Here are my 5 best interview techniques when choosing a barber/beauty shop to work in!

You’ve just finished your beauty/barber school training now there will be a state board exam to pass, and from there you will be looking for employment. I want to share my 5 best interview techniques when choosing a Barber/beauty shop to work in! If you’re anything like I was you may be asking yourself will “this shop” help me thrive or will it leave me stagnant. Just because you are brand new to the field doesn’t mean you have to settle for what ever comes first. You have a choice to ensure you get your career off to the proper start. Sure a job was offered to you, but it doesn’t make it a fit for you to work. Before saying yes/no, I recommend using a checklist to find out what shop you should choose or accept to work in. First you should investigate the reputation, Ask questions about the vision, Communicate properly, Dress appropriate, and lastly Scout the business. Using these 5 techniques will help you make your decision, and ease your nerves before meeting with your potential future employer. These are techniques that I am sharing with you based on my own experiences, and what I look for when I am hiring a new individual for my shop. You can test out these techniques before even graduating from hair school to get comfortable with the process. Leave a comment below or share with a barber/beauty school graduate to help them on their way to finding a place to start a prosperous career.

Investigate

This can be vital when going for work as a pro because you need Intel to use as leverage. You’ll need to have information before the meeting to find out how transparent your potential shop is. If you know the answer before asking it will be a lot easier to spot an untruthful owner from an honorable owner.

With today s advancement in technology there should be no surprises when going for an interview. Doing a quick Google search you will be able to get information on the type of establishment you are entering. What kind of reviews are they getting? Pay close attention to the bad reviews, this is where you will find out the integrity of the owner/manager or whoever is in charge of public relations.

How well do they respond to critiques? A negative review should be addressed with concern to make the situation right giving the customer a satisfying experience even if they weren’t pleased with services.

Does this shop specialize in certain services? Do they educate employees? Do they have a heavy online presence where new clients can reach out for services?

Let’s just say for some reason this shop has no Online presence, and a google search brings up nothing. You may not be entering a progressive business where there may not be any room for growth leaving you with a career that will not flourish. This is not always the case so we can’t judge alone on online presence so there must be another form of research used to reveal the truth.

The best way is to scout the business which I will explain later in the article so you’d want to stick around and read my thoughts on how to perform this step.

Ask questions

Meeting face to face with shop owner/manager can be intimidating for a newbie because you don’t know what to expect. To break up those nerves it’s best to gain a feel of some sort of control. This can be done by asking simple questions to make small talk “how long have you been in the industry?” or “What is your least favorite service to do?”

These questions are all industry related and show your interest in getting to know your employer. Just keep these filler questions to a minimum as you don’t want to come off nosy. It never hurts to break up the discomfort (if any) with questions or statements, This shows personality. Just be sure never to ask personal questions unless you are asked personal questions first.

Maybe during your investigation you found out the shop does an annual breast cancer event. This information can be used to compliment the gesture giving yourself some brownie points to show the attention you have given the shop before even beginning a shift.

Save any work related questions for when they ask “is there any questions or concerns?” at the end of the interview. Here is where you can ask about time off, call out procedures, and compensation plans. Keep in mind that you should be interviewing the shop just as much as they are interviewing you.

Be Open

Honesty is always the best option when making first impressions. This is the time to put it all on the line about your shortcomings, or anything else that would be better known upfront. Childcare issues on a Wednesday, you’re monthly doctor check ups to control an ailment, or you have a hard time with wet shaving/blow-drying. It’s better to be known up front rather than later when put on the spot to perform, and you definitely don’t want to spring on your new job any issues with babysitting during your first 90 days of employment.

There is nothing worse than someone does a job when they have no idea what they are doing, or unable to properly get the job done. However, it is better to be open about becoming better at whatever it is you may fall short in. Be open for further training in the areas you may need work in, and I’m sure the person you are being interviewed by will find you more valuable.

Dress proper

This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyways. First impressions cannot be made twice so make your first impression your best impression! What I mean by that is simple. During your investigation you should have discovered what type of shop environment you will be heading into.

Laid back shops usually allow a more casual look where you will not want to overdress giving an impression of being too fancy for the shop. For instance if the vibe is casual and you show up in a 3pc suit or 12 in stilettos you may disrupt the feel making others feel uncomfortable.

It works vice versa as well! You can’t show up in jeans and a t- shirt to a shop that requires a more strict dress code of slacks and dress shirts. Find out what you’re heading into before you go being prepared, and dressed accordingly.

Dressing neutral either way in all black or a black and white variance is usually the way to go. This shows you are willing to have the attention off of you, and ready to place sole attention on the customers.

