LIFE OF A STYLIST POST-LOCKDOWN

WELCOME BACK! I hope you have settled back into work nicely and are enjoying being reunited with your clients after a tough couple of months! I’m here again today to share with you some post-lockdown advice that I have gathered from some fellow hairdressers, after learning more about their experiences since getting back to work.

We know that every stylist is different, so I’ve rounded up some tips and tricks from various types of hairdresser that hopefully you can relate to. Read on and enjoy!

Q: We all know that the past year has been incredibly challenging for our industry. How important is self-care for stylists and can you share some of your personal experiences?

Salon Owner:

Having returned three times to a tsunami of people, I have not allowed myself to be crazily booked up. I have not worked late nights and have had days off to look after my mental health. I can honestly say that my mind was not on the money- I was anxious this time, so I’ve tried to ease myself back into work and not overwhelm myself.

Specialist/Bridal/Celebrity Stylist:

Self-care is something all stylists must put first. If we don’t invest in ourselves, we are unable to give our best to our clients. It’s like what they say: in case of an emergency on the plane, put your mask on first.

Mobile Stylist/Educator:

Self-care is extremely important: we need to look after ourselves in these uncertain times, so I’ve certainly learned to not be too hard on myself and know when it’s time for a break!

Home Salon Owner:

It’s very important for stylists to feel confident and positive. We must feel comfortable, safe, and protected at work and take time off even though we have been off for so long.

Q: It’s certainly been a whirlwind over the past few weeks for us- do you have any tips on how to structure your weeks back at work, i.e. spacing out clients, posting on social media, etc.?

Salon Owner:

I have truthfully lost my way with social media posting: just thinking about content makes me want to melt down, so I have not done much at all! I have always worked on a one-on-one basis during COVID times… I did however increase my prices to allow this to happen.

Specialist/Bridal/Celebrity Stylist:

Work out your days off and stick to them and book your clients in advance. Plan your social media posts ahead of time: there are plenty of apps that can help you with this. I also find setting reminders really helps me to structure my week so that I know when I should be posting. @viviennejohns has great tips on her Instagram!

Mobile Stylist/Educator:

My weeks are planned 6 weeks in advance: clients are booked in for an hour and a half appointment slot for a cut and blowdry, a 3 hour colour appointment for highlights or balayage and a 2 hour slot for a root, colour and ends refresh.

Home Salon Owner:

Spacing clients out is very important for everyone. Keeping space apart for both the clients and stylist ensures comfort and reduces anxiety.

Q: Do you have any tips on how re-booking services can be encouraged?

Salon Owner:

I always get my clients to rebook before leaving: I must have a 90% re-booking clientele, hence holidays and freelance days can always be managed easy. I am dropping a salon day to try to grow my massage business from home! 

Specialist/Bridal/Celebrity Stylist:

Always book your clients in advance: this helps with diary preparation in the future and stops your clients from being disappointed that you can’t fit them in and also keeps them regular. 

Mobile Stylist/Educator:

Before every client leaves, invite them to re-book, highlighting the fact that they will get the slot that they prefer if they book 2 appointments in advance.

Home Salon Owner:

I always try and encourage re-booking as part of a self-care ritual, where my clients can take a break from their lives and enjoy getting their hair done.

Q: How beneficial have virtual consultations been and do you think they are still relevant for stylists post-lockdown?

Salon Owner:

These have helped with having a look at what stock is needed and seeing how bad things are, or a way of seeing if my clients have coloured anything themselves.

Specialist/Bridal/Celebrity Stylist:

I still like to do a virtual consultation if I haven’t met the client or if it has been longer than expected, as this helps me to prepare myself in terms of how long I will need and to ensure that I have enough time. It also helps to manage my clients’ expectations and any anxiety they may have. 

Mobile Stylist/Educator:

I personally feel that there is no need for virtual appointments anymore as we can now see people in real life. Consultations in depth are super essential for new clients and a great opportunity to do the skin allergy alert test.

Home Salon Owner:

Virtual consultations are very important, as clients expect safe contact to reduce anxiety. I also think it is useful as stylists need to assess hair for all types of reasons: past colour, lack of condition etc.

If you are interested in virtual consultations with your clients, download Style My Hair Pro to give them the tailored experience they deserve.

Q: Everyone will respond to lockdown easings differently. Do you have any advice on how to reduce client anxiety to make them feel more comfortable?

Salon Owner:

Keep your work space professionally maintained and make them feel safe. I offered a one in one out service so that there is plenty of space in my salon.

Specialist/Bridal/Celebrity Stylist:

It’s so important to listen and reassure your client. Talk through all their worries and offer options! Reassure your client that the consultation is on-going throughout the appointment and that they are in the best hands. Sometimes it’s best to go slowly and build up to changes. 

Mobile Stylist/Educator:

It’s highly important to follow the rules regarding COVID-19 and to show your clients that you care. Listen to the client rather than talk at them. Talk them through every stage of the process

Home Salon Owner:

Reduce anxiety by offering bespoke one-on-one services. I explain each time what’s been done for a  COVID safe environment to make my clients feel more at ease during their appointments.

Q: Do you think services have changed, i.e. have low-maintenance colour options been more popular after lockdown periods?

Colouring has changed to clients not wanting to be tied to regular appointments and wanting to go back to the time when they had balayage Once a year, I manage this by adding more colour and upselling more techniques for their next visit, then make them book before leaving.

Specialist/Bridal/Celebrity Stylist:

Balayage has definitely changed how clients are wanting lower maintenance. I try and personalise my clients’ tone or placement to help bring them in sooner. 

Mobile Stylist/Educator:

Not at all! My clients love having their bespoke current techniques and wouldn’t want to downgrade. A few have tried growing out their colours by adding lowlights into the grey regrowth but have not liked it. They have missed all that we do for them and my upgrade to a £5 add-on treatment has been a great success.

Home Salon Owner:

I have noticed no change yet in how long clients are waiting in-between services (my salon is new).

It was great to chat with these stylists and to hear all about their post-lockdown experiences and top tips! I hope that this has given you some fresh ideas as to how you can communicate with your clients, as well as the services you can offer that will make them feel at ease.

Keep going… you’ve got this!

Stay safe,

Nicola x

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