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What Makes a Good Hairstylist?

by Hairnews Contributor

It's a simple fact that a hairstyle is a cornerstone of your client's appearance, and it's often the one thing people will notice about them when they first meet.

Rest assured, nobody intentionally visits a hair stylist seeking a bad hairstyle. And while what constitutes a "good" hairstyle is purely subjective and a matter of taste, the fact is no-one visits a hairstylist asking for a haircut they know they'll hate.

After an unsuccessful visit to a hairstylist, or after receiving a bad haircut, clients can quite literally feel like "hiding their heads in shame." All this means that being a good hairstylist is a matter of real importance and definitely no laughing matter... But what makes a good hairstylist?

What traits and qualities distinguish the best practitioners of the "scissors-wielding" arts from the rest?

Read on to find out...

The traits of a good hairstylist

While all good hairstylists will be unique and have their own great traits, there are some qualities all great hair stylists will share:

1.) Qualifications and technical proficiency

Truly great hair stylists are fully qualified cosmetologists and are extremely technically proficient, knowing the ins and outs of the numerous tools and techniques of the trade. Good stylists also strive for continual learning and seek to upskill themselves wherever possible. They don't rest on their laurels. They are also comfortable and able to maintain their energy levels, and an always-friendly demeanour, while working on their feet all day.

2.) Be a good listener

A good hairstylist will listen to their clients in a variety of ways. By far the most important is listening during the initial consultation, as this is where the stylist and client will agree on exactly what sort of hairstyle the client is looking for. A great tip here: ask your client for a reference photo if possible, just to be sure you are on the same page. After the initial consultation, there is also likely to be some conversation of a more general nature; many of us may share our life stories or events with our stylists while getting our hair done; and a good hairstylist will be conscious of the need to be engaged, so as to put their client at ease.

3.) Creative flair

Good hairstylists should be able to incorporate a level of creative flair into their work, and should constantly be aware of the latest trends and fashion. Truly great stylists have the ability to integrate those trends with their client's requests, thereby exceeding their client's expectations. Great hair stylists are able to turn a simple "a little off the top" haircut request into a truly great hairstyle.

4.) Honesty and integrity

The best hair stylist is always completely honest with their clients. They will understand their client's face shape and hair type and create styles that compliment these attributes accordingly. Good hairstylists are also not afraid to make alternative suggestions to their clients should they feel a requested style will not work well, yet will do so in the most tactful way possible. It's also important that should the stylist make any suggestions for any additional treatments or services in the course of styling, that the relevant costs be clearly and honestly communicated to the client in good time. This is to avoid souring the relationship with the client when it comes time to pay.

5.) Confident and adaptable

A stylist's day may be full of surprises, so confidence and the ability to adapt to change are factors that distinguish good hair stylists from ordinary ones. An excellent stylist is able to maintain composure amidst changing trends and tools, while successfully navigating requests for hairstyles that may be hard to achieve. But with a smile on their face, and a pair of scissors in hand, they rise to meet any and all challenges.

So if you're a hair stylist who exhibits all the above traits and qualities - keep going and don't rest on your laurels; but if not, consider incorporating some of the above into your approach - the payoff may just be worth the risk. Especially now that you know what people look out for when searching for a great hair stylist...

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