International Creative Director of HOB Salons, Akin Konizi, knows what it takes to be a great hairdresser. He has become one of the most respected hairdressers around the world. He has picked up a myriad of awards, including British Hairdresser of the Year four times.
So what does it take to be a great hairdresser? “The soft skills are just as important as the hair skills,” Akin says. “One of the main roles of a hairstylist is to interact with clients and build relationships. This, as well as offering a great haircut or colour, is what creates a loyal client base. How you greet a client, how you chat to them throughout the appointment and how you show empathy and understanding of not just their hair needs, but their personal needs are all vital to creating that invaluable client/stylist relationship.”
So what advice does Akin have for being a great hairdresser? Here are his top tips:
Ask questions and listen. However, don’t be afraid to advise and steer the client towards a cut or style that would suit them. Be ready to recommend services that you, as a skilled professional, know would benefit them. This is what makes you stand out from the crowd – your professionalism, your expertise, your experience and your customer care.
Read the client
Every client will arrive with different needs and priorities. Some clients love to chat, some want a silent appointment, and a great stylist will be able to read a client’s verbal and body language to gauge what they want from an appointment.
Being a great hairdresser isn’t always about working with clients. In the varied career that is hairdressing, a stylist’s skills will often be put to the test in high-pressured environments — backstage at fashion shows or educational presentations, for example. Learning to adjust to these different working environments and to make skills transferable is all part of having an exciting career as a hairdresser. Every experience outside of the salon should develop you as a stylist and give you new or improved skills to enable you to deliver unsurpassed service to your clients.
The only way to be a truly great stylist and ensure you never fall behind is to invest in on-going education. There is always something new to learn, or a way to develop and improve existing skills. If you take your role as a stylist seriously and continue to invest in yourself, you will enjoy a long, successful and fulfilling career.
Keep ahead of trends
We’ve had several years of long, wavy hair, but more and more celebrities are stepping out with a beautiful bob, so are you ready for the change? Keep on top of your cutting skills and be ready for the change in trends. If you’ve not cut hair for a while and have lost your confidence, invest in some training and be ready to excite your clients with a whole new look.