Performing Live: Creation and Confidence on the Salon Floor
Something that I have noticed while teaching students at La Luma Academy is that it can be nerve-wracking to interact and be creative live on stage. By “live on stage”, I am referring to the salon floor as it looks a lot to me like how an actor goes on stage. Actors, like stylists, perform their craft publically. The very act of creation is a vulnerable place and to do it publicly can be very stressful and intimidating.
Our stylists also educate their guests and make professional recommendations to support the guest in recreating the style at home. This is often what gets missed in the salon as it is often seen in a negative light. Stylists see this as a challenge and often avoid it.
I think this becomes difficult because you are now asking a creative person, who already is creating publicly, to be on the edge and perform yet again. This comes as the stylist has to become a sales person. Or at the very least an educator and a persuader.
The art of persuasion is one that takes commitment—commitment to do your very best for your guest, even when you are uncomfortable. I think stylists get uncomfortable because they have to challenge their guests, politely, kindly, respectfully and honestly.
The problem is that we as professionals have to cut through all the marketing that guests are bombarded with. What is misinformation? What is accurate?
With an industry of annual professional product sales exceeding 4 billion U.S. dollars, stylists account for a mere 5% of that total. To me this is a result of what a stylist does in a day. In my experience, a stylist job is a rewarding one and a very challenging one with many responsibilities and skills required.
My request is to support your local stylists and salon. And stylists, don't be afraid to really stand as a well rounded, educated professional ready to challenge your guests. We do want what is best for them.