Scout

I promised to explain this earlier and here it is, what I believe to be a very useful technique before going on an interview. The “scout” is when you visit as a customer and have a friend visit as a customer. One of you guys will complain about the service to see how well the stylist will overcome this obstacle or if assistance will be given by the manager/Sr. personell.

For instance, you can totally complain about your style not being as you wished, and how you are not satisfied with the outcome. I know this sounds quite peculiar, however it’s important to know what type of customer service is given in this shop. Not just by what they claim, but what they practice.

Do they get upset with you, and project major attitude not addressing your concerns? or does a manager or Sr. stylist come over to find a way to solve your issue to the best of their ability until you are satisfied. Keep in mind it’s just a drill so if they are genuinely trying to make an effort to satisfy you just give them some slack.

It doesn’t end just there because now there is what I call the aftermath.

Your friend will come in after you to have a service done or vice versa just to see if there will be any gossip about the client who had a complaint about his/her head. Does the head barber keep the other barbers in line while the shop still has patrons or does he join in on the verbal assaults?

Will the Master stylist have a lot to say about not being able to please such a picky client or does she use that moment to teach her colleagues how to approach the next obstacle that may arise? Now that you know the nature of the working environment you can decide if it’s a possibility to begin your career here or keep looking for the right shop to work in.

Are you ready to interview?

Giving these tips the only thing left to do now is go out and start interviewing, and looking for the proper place to begin servicing the public with your creative skills. There are many types of shops to work in, and if you need some ideas on what they are you can take a look at my article asking What type of shop do you work in? Here is where I categorize the different shops out there, and what they are about. Searching for work in this field does not have to be a worrisome task if you just use my 5 best interview techniques when choosing a beauty/barber shop to work in. Be confident, Be positive, Be professional, and start your career in the right direction.

Til next time!

Shannon Kamal

Any concerns or questions? leave a comment and let’s talk about it!

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.

Professional

  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

vs.

Amateur

  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.

Sorry!

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.

Hey!

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

 

MY 5 step guide to be more successful in the beauty field

The beauty field has evolved from a weekly visit to a local saloon on to a daily need to feel beautiful. As the demands rise, professionals of the field stand to increase revenues by an upward of 30%. Everyone places a gauge on success differently so it is only fair to speak from a service stand point. To be a success in the beauty world this will depend on one of four things quality of work, quantity of work, retention of guest, and how long you have been in business. While it may be fairly easy to gain anyone of these attributes it is just that easy to overlook what we may be failing in to help us grow, and become more successful. Taking a look at my journey I realized 5 areas that I needed to address to enter the next level of my career. Consistency, Appearance, Communication, Education. Customer experience. Within these 5 areas we will discover ways to be more successful in our career.

Make your guest top priority

This will be the main ingredient of your success! Without our customers we are officially out of business. With this in mind our focus should be giving an experience that can not help but to be talked about. Word of mouth is still the greatest from of advertisement. The customer experience goes a long way with setting yourself apart from the competition. Think of ways you can give your customers a more positive memorable experience. Keep in mind that good news travels fast while bad news travels faster! Keep a list of your clients names, birthdays, and address. This will help your marketing efforts by personalizing each experience. Find out what your customer prefers to be called is it the first name? MR. or MRS? Birthdays are a great way to send out promotions to make them feel special on a day that much may forget. You will show that you care, and take a serious approach to making them feel good. Addresses will help you locate your clients for future deals, specials, or rewards.

Become a master of communication

The best way to build trust in this business is to have the ability to communicate. Let your yes be your yes and your no be your no! Gain trust by backing your words. Don’t say yes to a 6am Saturday morning if you don’t get outta bed until 7am. Keeping your book appropriately scheduled will show professionalism, and give you that extra respect as a professional. Show your customers you care by explaining the process in which you maintain their hair. Stay firm, fair, and keep all conversations professional. Don’t cross talk in the salon with co-workers or other guest. No politics or religion should be topic of discussion as it is considered topics of passion. Keep your customers engaged, informed, and educated, and watch the referrals roll in.

Your appearance counts

When it comes to beauty people come to see us to feel get beautiful. As a pro you should be clean, neat, and not too flashy. You want your customer to feel like the star of the show. If your attire is flashy you may intimidate those who aren’t as fashion forward. Of course unless you decide to stick to a certain class of clientele then you wouldn’t care how others felt. Black and white is usually the standard uniform for the beauty field in any variation would it work. Uniform shows a purpose to the public when you visit the hospital you will find a doctor in a white coat. Any restaurant and a chef in a chef jacket. While your local police will be found in blues and a badge. Are you dressed professional or are you just dressing to impress.

