*This is a guest post from Beyond The Technique.
Guess who’s back? Our top contributor and industry expert, Shana Dee! Shana has already shared countless industry tips with our followers ranging from consultation advice to Instagram tricks, and she is back again to discuss four ways to overcome hairstylist anxiety. Even better, this is a topic that one of our followers requested, and we’re excited to offer our help!
What is Hairstylist Anxiety?
To start, Shana Dee wants to make sure we are all on the same page about what hairstylist anxiety actually is, so we can work together to overcome it. Let’s start with a stressful situation that we can all relate to: the moment you realize that your client doesn’t like her hair, and you’re thinking “Oh man…this isn’t good.” Sometimes, your client doesn’t even have to say anything, but you can feel it, and you start to feel deflated. Can you relate to that? How about the situation when you have a new client who is booked for a fifteen minute color retouch, but needs a full color correction? You’re magically supposed to fit an hour service into fifteen minutes while winning this client over. There’s no way that this can turn out well, so here comes the anxiety (and maybe even some tears)!
Shana Dee wants to reassure our readers that she experiences these problems too—we promise that you are not alone! Even as a seventeen-year industry veteran, Shana has days when she drives home and thinks about starting a second career as a neurosurgeon! So, maybe you haven’t considered becoming a neurosurgeon, but hairstylist anxiety is a real problem that we all experience.Many hairstylists live in fear about receiving a bad review, having their reputation ruined, and losing their paycheck. This is not healthy, so Shana wants to open the conversation up and share four ways to overcome the unique stressors that hairstylists experience!
Strategy #1: Eliminate The Problem Before It Starts
Here’s another situation that Shana is sure you can relate to: you check your schedule for the day, you see a name that you don’t recognize, your heart skips a beat, and anxiety rears its ugly head! You run to the receptionist, ask a million questions about this new client, but you end up feeling unprepared and anxious about the unknown. Of course, this new client expects you to solve all her past hairstylist transgressions in one appointment. No wonder we feel so much pressure!
Well, Shana was so tired of feeling this stress that she decided to eliminate this problem before it could even become a problem!To do this, Shana received approval from her boss to implement a new requirement that all new clients had to have an email consultation with Shana before they could be added to her books. Basically, any new client had to talk with Shana before they could have an appointment with her. By taking charge of how new clients were being scheduled, Shana no longer felt anxiety when looking at her schedule. Now, she knows exactly what type of client she is seeing, what they are expecting of her, and knows that they are scheduled for the proper service time. What’s even better is that Shana’s clients are often so appreciative that she has taken this extra step that they feel even more comfortable with her! That’s a win-win!
Shana Dee understands that this system might not work at every salon, but there is a tool that can work at (almost) every salon! This tool is Meet Your Stylist! Meet Your Stylist is a unique survey that matches clients with the hairstylist at your salon who is the best fit for them based on their service, personality, and lifestyle. Again, this eliminates the fear of the unknown for both the client and the stylist. If you can use Meet Your Stylist and implement email consultations, you can say bye-bye to this type of anxiety for good!
Strategy #2: Let It Go!
When clients complain, it sucks. There is no way to sugar coat it. Shana Dee admits that there is nothing that can deflate your confidence as quickly as a complaining customer. Just one complaint can haunt you for days while you replay that appointment over and over in your head. In that moment, you are expected to fix the problem while totally shutting out your own emotions and trying not to get flustered. Who can’t handle that, right? Wrong! This is totally overwhelming, and we often find ourselves alone and crying in our car—Shana is not afraid to be honest and say that this has happened to her! We give our energy, love, and talent to each guest, so when it doesn’t turn out right, it really hurts us emotionally.
While Shana wishes that she had a magic wand and could make all the hardworking stylists feel better after a complaint, she just can’t do it. But, she does have a few suggestions to build your confidence back up! First, Shana Dee recommends going home and eating a really nice dinner! Whether you pick up your favorite takeout or make a bowl of mac and cheese, take some time for yourself and eat dinner. You’re probably jacked up on caffeine from working all day and haven’t eaten lunch, so a relaxing dinner is a must! Then, go to bed. Just close your eyes and leave the day behind—just let it go! When you wake up in the morning, scroll through your Instagram and remember all the clients who have left your chair with huge smiles and loving their hair!
Shana reassures you that it might take a few days to heal, and that is okay! But, one of the worst things that you can do is start telling everyone about the incident. Just don’t do it! It’s understandable to tell a few trusted friends, but Shana Dee has heard colleagues talk about bad experiences over and over again and suddenly this one incident has been dragged on for two weeks. If you are still talking about it, it has power over you; once you stop talking about it, you can move on. At the end of the day, you just have to take out the emotional trash, and let it go!
Strategy #3: Fake Being Ok
We’ve all heard the saying “Fake It ‘Til You Make It.” Well, Shana Dee is here to tell us that there is some truth to that! Have you ever heard of the concept of cognitive dissonance? Shana explains that cognitive dissonance is the scientific explanation of fake it ‘til you make it. Essentially, if you act like you’re confident and happy, even if you genuinely aren’t, you can start to actually feel these positive emotions. Shana recommends that when you’re feeling hairstylist anxiety, just take a few minutes and pretend that you’re okay. That’s right, just pretend that you’re feeling terrific. This one simple activity can help alleviate so much of your anxiety!
On days when the struggle is extra real, Shana suggests repeating to yourself “I’m the best hairstylist in my city. I am smart and this will not break me.” If you keep repeating this in your head, you will start to believe it, and you’ll get a huge confidence boost! While this might sound silly, Shana Dee assures us that these are techniques that she has used and have worked!
Strategy #4: Education is Key!
One of the biggest culprits of hairstylist anxiety is feeling like we can’t get the results we want, or wondering why a service turned out so badly. Shana is here to remind us that hair color and cutting is a science. Once you understand the laws of hair color, you will know how to do all color corrections, and it is no longer a guessing game! You will know with certainty how to perform every single service, and you will feel so confident!
With the fabulous invention of YouTube, Shana explains that you have no excuses for not learning something new every day. You don’t even have to leave your house or spend any money to learn something new! Start doing this today, and not only will you learn so much, but you will be so inspired by others. Shana Dee also encourages you to not limit yourself to learning about cutting and coloring, but start reading books about marketing, business, communications, and so much more! Educating yourself is all about gaining confidence which will definitely reduce your anxiety!
To recap, Shana Dee recommends four ways to reduce your hairstylist anxiety: #1: Eliminate The Problem Before It Starts, #2: Let It Go!, #3 Fake Being Ok, and #4: Education Is Key. Shana would love to hear about other situations that produce anxiety, so we can work together to overcome them! Please remember that you are not alone in experiencing these feelings, and we are all here to support each other.If you have other instances to share, or tips to overcome anxiety, please share them on our sister company’s private Facebook group! We can’t wait to meet you!