Honesty... Honestly: Consultation, Expectations & Pressure
In this day and age of social media and the pressures to look a certain way, act a certain way and live a certain way, it’s no wonder that mental health issues and burnout are on the rise.
These social media pressures are becoming more and more prevalent within the hair and beauty industry, where filters and Photoshop are creating added pressure to a stylist’s ability. And in the worst-case scenario, bringing on a sense of worthlessness in not being able to recreate a colour that has filters applied to it and the added pressure of letting down their clients.
A stylist who knows these pressures all too well is Salonista owner, Stacey Gadke, who has penned an open and honest letter below on the struggles that are often felt by everyday stylists…
I’ve been hairdressing for 26 years and nearly seven of them as a salon owner, and the one thing I’ve always insisted on is being honest. Honest with clients and with ourselves on what we feel is achievable. Trust me, your clients will appreciate it.
Honesty, there’s a key word… clients hold our opinion in high regard, asking our views on more than just a style or colour change. When they are in our chair we become their stylist, marriage guidance councillor, travel agent, food and movie critic, fashion advisor and general soundboard. Which got me thinking… do WE put too much pressure on ourselves to deliver or is it all filters?
For example, hands up who has rolled their eyes to the hairy gods when a client mentions ‘grey’ or ‘silver’?
To be fair, unless grey or silver is growing naturally from the roots, it’s a challenge to achieve depending on what you have to work with (and more of a challenge for the client to maintain)! This goes back to Instagram and social media images. How many stylists have been presented with a hair colour a client has seen on Instagram, and you know it will be impossible to achieve it. That colour could be filtered or even a wig! It’s hard to explain this to a client without them maybe thinking you are not a good stylist or qualified enough to create impossible social media colours!
So rather than promising said client the moon on a stick, let’s be honest. I’d much rather say, “it’s not achievable right now” and let’s work towards a clean, expensive and healthy looking blonde first than put undue pressure on myself to instantly replicate and deliver something that doesn’t meet the Instagram inspired, perfectly filtered picture that’s been whipped out on their phone during consultation.
It’s ok to say, “maybe not this time” or “no”. It doesn’t make you a bad stylist, it makes you an honest one.