The more you know

The more you will grow! As trends change so will fashion request, and the only way to keep up is by educating yourself on the latest styles, techniques, and products. Without education, you will find your career at a stand still when these changes come about! Attend trade shows, reach out to product lines for material, and at least you can tune in to YouTube. Treat your field like any other field with the more learning you do the more earning you can do. Think of yourself as a fine-tuned automobile that will cost more if you came with more features. Learn to style hair after you give it a stylish haircut. Add the ability to mix formulations for color to become a versatile barber/stylist.

Keep working

The most production comes from the action that doesn’t stop. To give a great example I would ask you to think of a horse that is beautiful, strong, and fast. The only problem is the horse only comes out the stall on Saturdays for a half day then back to the stalls. While on the other hand there is a horse that is not as beautiful, not as strong, and a tad bit slower. This horse will not stop working until his job is complete EVERYDAY he is called upon. Now I ask which would you rather have working your farm?

In completion

Becoming successful is every professional dream I mean no one studies a subject to not be successful. However, success is measured differently across the board. I believe success is when you are able to sustain a living on your every day efforts of working behind the chair. Remember that quantity is not always a great measure quality holds more weight when servicing the public. We all have ways we can go to the next level, but we all don’t have the drive to make it possible. Do you agree? Or do you have ways to be more successful? If so, please leave a comment and share your thoughts!

 

Stay sophisticated, stay social, and keep cutting!

 

Shannon Kamal

Why the shampoo is the most important service on the menu

Where the magic happens

The shampoo bowl is probably the most overlooked place in the shop. That’s why the most successful shops have a well-kept shampoo area.

I mean think about it. Would you feel comfortable sitting in a sink that looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in a while. Hair balls in the sink stopper, color on the side of the bowl, and maybe even leftover lunch from Paula who washed her Tupperware leaving behind mac elbows. YUCK!

The shampoo bowl should be clean, comfortable, relaxing, and attractive! The shampoo is where I began to build a name for myself and started to pick up customers. With this review I want to give you insight on why the shampoo is the most important service of all services!

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

At least that’s what people believe! When your bowl is clean you have a started your journey with trust between customer and stylist. To ensure your sink is clean an EPA registered cleaner that kills all bacteria, and viruses should be used household bleach will work just well!

I’m sure you know how to disinfect but you can read the steps here in case you need a refresher. Color is also a big hazard if you aren’t wiping down sinks and chairs you may run the risk of a mistakenly dropped blob of color to come in contact w/ a persons skin or clothes, especially your customers. With a clean shampoo bowl your customer can now relax for what is about to take place.

You want cooperation

It’s hard to sit sill when you can’t get comfortable. The bowl is jamming you in the back of your ear, the chair doesn’t lean back properly so your neck is in suspension, hanging with no support. The chair is so hard one of your cheeks get numb you can’t help but to readjust to the other cheek just to find out that one has gone numb too.

Can a proper wash take place under those conditions? Water temperature plays a big role in client comfort, and should be the focus at this point. Too hot and you may have a lawsuit on your hands, Too cold and your customer will hit the roof!!

This can be avoided by checking with your inner wrist and maintain contact with the water using the back of your hand throughout the service. Any change in temperature and you will be able to act swift to adjust the setting.

With comfort set in place you can move on to the actual service, but before doing so there must be a few more steps to take. This where you ask how they would like the temp of the water using a soft stream of water testing it on the clients scalp until you get an OK! Ask your guest what type of scrub would they like. Soft/ hard pressure, vigorous scrub or light massage.

Making it your business to keep your client as comfortable as a G-5 flying at high altitudes! No I have never flown in a G-5.

They lead you follow

This is where you keep quiet and let your guest decide if they want to talk or just relax and get a scrub. For some they may just need some silence to unwind after a long day with the kids, at work, or just need to be pampered. Others not so much, they like to come in and have their gossip session of the month.

This is totally OK as long as the religion, and politics are kept unspoken. There is nothing worse than yapping off at the mouth while someone is just trying to have some “me time”! It’s just as bad when someone tries to engage in conversation, and get nothing in reply but dryers, running water, and the television.

Hold a conversation at least by acknowledging with eye contact so they know your listening. This is where your customer gets all of your attention to open the doors for your timed sales pitch.

Attraction peeks curiosity

Why do you think the most attractive person is always popular? My guess would be “we all love shiny objects” If it has the most lights we usually buy it and if it sparkles the best we just have to have it.

A nice setting can put in place to begin your sales pitch. What am I pitching you ask? Your products that you will be using of course! This is where your selling points begin. Educate your client on what you’re using, how to use it, and how much it can be purchased for at the front desk at checkout.

You will also be introducing the products you plan to use during the service. Let them smell the product, and bring out the benefits to the product. With this you are selling the product, setting up a sale either then, or later once they fully realize the value.

