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The day will come when you will have to find a new stylist. It is as inevitable as death, and about as pleasant.
In the days before I became involved in the beauty industry, I can recall when my very pregnant stylist informed me, that after the baby was born she would no longer be cutting hair.
Once the initial shock wore off, I manifested emotions such as - denial, anger, pleadings to God, and pretended acceptance. When at last it was time for my next haircut and not knowing what else to do or where else to go, I simply returned to the same salon and another girl cut my hair.
Not only did she do a fine job on my hair, she changed the look altogether and it was much better than the already terrific job her former coworker had been doing, and I remained a client at that salon for the next fourteen years.
I took this lesson with me when I entered the beauty industry. You might argue that it was just dumb luck, but it wasn't. Throughout those fourteen years my stylists changed many times, but the quality of service and workmanship did not. This was because I went to an excellent salon with superior staff training and mentoring.
In other words, it is finding the right salon that is critical, not the right stylist, and all the better so as stylists tend to move on every year or so, for no particular reason.
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Over the years I have been asked many times how to find a good stylist or salon and over time I have worked out the following formula with very good results:
1. Do not ask friends, relatives or coworkers whom they recommend. As it turns out they will rarely tell you who their stylist really is because over the course of time they have told that stylist every detail about their personal life and they don't want it to slip out. They also don't want you to show up with the same cut and style that they have.
What they will do is give you the name of a relative or friend who cuts hair because every single person on the face of the earth is related to a hair stylist, or at least knows one socially. If you actually go there and you are unsatisfied with the service, there is no graceful way out of the situation without offending the person who gave you the referral.
Instead I recommend asking a total stranger. If you see someone on the street or at the grocery store who has a cut that you like, simply stop them and ask. You needn't be embarrassed, it is quite flattering to the person whom you stopped and they will be eager to brag up their salon or stylist. After you have done this a few times you will see a pattern emerge.
2. Age, gender, sexual orientation, race, and years of experience, have nothing to do with the talent of a stylist. Don't get caught up in those nonsensical stereotypes. They will neither serve you, or become you.
Instead I recommend screening the salon. Do they have an internship or apprentice program for training their new stylists. How often do they have education in the salon, (other than product education). How often do they go to an IBS, (International Beauty Show), in Long Beach, Chicago or New York. How many of them have been to an advanced academy with Toni & Guy, American Crew, Paul Mitchell or the like.
In my salon we bring select beauty school students into our internship program for six months. By the time they graduate beauty school they hit the floor running and are usually better than stylists who have been cutting hair for five years or more in other salons. We have mandatory technical training in the salon every two weeks. Failure to attend is grounds for immediate dismissal. Stylists are required to either attend an advanced academy at their own expense, ($1,000 - $3,000), or attend an IBS at a minimum of once every two years. Twice per year our stylists are required to compete in a National Cosmetology Association hair cutting competition or State competition. Every single stylist is required to do straight razor cuts from day one.
Now, I don't expect every salon to meet our standards, but I do expect to see some degree of professionalism above that of the average salon, or they don't get to touch my hair.
3. Last but not least, I always give the straight razor test. Walk up to a stylist in the salon who isn't doing anything and ask him or her to show you their straight razor. If it isn't in their tool belt or on their station ready for use, or if it has a guard on it, turn and go. Those people are not serious about hair cutting. Imagine your plumber not knowing how to use a wrench.
If the salon is dedicated to being the best, you can bet the stylists are too, and it does not matter a hoot whom you choose in that salon.


Haircut PricingHair

Once people know that I am a salon owner they frequently ask me about pricing and why prices vary so widely. Except for the occasional salon that simply pulls a number out of thin air, most salons base their pricing on a combination of three factors; overhead, market, and supply and demand.
1. Overhead. Overhead is a complex formula that includes such things as the amount of rent the salon pays. Once the overhead is calculated a break-even point is determined and based on that, the prices for that individual salon are determined.
For example, my lease is $1,135. per month, but a salon in Manhattan may pay $10,000. per month for that same amount of space. Obviously the Manhattan salon will need to charge a great deal more per haircut than I do. On the other hand, in my salon we spend a small fortune every year on advanced training. This expense too needs to be recovered, and it is recovered in the price of the haircut.
2. Market. Going back to our Manhattan example, clients who regularly shop in Manhattan will not flinch at paying $175.00 for a haircut, whereas a salon in Kentucky will cause people to pause at a price of $40.00.
Ironically, the Kentucky stylist may have a great deal more talent than the Manhattan stylist, but the market will simply not allow that stylist to charge more and still remain in business.
3. Supply and Demand. Then there is supply and demand. A given salon may well be in a break-even position to offer haircuts at $20.00, but as they are booked solid and need to create openings for new clients, good business sense dictates that this salon needs to raise prices and to continue to do so until they top out in their market.
This is the same principle that dictates why haircut prices vary by stylist, even in a given salon. As the stylist books up, he or she needs to raise their price to make room for new clients, and the most successful stylist in a salon is not always the technically best, just the most popular.
You notice that I continually refer to new clients. This is because new client counts drive and grow the business. Salons that do not track new client counts, and drive new client counts, will eventually go flat and their earnings will then taper off until they can no longer meet their monthly overhead. It is a slow but sure death.
4. What about those discount cutters who only charge $9.95? The same principles apply. It is a matter of how you want to conduct business. These salons usually have far less overhead. The decor is minimal, you probably won't be served Starbucks coffee, and so on.

