To cut or not to cut…. that is the question?
So over the years I’ve been in the industry, I’ve noticed a lot of things on my journey. Firstly, I will take you back to when I first started so I can paint the picture.
As an apprentice I got trained very quickly. I remember the first few weeks of my apprenticeship. I was cleaning a lot. Back 15 years ago that was expected of you. We would thoroughly clean, I’m talking getting a toothbrush and scrubbing the bathroom floor, making sure everything was immaculate. Only the apprentices would clean the salon. I remember at the end of the day, everyone would sit on the couch and watch as we vacuumed and mopped the floors every night. I got to the point that that’s all I was doing, I would mope around, drag my feet and look unhappy. I remember the day like it was yesterday, my boss at the time grabbed me by the arm and dragged me out into the back room. She said to me ‘why are you moping around the place?’ I remember replying to her ‘if I wanted to be a cleaner, I would have applied for a cleaning job.’ I look back now and think to myself; wow I was a little shit. After that day, they started training me.
Although I speak of some of the bad moments, there were also a lot of good moments too. The one thing I will absolutely give them credit for is the way they trained us. They were so good at showing us how to do things and although they were strict and chucked us in the deep end, I look back and am grateful because that is how I excelled as quickly as I did through my apprenticeship. It is the best way to learn. I don’t think I would be the hairdresser I am today if they didn’t teach me some key valuable things about life and who I am. I became resilient, pushed to be better, precise, quick and they taught me little golden nuggets to take away with my into my own business. Being out of your comfort zone is where the real magic happens.
Now, the first thing you train in is a root tint. I want to make it clear; before I got my apprenticeship I had never had my hair done at a salon. The one time I ever did was as a hair model, which I had written about in one of my previous blogs. My cousin was a hairdresser and we had a whole bunch of hairdressers in the family, so I had never been anywhere as a client consistently. It was fair to say I knew absolutely nothing about hairdressing, I had no idea how it ran and I had no idea how long appointments took, nothing, I was starting completely fresh. I remember in my interview they loved that I knew nothing. What was a positive for them was my biggest downfall at all the other salons I had applied for.
They trained me every day; I made time for it every day. If I didn’t have time that day because we were busy, I would ask my friends to come in on my days off so I could practice. I would practice at the dinner table after we had eaten and work on my timing. I didn’t like not knowing how to do something and I didn’t like not being good at something, so I would put in the extra hours at home practicing so I was ready for the next step. They trained me and trained me and trained me until I was on the floor doing everything. I was near the end of my first year of my apprenticeship and I was booked out. My column was full and I had built a solid clientele. I remember I was just going into my second year and clients would say to me ‘are you going to own your own salon one day?’ I knew I would and I would always reply with the same answer; ‘my sister and I will own it together, my mum will do the books, my younger sister will be our apprentice and dad will be the handy man.’ – That’s exactly how it began.
Now through out training, although skill wise we got taught really well, there was the knowledge on the health of the hair and the maintenance that was missing. We use to have to sell retail purely for cash flow and to reach budgets. We never got taught to rebook and inform the client on how long typically you would need between services to maintain the colour and cut. As salon owners now, these are the most crucial steps. We use to be taught to dry people’s hair off and straighten over the top of it without blow-drying it straight first so we could save time. These may sound like normal things to do but once I explain to you the reasoning behind why they are important you will understand.
Lets talk hair.
Have you ever wondered why even though you are using all the right products and ‘think’ you’ve been doing all the right things your hair is completely damaged?
Let me share with you the top things to avoid doing that will improve your hair for life.
STOP shampooing your hair once.
Always shampoo your hair twice! The first shampoo cleanses your scalp, taking off any dirt, oil and product build up. The second shampoo cleanses your hair. You should only be using no more than a 10c piece of shampoo. If your hair is extremely dirty, you can also do a third small shampoo to help along the way.
I know, simple right…? After being in the hair industry for so long, we were blown away with the lack of knowledge behind this simple task. This is something we never got taught from when we first started but ended up learning as time went by and is such an important but extremely simple step!
STOP washing your hair so much.
When it comes to washing hair there is no one size fits all method. Shampooing it every second day, once a week or even once every third day is totally worth it. The only guideline I recommend in this step is to not wash it every day. Your hair needs its natural oils in order for it to stay healthy and nourished. We see this time and time again. If you have worked out and tend to perspire a lot, we recommend dry shampoo sprits to get you an extra day.
STOP combing your hair while it’s wet
This is a big no no. Never use a comb to detangle your hair in the shower! This causes a lot of breakage and damage to the hair. Your hair is at its most vulnerable state when it is wet, especially if you are blonde. Please, I BEG YOU to remove this step from your routine and watch the magic happen.
STOP straightening your hair before its blow-dried
Most people think straighteners ruin their hair when in actual fact people unknowingly damage their hair. As apprentices we had no idea that this would be one of the biggest factors in maintaining the health of your hair.
Often times we dry our hair off and then straighten over the hair shaft to create our smooth sleek look. This seems like the right thing to do but we haven’t been educated on why it’s the wrong thing to do.
Think of your hair shaft like a zig zag line. Now imagine using your straighteners to set the zig zag into place. Every time you avoid using a round brush to smooth your hair you are creating more frizz and a style that won’t last a long period of time.
By using a round brush on your hair and blow-drying it mildly straight, you are setting it up for a smoother, longer lasting result when finishing with the straightener. By the time you get to straighten over your hair, you will be saving yourself loads of time, as you will only have to pass it over the hair shaft once.
And last but not least,
STOP not cutting your hair regularly
If you are wanting beautiful, healthy, long hair (or beautiful hair even if it’s short) trimming your hair every 6 weeks is a must. By trimming your hair every 6 weeks it removes any split or dead, damaged ends. Sometimes we can make a trip to the hair salon and only get the teeniest tiny ends cut off and that won’t be enough. The hair will continue to split up the hair shaft, leaving you having to get more off then intended for the next time round.
These seem like basic steps but after years in the industry, these are the most common factors to paving a pathway of healthy looking hair. It is always the 2mm shift in something you are doing that will completely transform your hair.
It wasn’t until we bought our first salon that your health and your hairs health really became our passion and at the forefront of our minds. We have structured our entire business mission and purpose to achieving the best and healthiest results for our team and our clients. Alicia and I have been working hard on creating something behind the scenes to give you all the best hair possible. We are so excited to share it with you, stay tuned.