How NOT to Manage Hairdressers

By Bekah Nash

Hairdressers are an entirely DIFFERENT breed!  You know it’s true because you’re probably one yourself.  They’re very creative and fun loving, yet very independent and strong-willed.  Instead of giving you a list of MUST DO’s, let’s take the opposite approach and look at what are the definite NO-NO’s in salon management.

Don’t over complicate your expectations.

Hairdressers have a switch in their brain they can easily turn off when things get complex and confusing.  If you want to get results from them, make sure your expectations are easy to understand and easily recalled for them.

Don’t sugar coat things.  Hairdressers can handle tough love.

You’re a lot more transparent thank you realize (especially to the “people-readers” that work for you).  Give it to them straight, good or bad, just make sure they know you’re tough on them because you love them and want to see them be successful.

Don’t make changes that affect them without getting their input.

Hairdressers need to feel they’re somewhat in control of the things that impact them.  If they feel they have no voice and that you’re the only one who has a say, you’ll lose their respect.  Make it a point to get their opinions before making changes.

Don’t manage from your ivory tower.

Get involved with your team and work along side them when possible.  Respect is earned and getting in the trenches with them from time to time is the fastest way to get it.  Offer to shampoo a client of theirs every once in a while or restock the retail shelves when the front desk is slammed.  If they see you doing what you’re always insisting that they do, they’re way more likely to follow your lead.

We’re truly fortunate to work in such a innovative, creative field like hair.  It’s in no way a low stress industry though!  Let’s not add managing your staff to your list of stressors.