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