Two questions you need to know to get unstuck.

Have you ever been in such a deep funk that you just can't seem to get out of?  A couple weeks ago I found myself in a downward spiral of negativity. I felt empty and then also a little frustrated that I was feeling that way.  A lot of terrible things had been happening in the world and it was really making me depressed--like hopeless and depressed. I literally cannot afford to be uninspired as being creative is a major part of my job description. Several days of this went by and I realized that even though I kept trying to get to the "root" of the problem I was only going deeper and deeper into this sad and frustrated state.  I kept asking myself things like, "Abby, what is making you feel like way?"  and, "Abby, why are you sad?" I thought these questions I was asking myself were going to help me pinpoint where this feeling was coming from but instead I just kept thinking of more reasons I could be sad. It was the most intense apathy I had experienced in a long time. I was starting to get desperate for a fresh breath of positivity but I just felt like I kept hitting a brick wall.  I finally decided that enough was enough and maybe I was trying to hit this thing from the wrong angle.  Einstein says the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The feeling of insanity was beginning to get overwhelming so, I went back to the drawing board and started asking some better questions. My first question to myself was,

"Abby, do these sad feelings belong to you?"

The answer to that question is an absolute, undeniable and resounding NO! They are not mine.  So then the next question came naturally,

"If those feelings don't belong to me, what feelings do belong to me?

Just thinking about the feelings that do belong to me instantly felt lighter: happiness, joy, love, peace, restfulness, lightness, freedom, inspiration, etc. It was then that I finally was able to disconnect myself from the frustration and step into a better mental place. Shortly after this breakthrough it's like my inspiration highway was open again--thank goodness! There is just nothing worse than being trapped inside your own mind.  

Have you ever been stuck? What has helped you get out of your emotional funk?

Thanks for stopping by, yall.  Until next time!

With all my love and positive vibes,

Abby

On going into people's homes.

When you work on-location you are usually going into people's homes. This is an incredibly important thing and how you handle yourself can make or break your reputation as a professional stylist. Home is where real life happens. You are bound to see arguments, messes, and your clients in their most comfortable environment.  There is a tangible feeling of vulnerability on your client's part and it is our responsibility to steward that vulnerability with the utmost care.  Here are a few tips to do just that:

  1. Be punctual. Try to arrive to your appointments a few minutes before you're due so you are ready to go the minute they sit in your chair. Running behind happens, and when it does it is important to communicate with the clients it will effect. If you think you may be late shoot a text (or a quick call) to your nexty. Respecting your client's time will mean a lot to them and even if your punctuality isn't perfect it will still help them develop a trust in you.   
  2. Have all your tools with you.  I am constantly moving my stuff around and there have been times when I have left things behind that I need.  While you can usually work around the problem without too many issues you will sweat less and give your client's a more quality service if you have all your tools. If you find yourself leaving things behind come up with a system to keep that from happening like a checklist or bag organization where you can visibly see that your missing an item. With a touch of extra planning you can save yourself mucho sweat beads.  
  3. Don't overstay your welcome. Some of my most beloved friends started out as clients first. We are 'daymakers' and we automatically feel close to the people we see often and make smile. However, not everyone of your clients is your bff and it's soooo important not to get too comfortable in their homes. I always try to err on the side of being "mostly hairdresser" than "mostly friend" even though we are both to them.  Unless they are begging you to stay, when you are finished with your work there, pack up, clean up, and be on your merry way. 
  4. Don't under-stay your welcome. This is where your intuition needs to kick in. Building a good rapport with your clients sometimes goes beyond just doing your job and heading out.  If they ask you to stay or invite you to something fun, by all means GO, but always keep in mind you are still representing your business and your brand so be professional!
  5. Leave them better than you found them. As a mom, this is something that makes the most incredible impression on me. When my daughter cleans up after herself I feel so grateful and it makes me want to keep her around a little longer. On a professional level, your clients should never have to deal with the mess you leave behind.  Always ask for a broom/vacuum to clean up hair.  Have a cloth or wipes to clean any leftover residue or spills on the surfaces you've been working on.  Place hot tools on a heat resistant pad. Doing these simple things will leave an huge impact on your clients and can help guarantee they'll be happy to invite you back again.  
  6. Be trustworthy. We hold more than hairdryers and flat irons as hairdressers, we hold our client's hearts. You may be the only person they share some of their most personal information with some days. It is our job to keep our hearts open and our mouths shut.                                                         

What are some valuable lessons you've learned as an on-location hairdresser? 