Don’t bring out the benefits of the product and you are leaving them to make a choice alone. While disclosing the benefits you bring the value to light, and here is where you begin to build a passive income along with a reputation of being a hair care specialist. Which will lead to bigger tips leading to referrals which leads to a higher income.

That is the goal isn’t it?

Close the deal

All of that means nothing if you lose focus on your customer and forget to meet their needs. We have to remain focused on the person in our chair. Make conversation where there is one to be made, have a proper consultation to meet your customers needs to the best of your ability. Notice the word needs and not wants.

You are the professional and all options should be finalized by you. Your retail prescriptions are to be made at the end of the sale with a recommendation to purchase for optimal results. Don’t force your customers to buy simply suggest a routine with the products they need for home maintenance.

This is why the shampoo can increase sales while beefing up your reputation as a great stylist. Remember to clean your bowls, make your area comfortable, Relax your guest, and make your sink area attractive with products, posters, and a shiny sink!

Below I posted the steps to a satisfying shampoo!

 



Steps to a satisfying shampoo

!. Clean and disinfect bowl.

2. Drape customer with a towel around neck and have consultation.

3. Brush clients hair vigorously from roots to ends to loosen up dirt, and distribute hair oils evenly throughout the strand.

4. Seat customer at bowl ensuring the cape is behind the chair and not in the sink.

5. Turn on sink and choose the correct temperature to clients liking.

6. Wet hair thoroughly.

7. Apply quarter sized product to the hair and work lather with a vigorous scrub using you finger tips and palms.

8. Lifting the head with one hand wash the nape of the neck

9. Guide clients head back in sink gently

10. Rinse and repeat

11. Second wash is a methodical approach using relaxed rhythms to release the scalp of dirt, debris, and oils.

12. Rinse and towel blot not completely drying the hair.

13. Your conditioner will be chosen depending on what the consultation revealed.

14. Rinse the product out of the hair and towel wrap the hair into a turban.

15. Clean sink out of any product, and hair

16. Disinfect

If done properly your client should get up dry out of the sink, and if it’s done professionally you will have just made someone a very satisfied customer. Boosting your average ticket price, building trust all while keeping your customers happy is why the shampoo is the most important service on the menu.

 

This review of services was bought to you by Sophisticated grooming endorsed by Shannon kamal with no correlation to any company except the author of review.

Battling dry scalp with dry dull hair? Try crème of nature Conditioning Shampoo and Conditi

5 things you should know before starting barber school!

Hello and welcome to another page from the 5 series here at Sophisticated Grooming. Are you looking to begin a career as a barber? To get you started there are 5 things you should know before starting barber school. The barber profession dates back to the middle ages with responsibilities of a dentist, and surgeon. What began as a prestigious position quickly evolved into becoming a therapist, fashion expert, and a community mentor. As you journey into your studies I want to share with you the cost, education, expectations, ups and downs, and the completion of courses. With this information you will be prepared to enter school ready to become a barber.

The decision

To become a barber was something I never expected to e doing, however I will say that I am glad the love found me. My decision to be a barber was simple I had fun cutting hair, and I heard somewhere that if your job is fun you will never work a day in your life.

I found myself building a client base with just one pair of clippers, a trimmer, and my weight bench as my chair. I was satisfied to be able to have great conversations while making others feel good about their appearance.

The decision was an easy one to make for me at this time because I hated waking up to go to college and studying for a job that wasn’t guaranteed after course completion. I also enjoyed the fact that I would make my own schedule and set the possibilities of how much I can earn with no cap on my potential.

After talking to my sister who was already in the beauty field I was given advice to do both women, and men hair styling. So that’s what I did I signed up for beauty school the very next day. This was the best decision I had ever made, and after completing beauty school my next step was to cross over to a barbering program.

This decision gave me a well-rounded approach to being able to style hair. And all it cost me wast 18 months of my time and a price tag of about $20,000.

If you, do decide to go forward the price of this education runs roughly between $10-$15 per hour. In the state of Massachusetts at 1000 hours you are looking at roughly 12-15k including your workbooks and a kit of styling tools. Once you find the right school the price of the education will be well worth it.

What you will learn

A barbers’ education is pretty universal so I am confident in telling you that what you will learn can be applied in any state that you reside. The obvious education would be removing hair and styling hair, but there will be a heavy concentration in sanitation and infection control. The most important part of your lessons will be how not to pass along disease and how to prevent the spread of infection.

Along with that you will be learning chemical services such as Perms, relaxers, and color. These services may not be of interest to you but it is a part of the curriculum for a reason you will need to be prepared for any service that walks through the door. By law, it is illegal to refuse service based on sex, so if a lady prefers a barber to do her roller set it would be best if you knew how.

