hair stylist at work

Once you graduate from an esthetic college, or hairstyling school, you’ll likely want to land a position in a trendy salon right away – and just like many other professional fields, this one can get quite competitive. So, in order to land that stylist job, you’ll need to successfully communicate your skills to potential employers and clients.

The best way to market your hairstyling training is to wear it. If you’re applying for a position as a hairstylist, you’ll want to look the part. You’re expected to sell style, which means you should always look well put together.

You should also create a portfolio to display all of your work, which will show potential employers that you can actually perform the skills you’ve listed on your resume. And of course, once you get the job, you’ll have to begin building your client base. Continue reading to learn all about the essential communication skills needed to impress your employer and attract a loyal customer following.

Make Your Client Comfortable

Because everyone is unique, you will continuously adjust the way you work to suit the needs of each client. Some people tend to be more nervous than others, so learning to read body language is an asset in this industry. If you’re performing someone’s first massage, you’ll want to make sure they understand what a relaxation massage is and what to expect.  How you speak to clients is very important – you’ll need to adjust your tone and choose your words carefully for each customer. Some people respond well to playful jokes, while others are more sensitive and like to be spoken to in a formal way. If you’re able to read your clients and connect with their needs, you’ll have no trouble booking them in for a return visit.

Understand Your Client’s Needs

We all remember the iconic Friend’s episode when Monica asks Phoebe to cut her hair just like Demi Moore’s, and Phoebe (clearly misunderstanding her client) imitates Dudley Moore’s haircut instead. Though this event happened on a fictional sitcom, it could very easily play out in real-life as well!

The importance of finding out EXACTLY what your client wants cannot be stressed enough. Yes, it’s true, hair does grow back eventually, but you better believe that if you make a mistake similar to Phoebe’s, your client will not be returning for future services. When consulting with your client, try asking open-ended questions like “what would you like to do with your hair today?” so that he or she can accurately describe what they want. Avoid asking closed questions like “are we cutting your hair today?” where the only possible answers are “yes” or “no.”

Gain Your Client’s Trust

Whether you’re cutting hair, performing a manicure, or applying makeup, you’ll always want to project a sense of professionalism and confidence. Customers need to feel sure that their stylists know exactly what they’re doing and are experts in their field.

You might also try getting to know your client (what he or she does during the week and on weekends, if they have children, etc.). These insights can help you make useful style suggestions that suit your customers’ lifestyle. For example, if one of your clients has children, you might suggest a low-maintenance hairstyle (as a hairdresser), or a shorter nail length (as an esthetician), because you’ll know that she probably doesn’t have much time to maintain more high-maintenance styles.

Once your clients trust you, they’ll seek your advice and value your opinion. An open dialogue helps stylists match customer profiles with the latest trends, and guide their trusting clients toward personalized solutions that really work.

Have you ever had a bad experience at a salon because of poor communication?