I have been a licensed cosmetologist for over 13 years and have always worked full time behind the chair with guests. When I started in the industry, like most hairdressers, mistakes were common. Ladies and gentlemen, I turned my mother’s hair green. Thank goodness I had a patient mentor to save the day. In any trade, you learn almost more from those what not to do situations, than you do from totally successful ones.
As the years have past, these learning experiences come a lot less often. Work becomes almost routine as my client base grows. I feel I have definitely staked my claim on the beauty industry, and this girl who once looked for someone to save my ass when I blew it, is now responsible for sharing that same helping hand to my own staff.
Let me tell you this though, I don’t care who you are, whenever you feel like you have totally made it and there is nothing else to learn, the universe will conspire to set you straight. You will not always get it right.
I recently had a new guest in for a color service. She was looking for a bright vibrant copper red. When asked if she had done a shade like this before, she hadn’t. I was hoping to use a color line that wouldn’t be permanent so she could “try it on” before committing. The color looked beautiful while processing but as I rinsed her, I knew it wasn’t what we wanted. I attempted to add a little more vibrancy, but to no avail. It wasn’t an undesirable color or anything, it just wasn’t the color she desired.
Here’s what’s different, I am a professional now. This was my first time with this beautiful creature, no matter the cost of that product or how long the service took, I wasn’t going to charge for a service that didn’t represent my level of education and best work. I also know that I create the most stunning hair in two hour increments. I used to fiddle with the same head of hair for long hours, trying to force something that should require more than one visit into a miracle salon day. I’m smarter now, I know my limitations.
I gave her that textured haircut she wanted and asked her to let me try one more time a few days later. She needed the strength of that permanent color to open her skinny hair follicle and the higher volume developer to give her the vibrancy she was looking for. I know this. I just miscalculated and played it too safe. You won’t always get it right, but if you are a true professional and create moments of trust, you just might have the opportunity to get it right the second time.