There is a theory to each subject that will give you the science behind each service, and the practical part is where you practice the application of the lesson. Customer service do’s and don’t are also a big part of the curriculum. What sets a barber apart from someone who just cuts hair is his/her professional approach to the job.

Understanding what kind of conversations can/cannot be he’d in the shop will ensure you keep customers satisfied at all times. Even if a customer is the one to strike a forbidden conversation about politics, religion, and money you will e taught how to take control and redirect the topic. With practice day in and day out anyone can become good at cutting hair, but it takes education to be able to properly service the public.

What to expect

Whenever you are introduced to something new it is natural to feel nervous and afraid. Afraid of making a mistake or doing something wrong. I Know these feelings were present when I began so its not far off to expect you to feel the same.

For instance, I recall my first haircut on an individual with fine straight hair up until then my work has all been done on coarse thick hair. Well needless to say my approach left the gentleman with a plug on the side of his head and me standing there for 45 minutes trying to figure how to hide it.

There was no hiding it nor was there an escape from the embarrassment I felt. Luckily my teacher kindly explained “Unless you have experience in cutting all types of hair(which is not uncommon) expect to make some major mistakes!” In fact, I suggest you make as many mistakes as you can while in barber school this is the only way to learn the difference between the correct way and the incorrect way.

You will have enough time to gain experience so don’t rush the process. Depending on your location you can look forward to at least 1000 hours of training. For the full time students that will register at about 9 months, and 16 months for part-time student. Other states require more hours ranging from 1200-2000 check with your local requirements to gain a clear understanding of how many hours are needed.

The roller coaster

Some days you will excel and feel like you are on top of the world while other days you will find the subject matter tough to understand giving you thoughts of quitting. This is totally normal and I urge you to remember that this field is a never ending lesson.

What you don’t understand today will become clear tomorrow as long as you work through your frustrations. There is no such thing as the Perfect barber or BEST barber just an individual who vows to be better each day they turn on a pair of clippers.

Don’t get too high when you excel and don’t get too low when you fail. The ups and downs of your school career only reminds you that you are evolving into a professional. We all need encouragement from time to time so don’t be afraid to lean on your educator for insurance.

The next step

If you have stuck with the course, and completed the program you are now eligible for your state exams. This is where you go before the state board of barbers’ and perform a haircut & shave to demonstrate you can practice proper technique and keep the public safe from disease and infection.

Once you pass this portion there will be a written exam administered to test your knowledge on the rules and regulations of the state in which you will be practicing. After you successfully pass both parts (Congratulations!) an apprentice barber license will be issued and you are officially a professional barber ready to be employed, and perform services for the public. As an apprentice you are required to work under a Master barber for a duration of 18 months before you can be considered for your master barber license.

What this means is that you aren’t allowed to work without the supervision of a master barber on site. This is to ensure your school training was thorough and you become comfortable with the public ensuring proper protocol. It’s almost like graduate school in a sense. Don’t worry its better this way as you will find out the shop and school has its differences.

In review

The cost can range from 12k – 15k and about 9-16 months of time so to start your career as a barber you will find the value to outweigh the cost.

This field is one of growth and steady evolution what is today can quickly change tomorrow. Although you are licensed and ready to work It’s important to learn from everything you do and everyone you encounter. For a successful career you will have to keep up with the times.

To give you a little advice I suggest you keep track of your progress with pictures. When you get deeper in your career you will find out how horrible your cuts were and how far you have come with your skills.

The ups and downs will continue, but become far and few in between each episode. You will hit cruise control and hit an altitude of Highs with a couple of bumps in the road. It is impossible to please everyone, however your goal should be to satisfy each and every guest that enter the shop. Now that you know what to look for before starting barber school my only question is….. Are you ready?

 

Why is education imporant for a succesful career?

I often wonder what life would be like if we as humans learned to walk and talk just to never have another learning experience again. Wouldn’t it be better to wake up with zero responsibility, no concerns, no need to be productive? Why is education so important? With these questions I began to think about my career. What good is my career if I don’t attempt to learn more? How can I be a Master if I don’t explore ALL areas of my field? That’s simple I wouldn’t be able to be a master, or I wouldn’t reach maximum potential. My thoughts on why education is important for growth, impact, profit and success in your career.

Key to growth is held in the sufficiency of light

Knowledge is defined as: Familiarity or conversance as with a particular subject of learning. Becoming more in tune with the subjects in front of us we will shed light on what is unknown. To be unknown you will be prepared for what will encounter throughout the life of your career.
The goal is to never cease finding light to shed on what we don’t know. The more education means we can keep up with the times and how styles and trends evolve.

