What I am about to disclose won’t necessarily be true for every work environment, there is always an exception – I’ve experienced it! However, sadly a lot of the time we (hairstylists, colourists, assistants, etc.) work in a rather bitchy, competitive and unprofessional environment, which in turn can have a noticeable effect on both hairdresser and client.
Have you, as a client, ever come in and thought, “Wow this hairdresser is a bit of a bitch!”? Well, most likely it’s because they either haven’t eaten all day (mind you lunch is not even allocated) or maybe because standing on your feet all day can also kill the ol’ legs. For some salons it’s actually not even a “thing” to have a lunch break scheduled in. I was most recently told if I wanted a break I had to come in an hour earlier to work.
We as hairdressers are always said to be like “actors”. I hate this term. It’s fake and it’s bullshit. We are simply being ourselves and the reality is no-one can be happy all the time. Some people are very good at setting their feelings aside at work and some are just not, and that is the difference. Then insert the lack of food and exhaustion and the lack of respect from your fellow colleague/s and there you have it –
The lack of respect from colleagues is a big one. We all want to prove ourselves, how much better we are, how much faster or experienced. But it all boils down to EGO. This little guy, ego, is the main star in a salon environment – and he is a trouble maker.
Imagine you are a client. You’re in the chair, your hair is finally finished. AND YOU HATE IT. Crap. Well let me tell you that stylist won’t be going home singing your praises. Quite the opposite actually. But does that mean you should be quiet? NO! The stylist’s ego is the one that needs to be quiet here, not you.
I’ve noticed how tough it is for a hair master to admit their faults. I’ve been guilty of this myself. But the truth is a salon is not the type of environment where we are encouraged to learn from our mistakes. If a mistake is made, it’s looked down upon and there’s a general attitude of “Look, so and so really fucked up”. So much judgement, so much hate, so much EGO.
Management is no better. Do as I say, not as a I do, at least that’s how the saying goes, right. Seems to be the famous line people in higher authority like to use to make up for their shortcomings. I disagree with this statement in all life situations. If you want, as a leader, for your staff to behave a certain way then you have to set an example.
If one person (the favourite, there’s always one) gets away with next to murder, then why shouldn’t the next? Allowing a person to get away with something only boosts that person’s EGO even more, and puts everyone else down at the same time. This “favouritism” is very common in a salon. No equality and certainly no equity. Sometimes even the favourite is very much the opposite of the clientele’s “favourite”. Makes you wonder what really is going on behind the curtain!
We are here to acknowledge that unfortunately some salons treat their staff unfairly. And they get away with it! If you work in a salon, you may find yourself being ousted for any number of reasons, including being pregnant. –That’s right, even a pregnant lady can’t escape this prejudice. Unfortunately, a baby bump isn’t exactly a desired quality in a salon. Since the manager can’t get away with firing you for no reason (they wish), false allegations will suffice. Do these “people” think for one second about how hard employees have worked to get to where they are? Of course not. Their ego is all that matters.
Now don’t get me wrong. I still think it’s an amazing industry to work in and be a part of, as long as you don’t get trapped in the glamourized, egocentric side of it. And there are genuinely WONDERFUL people in the industry too.
The point here is that there is often a lot more going on behind the scenes of a salon than you may be aware of. So be kind to your hair guru on their off day. Show them a little love 🙂
Now that you know the ugly truth, take care of your beloved hair guru and in return they will surely take care of you and your hair needs!
I look forward to being behind a different chair soon!