What Makes a Barber or Hairstylist a Professional?

Barbers & Hairstylists: Be Professional!

Barbering and hairstyling are both a profession, but do you act professional?

Merriam-Webster defines it as follows: of relating to, or characteristic of a profession. engaged in one of the learned professions. characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession. exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace.

This is the dictionary definition, but in the real world it's all of the above and then some. First and foremost, one must have technical proficiency. You must know how to cut hair, do a hot towel face shave, do foils, perms etc. Over the years, we've seen people who couldn't hold a comb and scissors properly. Ours is a profession, where you can spot someone instantly who can't cut it; excuse the pun! It's amazing how they seem to go from shop to shop; sometimes staying in the business quite along time. Eventually, their day of reckoning arrives.

Tools! Yes, the most important items in the trade. Obviously, as in any other trade; not having the proper tools makes it impossible to operate. Also, the condition of the tools are of the upmost importance. Tools should be respected; they help put food on your plate! We've seen some people show up with tools that were falling apart, dirty etc. One perspective employee even showed up with no tools. Imagine that!

AMC'S: The Walking Dead

AMC'S: The Walking Dead

Personal appearance counts for so much. You can't be in the hair/beauty business and look terrible yourself. Your look says a lot about you; dress in rags, and don't be surprised that no one wants to sit in your chair! Obviously, your hair should be styled or trimmed as to remind your clients why they came to see you. Although; the old wives' tale about the barber with the neat and trimmed hair. If the barber's hair is always neat and trimmed, that means that no one goes to see him!

The way you act; which includes your overall attitude is probably the most important item in our profession. You can have all the talent in the world, but a poor attitude negates all of it. Your customer is your main focus! He/she is the reason you are there in the first place. Making sure their needs are met, and surpassed should be your primary focus. Pay attention to them, not coworkers, tv, and certainly not your cellphone. Never, ever leave a client mid service to take a cellphone call! This is the height of disrespect, and totally unprofessional. The little things matter: trimming ear/nose hair (men), a straight part, making sure your client is comfortable at the shampoo basin etc. Put yourself in their place; how would you want to be treated?

Ask yourself, are you professional? Be honest with yourself! Even if you think you come up a bit short, you can improve. Yes, recognizing you can do better is a sign of professionalism. Take pride in the services you give to your clients. They will notice; they are watching!

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