Besides the more you know = the more you can do which means a higher yield of profit on the back end! Once you have learned it all you will no longer need to grow. Growing to the max should be every barber/ stylist dream!

The blind can’t lead the blind

Would it be fair to say that everyone can learn something from someone at any given time. To be of impact you should be willing to lead the person next to you with providing light on a dark situation.

Your knowledge is no good if no one else can learn from it. You’re only as good as those you have around you so be active on making an impact with sharing your education. Those that don’t have the knowledge should be mindful of not being misleading with information. If you don’t know how, can you direct others that also don’t know?

The blind cannot lead the blind.

Acquire more, give more, and earn more!

Nothing will ever stay the same in this lifetime. Everything evolves for the better or the worse, but in a barbers case the styles will always evolve or come back around. To be able to stay in the know we have to be educated in what’s up and coming.

If you stay ahead of the curve with constant education you will be able to keep up and introduce more to your guest list. Here is where you will get feedback from your customers furthering your education experience making you ready to get creative.

Not only does this help your creativity, but it creates a bond of trust with your customers. A stylist/barber that listens will rarely ever make a mistake or leave one unsatisfied. The more you know the more light you have giving you max potential for growth.

Finish Line

By now your career is coming to a close, I mean we can’t cut/style hair forever. What will you have left behind? Have you grown, made an impact, or made good money? If you can answer yes to any 3 of those you will have had a successful career.

Of course you will have to define your meaning of success. My thoughts of success is to have a major impact on the next generation of barbers. Getting them to learn how to save money, invest, become product driven, and be a service to your community. We shouldn’t just take from the community we work in but we should be a structure of support for the community we work in.

Whatever you decide please remember success isn’t really success if you’re the only one benefiting. Education is something we all can share and grow from. So, if you’e ever sat and wondered Why is education so important? I hope this can answer the question in some form of clarity for you.

Don’t forget to be Social, and share with a barber or stylist you may know!

Shannon Kamal

 

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Learning through your mistakes will create strength and wisdom!

Hello friends, colleagues, and guest! Welcome to another page from the Social barber.

Today it’s all about mistakes and how learning through them will make you a stronger barber, A more wise barber. Perfection isn’t possible for a human being, so we should be prepared for things that just won’t go our way. It’s not enough to acknowledge a mistake we have to be willing to learn from our mistakes. We have to ask ourselves will we be better than yesterday, and strive to be better tomorrow. Learning through your mistakes will separate a good barber from a GREAT barber!

Mistakes are necessary for growth!

Mistakes cannot be avoided, and will happen a lot when beginning as a barber as you grow experienced you will begin to limit those mistakes. The process of learning is to remain willing to take in information, honest about what you don’t know, and open about making corrections. An old proverb goes “he who teaches himself has a fool for a teacher.

We need some sort of instruction to gain the proper know how in any subject. “When the student shows up the teacher will appear” that old saying is true. Having the Will to learn will begin the process of becoming accomplished & better than the day before.

Honesty only works when we can remain humble and ask “can you explain exactly?” it doesn’t do any good to pretend to know. The possibility to be wrong is now present, and you will end up looking like a complete fool when you were just trying to be mr. know it all. Be are open about not knowing then you will receive clarification which will in turn guarantee no mistakes can be made from not knowing!

Corrections play a big role in the mistake. Remember that the mistake doesn’t matter, but how we bounce back from it is key. Imagine a supermarket is crowded and you’re in aisle 8 debating ragu, or prego. The lady feeding an army with the carriage filled to ceiling comes down and knocks a bottle off the shelf and sauce gets OVER EVERYTHING including you! Now two things can take place from this honest mistake. An apology can be offered and attempt to get you cleaned up will be made, or she can keep strolling because it wasn’t her fault. In her eyes her she couldn’t see anything above the Cheerios and kibble n bits!

Same rule applies with us barbers. The customer know what they want when they sit down. Our job is to recommend professionally alternatives to meet the request. Imposing our sense of style is a no no! The Biggest mistake made is to take into your own hands how a customer is to be styled. 2 things can happen you can offer an apology accompanied with a discount or you can deny the mistake and find every reason why it isn’t your fault.

Why is it important to bounce back?

Being able to find a way to understand what went wrong is what will determine how well you are received. People don’t care about mishaps they care about feeling respected. It doesn’t matter you took it down too low or nick him behind his ear what matters was the way you made it right.

This makes your customer trust you for one and gives you point for being professional. The more accidents you make is another opportunity to understand next time what NOT to do! Today your blending is patchy and you leave the blend line too heavy.

That’s OK!

