The standard ice breaker is usually something like ” what are you looking to do today?” the answer is simple… they want to go four shades lighter with a hint on the warm side. Sounds easy, and rightfully so as long as you use your color course training to complete the job. Now this is where the pro vs. amateur is at play.


  1. The professional shop takes hair care seriously so they will do a thorough analysis of the hair and scalp along with asking questions to determine what is or isn’t possible.
  2. They will 48 hr patch test for possible allergic reactions
  3. keep records of your service on file



  1. Doesn’t check your elasticity, porosity or any scalp abrasion that may come in contact with chemicals
  2. doesn’t check for allergies
  3. Didn’t even ask your name.

Now this doesn’t mean you’re in bad hands because this stylist may be a SEASONED colorist so there’s a good chance you will be satisfied. Either you are in for a very great service or a big bad disaster.

The Elegant shop

Holds back on nothing to please the public it is servicing. While professional this outfit is also swinging in the latest styles, trends. Fashion, and products. You may be greeted with a doorman to take your belongings while you are offered some sort of refreshment while you wait.

This place just doesn’t take care of your hair but YOU as well. If there is any type of delay a complimentary massage or any other short service will be offered. Sound waves of pleasantry will fill the air to set the stage for a great service. The shampoo area holds the most significance in this place giving its customers the most relaxing experience of the day.

Elegant shops are a rare jewel to find so you will know exactly if you work in one or not!

Everyone views elegant different so it’s your road to travel when describing this establishment. Take time to explore the most extravagant situation you can work in. What do you see? How do you feel? What do you hear?

I see bright lights with an open floor space, and a plush seating area that is accompanied with refreshments & entertainment! Restrooms that are always clean with complimentary toiletries as needed. My feeling is quite intoxicating because the vibe is swell of beauty & wellness. I hear only quiet private chatter because snobby gossip is not allowed!

How do you see elegant?

The Organized shop

One of my ALL time favorites is the shop that is organized. There is a lot that goes into operating a business and a hair salon/shop can be no different if not tougher. Who’s in charge of ordering product for the shop? What happens when a customer has a complaint? Is there a walk in system? Paperwork in order?

Among all shops the organized shops stay in business the longest. Without having working order in place the ship is bound to go off course. The captain shouldn’t be in the mess hall while the chef is steering the boat. In many cases shops have a lot of workers in the wrong roles.

It may be ego, ignorance, or just a plain mistake the way some shops operate out of order. It’s important to be around someone who knows if they can’t handle a task then they should delegate that task to another that does. Not because they’re friends, family, or owed a debt. No, because they fit the criteria in guiding the shop to the next level. If your shop doesn’t have client profiles, product for retail, or fight over walk ins then you are not in an organized shop.


My biggest pet peeve is a shop that is never held to a steady schedule. Some days they are open other days they are gone. Never really a clean place with clutter and shop tools everywhere. The bathroom is gloomy and not really relaxing or calming because it felt like it was so small only because there are useless items around. Just unorganized!

Agree or disagree? Have anything to add by all means please feel free.

The Productive shop

Is what every shop opens its doors to be, PRODUCTIVE! I mean who says let’s show up today and do nothing. No one EVER! Production is what keeps food on the table, and the lights on while the heat is warm in the winter so we can chill off during the dog days of summer.

Goals are set in this shop to maintain a level of growth so profit margins can increase. Every season has a special to bring in more business. Education is taken serious to make sure they can offer services that the public need, and be able to advise what the customer can get.

Meetings are held at least every quarter to discuss getting better, making changes, or just team building. To be considered productive your shop needs a clear concise plan of operation that will keep the work week running smooth.

There is no situation where you come in and your items are missing. This is a direct result of the unprofessional, but who is in charge will set expectations where this is not tolerated with strict stipulations on offenders. It just doesn’t stop at stipulations, but enforcing said stipulation. This is cause for effective shop management leaves an environment of structure to promote the most productive shop. You disagree?……… Why?

The Commercial shop

This is usually your strip mall shop location where it doesn’t take much advertising to create a following for two reasons.

  1. The foot traffic in a strip mall is enough to provide customers on its own
  2. Most strip mall shops are chain shop that handle advertising for you

This making it a convenient shop to work in for the stylist who isn’t into advertising or marketing. It’s usually on a public transportation route with a lot of parking for customers to enjoy. This is an ideal situation for the person who doesn’t want to do much advertising for business. The convenience of the shop is great for stylist along with the guest.

These shops for the most part are always booked but never busy, customers won’t have an issue with a long wait while you the stylist will have enough work to make long days fly by. There may not be many bad points to working a commercial brand, the biggest downside is not being able to really build a following clientele. For the most part when an individual comes to a commercial shop they come for the brand name. Every once in a while there may be a stylist to leave the commercial brand and have those customers follow, However that is the exception, not the rule! You would be working to further the commercial brand, but not building a loyal following.

Actually I’d like to gain some background on that. If you know any commercial (super cuts, hair cuttery, great clips) employee that switched to a local establishment do they gain those tickets or do they stay? Leave your comment in the comment section.

So….. Which one fits your place of practice?

Now your workplace could have a mixture of a couple shops making your workplace unique! Or your shop could be none of these and you’re in trouble. Take this time to evaluate the shop in which you work, and make note of its good qualities as well as the bad. Not everyone will be completely satisfied when working so it is important to follow rules of basic customer service, record keeping, and education.