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Consider this, both Motel 6 and the Ritz will offer you a dry, clean, bed, but it will not be at the same price for obvious reasons. It isn't the bed that makes the difference, its the ambiance and service around the bed.
Your better trained staff will also want to be paid more and I am guessing that the paycheck of the night clerk at Motel 6 is substantially less than that of the front desk at the Ritz.
That is not to say that you can't get a terrific haircut at a discounter, or even the best in your market, it just isn't likely. I know some terrific stylists who work for Cost Cutters, and they will remain there for life for different reasons, but that is more the exception than the rule. On the other hand, if you can find one of those jewels it only makes sense to save money.
5.As to those salons that simply grab a price out of thin air? Typically they are owned by a business wanna-be who because they have a cosmetology license, think that all they have to do is hammer up a shingle and business will flock to their door.
This practice is not unique to the salon industry, these businesses are however, the scourge of their individual industry and place an undesirable stigma upon all small businesses. A good indicator that you are heading for such a salon is if they try to have a "cute" name such as, "Curl Up And Dye", or "Chop Shop".
I hope this gave you some insight into salon pricing, and in so doing will enable you to make a fair buying decision.

Everything about Hair


Wanting a new hair style every few weeks is not fickle, it is merely evidence of being multidimensional.
We understand, and for this reason we have designed this tidbit of a site to help you navigate the great hair abyss. We highly recommend that you read '
Selecting A Style' before you embark on your hair crusade.
With luck and a little mouse pounding, we hope you will find the site informative and useful.

Summer Hair Care TipsHair-Styles.org

Summer is here and with it come all sorts of fun outdoor things to do. It is also that time of year when we encounter the highest percentage of damaged hair, some of it beyond repair. Here are a few tips that may save you a lot of heartache and money.
1. Stay away from hair lightening products such as Sun In.
Most contain some form of peroxide or metallic crystals and can cause severe damage to your hair, not to mention such undesirable effects such as orange, green, or pink hair. Worse, if the product does contain metallic crystals and you then perm your hair, it may literally turn your hair into mush and wash down the drain.
Although a chelator, (an ingredient in some shampoos), can help remove some of the metals residing on the hair shaft, they are not strong enough to remove metal deposits that have penetrated the shaft. The only chemicals that we know of that will do this are chemicals used in the development of film. These chemicals are highly toxic and we do not recommend that you mess with them.
Bottom line, just let nature do its own thing, or invest in a highlight. In the long run the highlight will be far less expensive than a color correction.
2. Invest in a hair conditioner that contains a sunscreen.
If you can't find one and you are heading out to swim or tan, simply massage some of your sunscreen into your hair, it should wash out.
If you are not going to use a sunscreen because you want a deep tan quickly, try using safflower oil. It provides your hair with much needed fatty acids, and makes a great tanning oil to boot.
3. After a day at the pool, clarify your hair.
A clarifier is a stronger shampoo designed to remove toxins from you hair such as auto emissions and other environmental pollutants, as well as build up from some ingredients in over the counter shampoos such as silicon. A clarifier is too strong to use daily, but once or even twice a week is okay. It should also help remove chlorine from your hair, but if you are at the pool daily you will need to invest in a special shampoo to control chlorine.
Avoid 'green hair' before it begins. Thoroughly wet your hair before you dip in the pool and add a bit of conditioner too. Wash your hair immediately upon exiting the pool, BEFORE YOUR HAIR HAS A CHANCE TO DRY. These precautions alone will go a long way toward dodging the 'swamp look.'
Although not exactly a fashion statement, you can always wear a bathing cap too.
If you already have the 'Greenies' you can look around for a shampoo called 'Malibu 2000.' It may or may not work. You can also try soaking your hair in tomato juice, cap it and let it sit on the hair for about twenty minutes, then rinse, shampoo, rinse, and condition the hair.
These few tips should see you well through the summer and leave you with fond memories instead of bitter tales.

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