Today you will practice on working the weight of the blend line and use your mirrors to check for consistency throughout your work. The more you realize your mistakes it will be easier to advance. My motto is to make as many mistakes early in your journey while you have guidance to ensure you are learning properly. The person who is perfect and never made a mistake doesn’t exist. Keep a positive outlook on your career while learning through your mistakes will prove your worth for the rest of your career!

Stay positive, keep grooming, and be Social!

Shannon Kamal

The 5 reasons why barbering should be a bond!

.Hello and welcome once again.

To continue with the 5 series theme today I will give you my 5 reasons why I believe there should be a bond of solidarity in the world of barbering. I’m sure everyone has things they do well and there are some things others do better than you. What does that really mean in the grand scheme of things?

The constant that should remain is that we ALL should have the same approach in common. Be consistent! While the beginner should consistently get better we have the vet whom should be consistently giving his, or her best.

Again these are just my beliefs of how it should be

 

 

Reason #5 Our families will thank us

When you think about a bond what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For me, It would have to be a closeness that is hard to separate. When there is a connection as this we will have a level of respect for what the other is setting out to achieve.

Shop owners are setting out to be a successful business owner so as a booth renter/chair operator there should be a level of support to assist your barber brother, Be dependable and active so he can get home to his family for more QT. Nothing worse than having to cut all day and night because you can’t trust the individuals in your shop to keep it under control.

Shop owners have some direction and protocol to ensure your barbers have a workplace with purpose and vision. Who wants to rent a chair, or work for long where there are no boundaries or rules so anything goes? Some people are looking for a place to settle in, and grow roots to grow a prosperous career to raise a family.

I look out for my brother to ensure his work life compliments his home life.

Reason #4 Takes care of the next generation

Imagine a brotherhood started with the goal to last for years to come! This isn’t to say barbering is going anywhere, but plumbing is here to stay as well that didn’t stop them from forming a UNION. Making the arena a place where the game has codes to work by will ensure the integrity will grow stronger.

Do we lack integrity? I guess we’d have to poll that question to find out to get an accurate answer, However if we take a look at our social media accounts we’d witness barbers calling out barbers for using enhancements to add detail when the work they do need detail. Calling barbers phony and whack because they want to dive in enhancing the look of his market is a foolish way to think. We are service driven first in all ways! if your market demands a service, why would you deny it?

Or the ones who have a problem with the use of holding cameras while cutting to get that video feed of that sharp lineup and clean fade. I don’t have much time to hold and cut like I want as I have to clear my schedule timely being the only barber present that makes me feel left out.

Understand one another to grow from one another and be united. When there is unity you will find a union!

Reason #3 we can do more

This one is pretty simple and easy to explain there is strength in numbers. More people on one page means insurance packages, Retirement funds, and Annual conventions. The conventions are actually in existence so we have that down.

What would be lovely is every area having a network of shops paying in to an insurance package as well as some sort of 401k retirement program. Even if it was done in a regional sense the more organized we are the more prepared we can be therefore the more will get done!

Reason #2 It builds character

Building a bond means a learning experience is to be had and where there is growth rough patches will be present. Strength can only be accomplished with resistance lessons are learned with mistakes and a will to learn can make the world of difference.

Some of us put in more hours in shops than we spend at home with our loved ones, if we don’t take the time to iron out details without taking everything personal we leave space for bitterness, regret, and a career without resolve. To be able to have an open honest conversation for the sake of growth will become contagious and become a need in every relationship in our lives.

Our families may even thank us again!

Reason #1 What we work for

That leaves my number one reason for a barber bond and that would be OUR guest! That will rollover to all aspects of our lives we work by a code.

The whole goal of cutting hair is to create relationships with our customers so that they will bring their children to see us, and if we are blessed to have a long-lasting career we will create a bond to cut the grand kids as well.

Repeating customers mean we have built a book of steady support which is the plan for a prosperous career! If the income isn’t steady How can we survive? Sure flexible hours, and being creative, is nice but we need steady income to survive!

And once again our families will thank us.

To finish my thoughts

These beliefs are just where my thoughts go when I view the barber game as a whole. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t areas out there that are professional and united because I have witnessed true barber love. This is a view from a wider stance which may make me a nitpicker, but I as a whole we can do better.

I know this approach is miles off base with wishful thinking. There will always be a shop owner who doesn’t believe in growth, education, and fairness. Giving the help free rein to come in whenever. Do whatever and be as irresponsible as ever.

The support won’t be there no matter how much we don’t agree with approaches, or applications there will always be that person who feels the need to crap om it,

We’d be better off if this was the case, but no one is out for teaming up most are out to tear down! This was just my thoughts why U believe we SHOULD be a bond It won’t happen but I’m a dreamer!

If you agree leave a comment

Disagree? Give me your best reason why?

