|| Beauty Care Business and Professional Network
Mental Beauty For
the Salon Artist
by Elke Von Freudenberg
It's been a long day at the salon, and as the last client comes in
for the day, my mind starts to drift towards something else. Anything
else. The hardest part is usually not the actual
creative service itself, but the mental one. In a service
driven business such as ours, it's important that we not only stay
creatively alert, but mentally alert as well.
So what gets in our way? Energy or the lack of it. The
top reasons that we are familiar with come from lack of food or lack
of sleep, but really, the #1 reason is from lack of mental energy.
Where does this energy come or not come from? The client.
How is that possible? Through touch. By touching your client,
as we must do, we pass energy back and forth. Ever notice that
when you're working on an angry or upset client, that you're
drained by the time you're done, even though you were energized and
happy when she walked in? What happened? Touch.
Though I'm by no means a doctor or medical expert in this matter,
I've noticed that my client's energy more than often rubbed off
on me. Since it's really hard to avoid touching your
client during the course of your service, here are some mental mind
games that you can use to stay mentally alert and positive.
"Positive over Negative."
You're on top of the world. You just got a raise and the new
makeup/hair collection came in. Your client sits down and you
notice she's not a happy camper. What do you do? Tell
yourself mentally that any positive energy you have is and will
be stronger and more powerful than her negative one. Okay,
maybe it's not, but your mind doesn't know the difference.
You just said so. Keep focusing on it and
you'll notice that your mood won't change. Why? You'll
find yourself actually focusing your positive energy onto her.
The best part? Your client will more than likely walk away
happier than when she came in.
"Where do I start?"
Your client is ready for her service and you don't know where to
begin. Don't be so hard on yourself. The best part of a
service, especially a makeup service, is that you can really
start anywhere you want. At a loss for creativity?
Go by instinct. Shut off the brain, and go by your gut.
What hit you first as you looked at the client? Her lips, her
skin, her eyes? Your gut reaction is always the best look to go
with. The hardest lesson I learned in the beginning of my
career was not to go against my instinct. If I changed my mind and
went with what I thought mentally would work, I always was unhappy
with it in some way at the end.
"I'm not good enough."
It's the number one thing I hear from my assistants as I give them
more responsibility. They hesitate at doing more, when
they've been doing just fine so far. What
happened? Usually it was a mental thought. If you feel
'not good enough', get outside of your head. Your negative
thoughts can actually reinforce itself in your creative process by
producing something you don't like anyway. It's one of those
mental, "See? I told you so!"....Tell your mental thoughts
to take a hike, and concentrate on your creativity. Think from
your arm down, not the neck up. Some of the best looks I've
been lucky to create are the ones where my mind went blank,and I
literally don't even remember doing them. I looked at the
finished work, and thought, 'did I do
that?'. I like to think that those looks
were created when the heart took over.......
"I don't like it."
Your client obviously doesn't like the new look you're
doing. The hardest part is not to take it personally.
You're crushed, you're hurt, but really, it's not you she
doesn't like. It's her image in the mirror. And believe me,
it's one that you can easily fix. Start thinking of
ways to solve any beauty crisis that may come your way.
Be a beauty problem solver. Laugh and think of it as the next
great challenge. What would Kevyn Aucoin, or Orlando Pita do in this
situation? After a million photo shoots where I can have an art
director, a photographer, a hairstylist,a model, a client, a
wardrobe stylist, AND an assistant, all say they don't like
something, believe me, it's a breeze when it's only coming from 1
person. Repeat after me, "I can fix anything".
"I feel a storm coming on."
Your client's very upset. Or worse. Angry. Anger is
almost always shown in loudness. And the louder someone is,
they harder they're trying to be heard. Like the little child who
is screaming as opposed to crying. What do they want? Just
someone to listen. That's all. You don't have to
really say anything, just let them talk. Be cordial, polite,
kind. I know, it's hard to do when you either want to deck
them, or cower behind the chair. But realize that how you
respond (either positively or negatively) is how they're going to
remember you. (Hey, you're going to remember them forever as
that angry client, right?) Also, gently smile. It's really
hard to stay angry at someone who's smiling at you. Listen to
the words, not the anger. Hear what they're trying to say, and
become the problem solver. What can you do to solve their
problem? You'll find once you take the time to listen, the
decibel level lowers too. Think of how you would like to have a
complaint solved. It's the always the nicest ones that
smiled, nodded, and were polite to you as they solved the problem
that you ended up walking away feeling relieved.
"Where's my coffee?"
Okay, so you're just plain tired. Why? You'd be
surprised that most likely it's from the words you were speaking
all day and not the lack of coffee. Okay, be honest, where they
worthwhile? The words I mean. Idle gossip, chatter and
meaningless chit chat can really do a number on you. And you go
home tired, wasted, and not really remembering much of your day. Why
is that so? Because the levels of conversation you had during the day
were pretty much useless. Lets face it, your intelligent brain
never got the chance to speak up. Who cares that your client is
having an affair and that you couldn't get your dry cleaning picked
up this morning and so on? If you find yourself spending more
mental time on words that have meaning, you actually do walk away
feeling better about yourself, and a little better about your
The key to all this? You have the power to control all those
thoughts that are chattering in your head. Make it a priority
to create and listen to the positive new ones. And you just may
find yourself changing your clients day as well as your