Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Love Tabatha Coffey

Here I Go Again!

After being with my hairstylist for more than 8 years, (wow, where does the time go) she is getting married now and moving back east to Fargo, North Dakota...... (brrrr). She will be missed since she knew my hairstyle and got it just right each and every time.

Searching for a stylist is never easy and for many women who cherish their wild mane of hair, like me, one screw-up hairstyle can be catastrophic.....well maybe not actually....but darn close.

It also seems as we age and our hair thins, the style even becomes more important so as to hide areas that we may not like, or to sport the haircut that shows off our manes the best without aging us further. I personally, still like my hair a bit wild and unruly and it has been a lot easier these, fortunately, I still have quite the head of hair, fine in nature, but the texture has become more coarse, creating natural volume.

Incredibly, my hair now maintains a soft permanent type wave throughout ever since I entered into menopause. I used to have to pay over $60.00 every six months just to make my once super straight, curl resistant hair, do what now seems to have become natural......lovin' it.

Struck Out On My First Venture

Of course I tried a new stylist a few months ago, she was young, and pretty much just out of school, so I thought she would be most up to date on the best hair styling trends and cutting techniques. Unfortunately, she and the salon she was in, missed the mark. When she washed my hair, she towel dried it afterwards by briskly rubbing it between the towel in opposite directions. Any good stylist knows, this is taboo on wet hair and creates severe breakage to the hair shaft causing frizzy hair. Always blot or towel wrap the head.

She injured me twice with the comb, where I had to remind her of a mole on the back of my neck and instead of using a hair cutting comb, she used a huge wide toothed comb, injuring my ears each time she raked over them.....PLUS she was chewing gum and doing that popping thing over and over while standing next to my ears....and this by itself almost made me exit my chair and leave before she got started. Fortunately for her, she stopped it once she began the cutting consult and I only heard it once or twice more throughout the hour.

She also wore a huge diamond ring set on her finger, which constantly cut into my neck the entire time. As usual, I typically don't say much, except to make sure she at least gets the haircut close to what I enjoy, but outside of the few remarks about pain, the rest I kept quiet to see overall what I could expect. A lot of banter among the stylists, pretty much ignoring their clients, yet discussion ensued about other clients, and not in a positive way. This to me is a big no-no.

Also, working with a stylist which seems to be angry in their overall demeanor as though their client base is a pain in their a.$.$, then you certainly don't want to let them get a hold of your hair. An angry person with scissors in their hands will definitely make any client cringe under their apron, and potentially injure you in the process of cutting your hair....or possibly worse, leave you looking like your hair was hit with a weed whacker.

Their problems with other clients, is never my business, nor anyone else!

My decision: Nice gal, got my haircut right notwithstanding, her not being conscious of her clients comforts while sitting in the chair, even with gentle reminders of the pain she was causing me. I mean one thing I never want to come across as, is the client from hell. I just ask them to please just pay attention to the task at hand. The Salon was dark and her chair was down in the basement of a renovated old house. Nothing wrong with old houses since many have been beautiful in the past, but no matter the location, I like bright and cheery, along with being able to detect the cleanliness of the salon. Plus her chatting up her fellow stylists instead of focusing on me, the client, gave that dread that she was doing things to my hair that would not leave me happy.

Moving Forward

Well, I usually get a haircut every 2 months, but it is now into the 5th month since my last trial, and I am skeered. My hair has gotten real wild and longer than I like. So, time to bite the bullet and try once again. Looking once more for someone who gets it, and I don't have to listen to complaints about other clients or have to tell them to not hurt me, or be thrown into a cave during my haircut. I also abhor idle gossip or foul language on the floor....eating, chewing or popping gum is also not appetizing and can be quite disgusting for clients.

My daughter tells me to just discuss it with her and make my concerns known. Maybe, however, she had too many things during the session that would have been mostly negative for me so why fight it. I believe if you are going to be conducting business up close and personal with clients, that clients' needs and attention to detail are first and foremost and the proper business etiquette is a given, not something I am willing to go forth and teach.