 

Shannon kamal

Stay positive, Stay sophisticated, keep grooming!

 

 

5 reasons why your barber/beauty shop should feature a professional product line

Hello friends, colleagues, and guest

The beauty industry is a Multi-Billion dollar industry projected to reach 445 billion dollars by 2020 if it hasn’t already. Beauty products are a necessity in every persons grooming regimen throughout the world. Everyone wants to look good and will stop at nothing to achieve this. If we took a look in every medicine cabinet here and abroad you’re going to find some sort of beauty product for the purposes to maintain, aid, or create a desired look. Here’s my 5 reasons why your shop should feature a professional product line.


Reason #1 Necessity

Your guest NEED it! Just like a dental check up is necessary to avoid dentures and extractions at a later date the same can be said about hair. The products you use today can preserve your color or prevent the damage that may occur from everyday life. Use good products or watch as the color fades, or watch as it begins to fall out later.

Professional products are a necessity to achieve the desired results and keep the hair in good health. Hair is composed of mainly a protein called Keratin that can compromised with different chemical processes that take place by request of the guest. Leaving the chemical composition compromised it will take the proper product to ensure it is bought back to full health.

Keeping the hair clean and conditioned is a good way to ensure your guest will return the same way he or she has left. Taking the time to analyze each persons head of hair to discover the daily routines, health issues, textures, state of hair will ensure you prescribe the proper maintenance routine.

Styling products can do more damage than good if they aren’t used properly or contain harmful ingredients making It important to stress that your guest use professional aids, and stay away from the drug stores.

Reason #2 Shows professionalism

Products in the retail area shows you are serious about hair care and you supply the needs of your customers. You wouldn’t go to a bait shop and not find bait or head to a pharmacy to find no meds.

Hair care is your profession and the upkeep of hair begins and ends in your chair. I’ve seen time and time again stylist would send customers out to pick up product from a beauty supply that caters the public. It’s even worse to have the customer arrive with store bought chemical to use along with some bottom of the barrel irregular product purchased from a supermarket.

It may say redken but if it wasn’t purchased from a professional retailer that product is not redken!

Reason #3 Be different

Every barber shops cuts hair and every salon colors hair but what sets yours apart?

This will be determined by the featured product you carry. Make it exclusive and new to the area do your research in the trends and needs of your area. Depending on your demographic area you may be the only establishment to carry products at all.

How cool would it be to have exclusive product first in your area. With proper signage and decals for the windows this can lead to an increase of walk ins.People always want to be a part of something new and be one of the first to take part. Introducing the “Sophisticated Grooming Black mask” Discounted service for limited time only “leaving your skin refreshed and pores cleaned!”

That alone will raise curiosity and drive in that much needed foot traffic!

Reason #4 Keeps staff Learning

It is important to understand that frequent education is key for a fruitful styling business and career.

Keeping up with the times can only occur when you stay up on what’s new and relevant. New product should be introduced with the proper way to use it demonstrated by the distributor.

Product knowledge for the stylist is important for sales to effectively take place in your establishment. Product can’t be sold until you educate the guest on how to use it. Give them the information of the benefits they will feel empowered to maintain their style.

This will gain you that needed trust by the public to continue patronizing your establishment. With that you can assure a few new referrals will be on the way. Who doesn’t like referrals? The service model is to expand your base and grow for a profitable business, referrals are what we strive for.

Reason #5 More revenue to earn

Above all reasons as a shop owner this may be the most important. Retail sales = passive income! Properly marketed products can boost the average ticket price between 15-20%. There should not only be a retail area by reception but a selling point at each and every station for employees to make recommendations.

It’s a lot easier to make a sale when the product is in eyesight where it can be analyzed, sampled, and shown how to use. This will come with the proper prescription for the guest to purchase and continue use at home. Keep in mind that a prescription is a recommendation for product use at home. It doesn’t guarantee that they will purchase right away so it’s important to practice your pitch.

Remember to highlight the Pros of the product and why they will benefit from its features. The purchase may not be made then and there but you will leave an impression for the future, and leave the door open for a later sale.

To sum it up

Whether you have a Barber shop or Beauty salon professional products can be the difference maker when times get slow. They also can be used as leverage in packaged deals to entice people to spend especially during the holidays or other special times of the year.

“Get a free blow dry with the purchase of a 12oz shampoo & conditioner. or Free beard wash with the purchase of any beard product on display. The combinations are endless so get creative. You will find that even on you slowest of days you will have a steady stream of customers ready to spend money. Stay positive, Get creative, and Feature a professional product line!

Leave a comment below with your preferred product line and what you carry in your shop/salon, or plan to carry.

 

Shannon Kamal

Stay positive, Stay sophisticated, Keep grooming!