Don’t nit pick!

If your shop is unprofessional you should try to find your exit out or soon you will find business reaching its plateau leaving you with no room to grow. Find a shop that values education, customer service, product knowledge, and teamwork. Don’t settle for lazy owners with no vision of success. Don’t settle for anything less than your worth.

Maybe you should evaluate the type of professional you are, Find out fast what type of shop you work in to make the proper adjustments and push for your successful career.

Down below in the comment section share the type of shop you work or would like to work in & why? If you are a customer please share the type of shop you’d best like to visit for services!

Until I blog again,

Shannon Kamal

5 ways to tell if your career is going to the next level

Working in the beauty field, it can be a task that requires patience, and persistence maybe even both. Starting from the bottom of the totem pole is the only way to begin, unless of course you are way beyond talented and start from the top right away. Seeing how that is usually not the case when entering the field, the goal is to always aim at getting to the next level. There is no clear cut path to the top, so anything I share will be solely based on my experience in the field. With many areas to examine we will begin to reveal the state of our career by asking. Do you have a vision? Are you recognized? Guest re booking? Do you offer hair care products? Are you referred? Let’s Take a deeper look into these 5 ways to tell if your career is going to the next level, or have you reached your plateau.

Your reach begins to expand

My motto is and will always be quality over quantity, However you will find that once your quality of work has increased so will you customer base. When you put your best into your work it will not go unnoticed and before you realize it the word will spread about your services. Pretty soon your book will grow and propel you into a new arena, and tax bracket.

Now when this happens it is important to work wise and be careful not to overwork your schedule or you will burn out and miss out on your harvest.

This is where your scheduling will have to become a must. Keep track of new customers and how often you get new people through the door. I find that if they have been referred to you by an existent guest then you should show appreciation and offer discounts for all who send heads your way.

This is a great way to build a reputation and actually give incentive to others that they may send heads your way also!

Your retail recommendations are working

Anyone can just cut hair as it doesn’t take much but practice and repetition to become decent. However, Hair care maintenance is what separates the professional from the amateur. Yes I said it! If you aren’t into hair care then you aren’t considered a pro in my humble opinion.

Natural elements (sun, earth, wind) can take a toll on the hair cuticle as well as our diets and daily activities. AS a professional we should be able to address these issues with solutions through product recommendations. The upkeep is not only good for the customer but it will keep your work in its optimal display at all times. As long as your recommendations are followed your work will last longer and promote your work as advertised.

Products are going to be used whether you push them or not so it’s best to ensure they are pushed properly. A proper hair analysis and consultation will reveal just what needs to be prescribed. Keep in mind that product prescriptions are a great way to earn a passive income even when you are slow!

Do you have any repeat customers?

If you don’t have repeat customers how will you ever make a real living? Your repeat customers keep the lights on along with food on your table. Like clock work you should know when Reggie is due to show up for his next service.

To stay ahead of the program you should encourage precooking. Before Reggie leaves he should be setting up his next service with room for a possible reschedule. Its easier to put yourself in line before you leave as opposed to waiting the day off to try to be squeezed in. Especially if you know your customer has a busy schedule and or hectic lifestyle.

There’s nothing worse than text messages and phone calls in the middle of services to try to book an appointment. Get your customers on a regular booking schedule and alleviate all guess work. Encourage guest to come back and treat your repeat customers to rewards. This will in part create more repeat customers.


Have you ever been standing out in public and you just hear your name from across the parking lot, or a horn honking at you? Hey don’t you cut hair over at the shop on (insert establishment here)?

When this happens your career is entering the next level, and the process will get a little scary but it’s a great feeling at the same time.

Some people will know you and you won’t have a clue to who they are. Just be ready with cards to hand out with a welcoming greeting to accompany. You are your biggest form of advertisement. Take advantage of every opportunity to promote your brand.

You only get one shot to leave an impression so make the most of it. You’re on stage always with everyone watching, do your best to stay ready to perform.

Is your direction clear?

As your career settles your vision begins to come clear as to what you want to achieve. The time of aimless working is over and you know exactly what you want to accomplish. You now have direction, and focus to smashing your goals. Do you want to open your own shop? Create your own product, teach, or do you just want to build a customer base that will secure your future.

The choice is yours and the opportunities are endless for professional licensed barbers. You will find that during this time everything and everyone will attempt to block your goals. These obstacles are only meant to teach you while making you stronger in your journey.

Anything worth having is will take time while facing adversity. Keep in mind that the higher you elevate your craft only you will be able to see your vision others aren’t flying as high so they can’t see what you are seeing. Stay the course with determination and focus. The time to stick with it is when things aren’t going so well this will show what you are made of.


What level are you at?

The level of your career doesn’t reach new heights until about 5 yrs into your practice. Now this doesn’t mean everyone will take this long it’s just a general rule to go by simply because many don’t last beyond the 2-3 yr waiting period to build a customer base. This is when doubt, fear, and impatience creeps in. You begin to believe you can’t make it or it’s just not worth it. I am here to tell you that the barber industry is soaring in revenues, and techniques. The question is will you be able to last and take part in the revenues.

Can you tell if your career is going to the next level? Set goals, and get yourself educated on what’s new in the world of beauty. Leave nothing up to chance get proactive on making things happen. Take your career to the next level with purpose and determination in your mind and heart.

Leave a comment, and explain how you plan on moving your career to the next level.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook @barbershannonkamal