The best hair journeys start with you

The best hair journeys start with you

Denman Creative Holly Rudge takes BarberEVO readers through her process for moving clients throughout their hair journey.

As a professional stylist you are the very best person to guide your customers through their hair journey, so what’s the best way to keep them on track and out of a rut? Denman Creative and independent hair stylist Holly Rudge shares her experience and top tips.

Questions, questions, questions.

I start with an open question, always. ‘What can I do for you today?’ The responses are SO varied, but they always reveal their past hair story which allows me to start a new one. Just letting the client talk is so important. There’s usually a story about how they got in this position with their hair, perhaps they’ve had the same stylist for years who no longer listens or perhaps they are just struggling to find anyone who does what they want. I ask people to forget about any preconceptions they have and simply tell me what their dream hair would be. Then we work back from there until we find a style I’m confident we can achieve, and they will be able to maintain. 

Keep the journey moving but be gentle.

Often clients are tired of their style but have no idea what to do next. It’s my job to help them move through that journey. I ask them to start by making a Pinterest board or save photos of celebrities/people they know with hair they like. Usually, the client doesn’t realise that all of those styles will have a similar vibe…a fringe shape or layer pattern. 

I then go through various (sometimes extreme) options to gauge a response. Sometimes just having the conversation about options is enough as people want to know that you’ve thought about them and shared your ideas and opinions. I’m always suggesting new ways to switch up a hairstyle. Even if a client just wants a tidy up, I ask if there was anything they found annoying about the previous cut. People are more likely to feel confident about being potentially negative if you turn it into constructive conversation! If the response is a yes, then I’m ready with new ideas to help! I’ve had occasions where I’ve made suggestions in the consultation which have been rejected but after a nice relaxing shampoo where a person is left with their own thoughts they come back and request my suggestion after all. You just need to build that trust and not be too pushy. 

Counsel carefully…

If a customer asks for a drastic and dramatic change in their look. I try to establish what has brought on the need for change and how long a person has been planning to do it. You can tell a lot by the confidence someone has and the preparation before the appointment, if they’ve saved images and know their own hair or have had similar in the past then I’m happy to proceed. However, if I can sense any hesitancy, I dig a little deeper and perhaps try to convince a more softly, softly approach. 

…but don’t hold back.

Give your opinion! I’ve worked with stylists who are afraid to give their opinion for fear of getting blamed if the outcome isn’t well received. Be brave and trust yourself to give advice. As stylists we know what works and what doesn’t, so trust your knowledge!

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