What type of shop do you work in?

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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 There are no outdated magazines, tasteless TV, and music made only for a few to enjoy!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