The salon owner should of course be made fully aware of those she has represent her business and then it is her responsibility to provide that instruction and maintain proper decorum. It really is indicative of a mindset of that person, and if conscientious behavior is not there, then my letting her know how I feel, in most cases, creates hard feelings and then comfort levels are destroyed anyway. Plus, who needs the anguish over having to confront something that should be clearly a professional atmosphere at all times....after all, it is their business at stake, and only they can tend to it.

I have been fortunate and that if something arises in my business, my customers have shared it with me, and it is always handled in a friendly, professional manner. And if a customer does not return without letting me know of a grievance, then I only assume they don't like the product or it is easier to just move on for them. That is why, professionalism is always practiced at Sterling Minerals, because you just never know who is on the other end of placing that order or making that phone call.

I Use "Tabatha Coffey" Reference

I began the process today of calling some salons in my area that also have an internet presence where I can see comments by past and present clients. It didn't take much articulating on my part of what I would expect to find once I crossed the salon threshold, because back when I wrote my article, Choosing The Right Beauty Salon, "Tabatha Takes Over" wasn't on anyone's radar. In fact, every salon I spoke to, knew who she is.....and she is the best with her no-nonsense approach to cleaning up ones act, and I have also learned so much of what is expected by the clients....sometimes I used to think it was just me.

So pretty much all I had to say, was "do you know Tabatha Takes Over Salon series?" If they said "yes," then I would state, "I believe in what she believes, and what I am looking for in a stylist and an excellent salon representation of the industry."

So if we are on this same page, we set the appointment....which is tomorrow btw. So we'll see what we'll see.

Tabatha Coffey is an excellent reference to making a long story short, to cut through the chatter, weed out the chaff, basically in one short sentence. They also will know what they will get in the way of a client. Plus, this let's them know up front my expectations and anything less won't be acceptable. Salon professionalism across the board from customer relations to sanitation, is above all else, the most important when dealing with women, their needs and desires, followed by their emotions of how they perceive the experience.

Accept no less when paying for a service.

I'm A Beautician, Not A Magician

How many of us have seen this little "diddy" pasted up on the mirror of your stylist?

When I see this, it symbolizes to me, that they are already making an excuse for any mistakes or problems with your finished style.

Now granted a hairstylist is not a magician or a mind reader of what or how you want your hair. So if you are looking for the best hair style to suit your face, a consultation works well, but also, you can go on the internet and choose a style from one of the famous celebrities out there. Bring in the photo and this will give your stylist, at the very least, a starting point to knowing what you like and what you expect the finished hair style to look them out the best you can to understand EXACTLY what you want. Photos go a long way to avoid consultation confusion.

If a stylist cannot look at a picture and recreate the style, then they are not ready for prime time with your hair. It may then be best to find someone else that has the creative juices flowing and can pinpoint exactly what you want when looking at the photo of the style you enjoy.

These two celebrity photos are the examples I'll be giving to my new stylist tomorrow. I wear my hair like this all the time. In fact, Meg's style is what my hair initially looks like when it is first cut, and as it grows out, resembles Blythe's style more. Best of both worlds, and is not an overly complicated hair style for any stylist worth their salt.

Also, the excuse, which I had gotten before, "the great thing about hair, it will grow back" is not an acceptable one, and then still expect payment. If you don't get the style you expected, especially if you provided a photo, then, at the very least, bring it to the salon owners attention and either allow her to attempt to fix the style, or at the very least remedy the situation by excusing payment for the inferior work.

If you simply pay without informing the owner of the problem, then you further perpetuate the belief in the stylist, she can cut hair anyway she wants in spite of the customers wishes, and still get paid. This may be great for getting a fast buck, but it is no way to build a customer base. A business built on newbies with no customer loyalty, is a business that fails.

Here's to wild and sexy hair.

Have a lovely weekend.

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  1. Hi Katherine! This is a fun post, though I am sorry that you had to deal with that gum popping thing. I really dislike that. Anyway, your hair stories are hilarious -- customer service is clearly important to you and every stylist and salon owner should read this post because it's entertaining and filled with good business tips.

    Sooooo, your appointment is tomorrow and I will be thinking of you. Hope you love it!

    1. Thanks dM,

      I am going with positive thoughts, that she'll be great. Depending on how things go, it may result in a follow up piece. Cheers!