Leave me a comment below!

With all my heart and hairspray,

Abby

How to not be afraid of updos.

 

I know a lot of hairdressers that would rather eat dog food than do an updo on a client.  There is something about the unknown when you see an updo scheduled on your books that makes your stomach turn in fear.  I was that person for years until I realized that it's the easiest way to be an on-site hairdresser. Sure, there is a confidence that comes with doing them for awhile, but it is honestly super easy.  I probably shouldn't even be saying this because now you know I'm just a lazy person who can charge money for literally being lazy. Here are just a couple keys I've learned over the years on doing updos that will make your clients so happy and keep you in business.

  1. Make the wand do the work. This is an over-generalization but when it comes to updos, and more specifically wedding hair, even just a little bend in the hair can make the difference between a perfect updo and a pitiful one. I curl probably 90% of my clients hair before pinning it up. The curl leaves a much softer look and gives those pins some traction so they don't slip out.  
  2. Take it in sections. Many clients will bring you a picture of their desired updo. I have been handed some of the most intensely braided/twisted/crazy pictures of hair that have made my head spin.  This is normal, but not necessary.  First, find out what the client likes specifically about that picture.  They may like a part of it that you didn't even notice while you were being distracted by the swirly-whirlyness.  Most importantly, look at the style in sections. When broken down, you will notice that maze of design could be merely a teased-up bun interwoven with a few simple braids.  
  3. Smile often.  When I have a new client that I can tell is not ready to hand their full trust over to me, I smile at them and I keep that smile even when I think they're not looking. Not like a psycho, but just a gentle smile that lets them know I'm not worried and they shouldn't be either.  This small gesture will ultimately make the greatest difference in your work and in winning over your client.

If you find yourself freaking-out about an upcoming bride or updo client think of these three simple keys and watch the work of your hands create amazing things!

With all my love and bobby pins,

Abby 

 

 

Abby in a nutshell

Good morning, all!

I have a favorite time of day. I don't shout it from the rooftops usually because a lot of people find it slightly annoying—but I just can't help it. My favorite time of day falls between 6:00am-10:00am.  I get a little sad when those hours are coming to an end.  I love being ready early enough to have a quiet moment on my own couch or out at a breakfast place in town. There is something about the morning sunlight compared to the afternoon/evening sunlight that makes me feel a little more loved or something. If you haven't tried it--you totally should.  

ANYWAYS....... I thought I'd start out this new blog by putting myself out there a bit. First of all, my name is Abby. I live in Houston, TX with my husband, Chris, our 2.5-year-old Norah, and our French Bulldog, Celine.  I'm a stay-at-home mom/professional hairdresser who works on-location.  I have been doing hair since 2008 (well really since about '01 but legally since '08).  And I think my job is really cool.  Who else gets to go around making people feel hotter for a living?? And get paid for it?? However, I didn't always know I wanted to be a hairdresser.  I actually started out pursuing ministry in a little practical ministry school in the Rio Grande Valley.  Though ministry in a church building didn't turn out to be my favorite thing, I'm thankful it transplanted me to Texas (Illinois native) where I realized winter is literally from the devil and one doesn't actually have to go through that b.s. yearly. I spent my first five hairdressing years in the salon--learning, and using precious, unknowing clients as guinea pigs (do an apprenticeship first, young hairdressers!).  Then when our daughter was born in 2013, the opportunity to work on-site presented itself. I jumped right on that horse and never looked back.  Working for myself has been one of the most rewarding decisions I've ever made and it has kept me home with our daughter that I'm slightly addicted to (more on her later). So, that sums up about the last decade or so for me.  I'm getting really excited to share with y'all some of the ups and downs of working as an on-site hairdresser, some of my favorite people/tools of the trade, and probably a lot of other randomness like about how to have no friends by being a morning person! See you tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by!

With all my love and morningness, 

Abby